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Album review: 'Transitions' 

David Gilmore


Criss Cross Records

He has served as a sideman with Wayne Shorter, Steve Coleman, Meshell Ndegeocello, and others, but on his fifth album, "Transitions," guitarist David Gilmore amply displays his prowess as a leader. The record, a tribute to recently departed jazz giants, showcases Gilmore's originality and intelligence in terms of complex arrangements, unusual meters, and engaging solos. The album's two original tunes leave no doubt about his ability to weave together gorgeous melodic lines over intriguing chord structures, but most of the cuts explore the compositions of others.

Gilmore's core band includes Mark Shim on saxophone; Victor Gould, piano; Carlo DeRosa, bass; and E.J. Strickland, drums. All of them are superb ensemble players who never fail to soar when they get a chance to stretch out. Tributes include a spritely take on Victor Bailey's "Kid Logic," featuring brilliant guitar work by Gilmore. Guest harmonica player Grégoire Maret plays a wonderful solo on the great Toots Thielemans classic "Bluesette," while another guest, Bill Ware, dazzles on vibraphone on Bobby Hutcherson's "Farralone."

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