Friday, February 22, 2008

Review -- MICHAEL OCCHIPINTI and CREATION DREAM -- Chasing After Light

Michael Occhipinti and Creation Dream
True North Records
When you see a CD by Michael Occhipinti you can pretty well be assured you're in for a musical treat, provided of course that you like jazz.
Occhipinti is winner of the 2002 National Jazz Award for Guitarist of the Year, and a six-time Juno Award nominee for Best Contemporary Jazz Album, so he has the pedigree of success.
On his website at he is described as a “modern and eclectic approach to jazz and creative music of all kinds has earned him a broad array of listeners and the respect of critics and musicians alike.”
You can appreciate why Occhipinti has had success as you listen to Chasing After Light, a CD title which is most appropriate since the listener is left with the feeling the artist has truly been chasing the rays of light with his fine guitar work.
The music here is helped along by an array of other fine musicians too including Kevin Turcotte on trumpet, who steps to the forefront on several numbers, Barry Romberg on drums, Hugh Marsh adds violin on several cuts, and Roberto Occhipinti plays bass on the cut The Cubists.
This is fun jazz, the kind which trips the fantastic. It doesn't veer off into the netherworld of far-out experimental, but instead stays in familiar territory, and allows the listener to simply enjoy the finer musicianship. At times jazz today tries so hard to be different, it becomes work to listen too, to try to follow where the musician is leading. That is not the case with Occhipinti and Creation Dream. They make it easy on the listener who can relax, and simply wrap themselves in the music.
Nicely done. A jazz album which will please any lover of the genre.

-- Review first appeared in Yorkton This Week newspaper Feb. 20, 2008 - Yorkton, SK. Canada

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