The lead cut to Many Moons is Swing Trade and David Lopato can swing like crazy…with many trade-offs into hard bop, abstract, and the avant-garde. Interestingly, that song is actually, at heart, a complicated set of inversions to the main riff on Eddie Harris' Freedom Jazz Dance. Swing, however, collapses into a pensive balladic mode in Inside You, a cut that also has its near atonalities, but gently, gently, sparsely embellished. Having performed with Dave Liebman, Leo Wadada Smith, Dewey Redman, and other luminaries, Lopato's far from the new kid on the block, but these references only put you in the ball park while the keyboard player manifests an affinity for the near-entire palette of possibilities in the role of the piano. Watch, for instance, the tempo changes he puts Inside You through.
Dave teaches at The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music and at Montclair State University, so this ain't jes' some New Age potpourri of keyboard twaddle, LaRue. No, Many Moons could serve as a sonic textbook for everything from Romanticism and Gershwin forward, emphasis on 20th century jazz: trad, improv, stride, bop, rag, you name it, even the radical applications of Nancarrow and Cage (the chaotically delicious Piano Roll I, with its volume shifts, gamelonistic intro, and increasing lunacy), reminding me of Gregory Mills' obscure but marvelous 1984 Esfoma LP. In fact, one cut, The Big Bad Wolf Ain't So Bad After All, is akin to a Scott Joplin piece written after too many lattes anticipating the coming of the atonalists and speed demons. Thus, if you've a hankering for jazz, for a single voice, and can't quite determine just exactly what the mode should be, you've arrived at the right place, Hornschmeier, and I can guarantee that your indecisiveness won't be resolved in the least…and that it won't bother you a bit as the dozen cuts pop up one after another.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2011, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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