Mike Moreno | Another Way

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Jazz: Contemporary Jazz Jazz: Mainstream Jazz Moods: Featuring Guitar
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Another Way

by Mike Moreno

Genre: Jazz: Contemporary Jazz
Release Date: 

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Tracks

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1. The Spinning Wheel
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7:27 album only
2. Waking The Dancer
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3:10 album only
3. One And A Half
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7:21 album only
4. The Fifth Element
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6:00 album only
5. Slow Fall
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6:00 album only
6. Another Way
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5:50 album only
7. Behind The Wall
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5:53 album only
8. The Mariner
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2:05 album only
9. Mirror Mirror
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9:10 album only
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ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Reviews


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Raj Manoharan (www.rajmanreviews.blogspot.com)

The RajMan (Fan) Review
A couple of weeks ago I was fortunate enough to catch a couple of tunes on WBGO Jazz Radio by an up-and-coming jazz guitarist named Mike Moreno. Those two tracks were enough to hook me and compel me to go to Amazon and listen to samples from his four (to date) solo albums, which I promptly ordered and am now enjoying in between my reviews.

Moreno combines the steeped traditions of jazz guitar and the eclectic possibilities of the electric guitar, resulting in a fusion of old and new that matches the fire and invention of a young Pat Metheny, who has praised Moreno.

Moreno’s albums are not just exercises in jazz guitar. Although he writes most of the originals that are not standards, the other musicians supporting him get to shine just as much as the leader, resulting in the cohesion of a true band. But Moreno’s guitar is definitely the thread that holds everything together.

Although Moreno has released “only” four albums in the last five years, he by no means operates in a vacuum. A graduate of New School University’s music program in his current home base of New York City, Moreno has performed, toured, and recorded with both established jazz superstars and fellow up-and-coming jazz artists.

I find it a bit weird being a fan of someone younger than me. All of my favorite actors and musicians are several years or decades older than me, which makes sense because I became a fan of them when I was a child. However, Moreno is only six years younger than me, so I don’t feel so bad. I am proud to include him in my personal pantheon of favorite jazz/rock/fusion guitarists, including Andy Summers, Eric Johnson, Hiram Bullock, Pat Metheny, and Ronny Jordan.

I am even more excited that the future of jazz guitar is literally in good hands.

hanyi ishtouk

among the memorable jazz guitar albums of recent years
Young Texan's fourth, this time self-produced, release features intriguing material that grows on you with repeated listens. Delicate balance has been achieved between sophisticated compositions and smart improvisations, arranged and executed with precision and creatively attuned sensitivity. The remarkable chemistry b/w Moreno and pianist Aaron Parks again brings to mind such great pairs as Metheny - Mays/Mehldau, Hall - Evans, Pass - Peterson, by the virtue of having distinct voice, stories to tell and moods to conjure, beyond obvious technical excellence.
Though not mentioned on the CD cover, jazz critic Mark F. Turner claims to know that - save for track #4 w/ Chris Dingman on vibraphone - Warren Wolf is handling the mallets for the rest of the album, namely on three tunes (#1, 3, 7). Unknown to this reviewer before and a refreshing discovery is the solid rhythm section of Matt Brewer (double bass; solo #9) and Ted Poor (drums; solo #7), who instantly respond to and anticipate the guitarist's shifts of intention.

The show opens with an optimistic upbeat as being communicated on 'the spinning wheel', w/ lead instruments taking turns (g-p-v) and adding darker shades over the chorus on the way out. The uplifting #8 'mariner' serves as a thematic continuation to the intricately woven, darkly lyrical guitar-piano duet masterpiece of #2 'waking the dancer', whose initial, acoustic guitar-only part employs two-hand tapping technique, if I'm not mistaken. The challenging, driving assertiveness of #3 'one and a half' finds a pianoless quartet riding the tiger that allows Moreno to unleash dazzling chops and Wolf's sweeping vibraphone curtain(s) to unfold. The spacious exploration of dark recesses on #4 'the fifth element' dissolves once the tender melody of #5 'slow fall' falls in its place and is heard together w/ a heartfelt guitar solo, accentuated by gentle brush-cymbal work and sparse bass notes. Parks shines on the quirky, uncannily grooving title song #6 'another way', which is followed by the slightly Latin-ish, agile and capricious #7 'behind the wall' (yet again without piano), featuring another fine take from the vibraphonist and the characteristically crisp, clear tone phrasing by the bandleader. The set is concluded w/ the subtly mysterious #9 'mirror mirror' where both Parks and Moreno deliver some emphatic, extended improvisations. Total time: 53 min. Gladly recommended.