Lacuna – Talk on the Step
(Babel BVOR12109. CD Review by Chris Parker)
‘Springlike and joyous’ are the adjectives guitarist/composer Dan Messore wishes to apply to his pieces on this, his second album as leader (ckick HERE for a review of his debut, Indigo Kid).
To this end, he has assembled a front line adept at playing in this manner – trumpeter Steve Waterman (Messore’s jazz-arrangement tutor) and flautist/alto saxophonist Lee Goodall – plus a lively, punchy rhythm section: bassist Aidan Thorne and drummer Ollie Howell.
Messore himself is an unshowy but muscular soloist, and his semi-acoustic guitar blends beautifully with flute and muted trumpet on the album’s breezy opener, ‘Mariposa’ (Portuguese for butterfly), and thereafter such tasteful, thoughtful juxtapositions of sound and texture are repeated with slightly different ingredients, ranging from cultured, sonorous flugelhorn to open trumpet, bluesy alto to lightly wafting flute, all intelligently interwoven with Messore’s dexterous, nimble guitar.
Messore’s compositions are similarly varied: his jazz inspirations take in everyone from Hermeto Pascoal to Lee Konitz, Wayne Shorter to Lennie Tristano (not to mention his guitar heroes Pat Metheny and Kurt Rosenwinkel), and consequently Talk on the Step, while thoroughly contemporary-sounding and intensely personal, springs discernibly (and enjoyably) from the modern-jazz tradition.