Rob Levit – Uncertain Path
Here, one of the standard jazz trio formats receives an innovative breath of refreshing air. Guitarist Rob Levit and his fellow creative confidants, drummer Frank Russo and upright bassist Amy Shook, explore 10 original compositions by Levit with a cover each by Sting, Bob Marley and Wayne Shorter. From the opening track, Singularity, one can immediately discern this ensemble isnt like most USA-based standard Jazz guitar/bass/drum trios. Not unlike some of the trio projects fronted by the dynamic Parisian-Vietnamese guitarist/composer Nguyen Le, Levit’s band furrow into fresh soil, implanting their own unique playing styles and compositional/arrangement savvy — not usually heard among American Jazz trios of similar ilk. For instance, parts the title track are reminiscent of some of the interlocking guitar parts from King Crimson’s Discipline and Beat days. The group’s cover of Sting’s Fields of Gold, at first waltzes tenderly through the well known verse and chorus, but later hopscotch’s through its own unique solo explorations, including a very tasty solo by the expressive Levit. Moving Closer, with its pulsating groove in 11/8, shows Levit snarling aggressively; on this track, he?s one mean cat. Whereas other tracks are as tender as a baby’s sigh. He is, undoubtedly, a musician with much to say, possessing an expansive, expressive vocabulary. Russo and Shook intuitively complement him throughout the album. Hence, this one to discover album traverses several moods — playful, somber, jaunty and more. It?s standing ovation, time, Ladies and Gents.