Chris Lightcap’s Bigmouth, “Epicenter” from Epicenter (2015): Something Else! sneak peek

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Chris Lightcap is a bassist who has a very accurate sense of the pulse, whether that’s manifested in the puckish post-bop of Matt Wilson or the heavily distorted textures of Joe Morris’ and Jamie Saft’s Plymouth. But when Lightcap assembled his own supergroup and put out Deluxe back in ’11, the jazz press discovered his legitimacy as a bandleader and he’s been rightly put in higher regard these days.

Oh, and what a band this Bigmouth is: Craig Taborn (keyboards), Gerald Cleaver (drums) and the dual tenor treat of Tony Malaby and Chris Cheek are all legit as leaders themselves, and their usual modern-to-avant jazz playgrounds are right in Chris Lightcap’s area of expertise, too.

The long-awaited follow up to Deluxe is set to release on March 4, 2015 from Clean Feed Records. Epicenter brings back the Bigmouth crew intact, with both Lightcap and Taborn dabbling with the organ this time. But not on the title track, it’s all acoustic and based on the stream above, shows no diminishing in this group’s zest for adventure

“Epicenter” begins with the melody, harmony, rhythm, and tempo coming together as one, i.e., Ornette Coleman’s ‘harmolodic’ music theory put in practice, and Chris Lightcap follows that hopping head with a rangy solo before Taborn inches his way in with right-handed ruminations that get more and more in the pocket. Following a brief remark by Malaby and Cheek, each of the saxophone masters take their own, urgent solos, with ample comp support from Lightcap, Taborn and Cleaver. A return to the saxophone remark — not the Ornette intro — wraps up this out-bop safari.

S. Victor Aaron

S. Victor Aaron

S. Victor Aaron is an SQL demon for a Fortune 100 company by day, music opinion-maker at night. His musings are strewn out across the interwebs on jazz.com, AllAboutJazz.com, a football discussion board and some inchoate customer reviews of records from the late 1990s on Amazon under a pseudonym that will never be revealed. E-mail him at svaaron@somethingelsereviews .com or follow him on Twitter at https://twitter.com/SVictorAaron
S. Victor Aaron
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