Roberto Occhipinti A Bend In The River

Roberto Occhipinti A Bend In The River
It goes under-reported locally but Toronto-based Roberto Occhipinti is a multi-talented bassist/composer/producer with a serious international reputation. That is confirmed by the presence here of such players as Afrobeat drumming legend Tony Allen (befriended by Occhipinti when both were working on Damon Albarn's Gorillaz and Mali Music project) and the New York-based alto saxophonist Luis Deniz and drummer Dafnis Prieto, as well as the Globalis Orchestra (recorded in Moscow). Occhipinti is equally at home in the classical and jazz worlds, and he fuses disparate elements in a refreshing and intelligent fashion on his original compositions here. That is evident from the opening number, "Umbria," in which a string quartet intro segues seamlessly into the melodic jazz of the composer's core quartet. Solo bass and strings merge sweetly on his version of classic Coltrane ballad "Naima," while the closing Latin-rooted track, "Marta," was written by Deniz. Occhipinti, a key player in Toronto's Latin/Cuban music scene, and local comrade pianist David Virelles is also featured effectively here. Superb stuff. (Alma/Universal)