Label: Fresh Sound New Talent, 2018
Personnel - Jon Irabagon: tenor saxophone; Mike Baggetta: guitar; Bob Gingery: acoustic bass; Jeff Hirshfield: drums.
Following his debut album, Traveler (Fresh Sound New Talent, 2015), bassist Bob Gingery convenes a proficient quartet with enough credentials to astound as they wade his new compositions. Saxophonist Jon Irabagon and guitarist Mike Baggetta are kept on the roster, while the experienced Jeff Hirshfield occupies the drummer’s chair, formerly taken by Mark Ferber.
Kittyhawk, gathering all the yummy ingredients to make a great jazz dish, includes six originals by the bassist, a tranquil rendition of Pink Floyd’s “Shine On Your Crazy Diamond”, whose atmospheric experiments, plus monumental riff, allows Baggetta to shine, and a spirited Brazilian take on Monk’s “Hornin’ In”, with delicious improvisations from saxophone and bass. While soloing, Irabagon is melodically ingenious, explanatory, and utterly convincing, whereas Gingery is conciliating, articulated, and flattery in his speech.
They happen to be the soloists again on the opening piece, “Arrival”, in which the substructure is built up nicely at a 4/4 tempo by a consolidated net of bass and drums. By engraving pure, scattered impressions in the textural framework, Baggetta radiates light with a slippery counter-intuition. His sound goes through a radical transformation on “Bell Curve”, a half-refined, half-unpolished odd-metered composition. His impromptu creativity governs with winding synth effects and his harmonies produce rugged sounds with distortion, generating surprising elements and a broad sense of adventure. Irabagon also hooks you in through his well-known melodic and rhythmic sensibilities.
“Outskirts” is the type of song that John Scofield would do. Obeying a 6/4 tempo, the tune is a thrilling jazzified funk with a slicking bass groove and sax/guitar unisons driven by an exotic touch.
The quartet concludes the album with “Eighties”, a dreamy pop song with nostalgic contours. Displaying all the simpatico attributes that characterize them, each artist channels positivism into the churning as Hirshfield brushes the drums with mildness.
Providing a rich listen, Kittyhawk sounds fresh (covers inclusive), and confirms Gingery’s potential as a reliable bassist and versed composer.
01 – Arrival ► 02 – Bell Curve ► 07 – Hornin’ In