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Prologue by Michael Pinto

Prologue is the debut recording for New York-based vibraphonist/composer Michael Pinto. For the session, Pinto, a member of saxophonist Greg Osby's working group, recruits a group of like-minded, creative spirits: alto saxophonist Logan Richardson, drummer Tommy Crane, bassist Christopher Tordini and vocalist Sara Serpa. The music reflects Pinto's passion for jazz, symphonic music, and science fiction stories.

Pinto demonstrates an inventive approach to improvisation through flowing horn-like lines. His extended feature on "Trelane" reveals more of a pianistic approach, reveling in the sparse accompaniment of bass and drums. Spurred by Crane's wash of percussive layering and Tordini's sparse bottom-end punches, the leader maintains a rhythmic momentum that is at once soft-spoken and intense. Pinto's aggressive blowing over the driving 6/4 solo section on "Deneva" and the rocked-out "Thin Line" are two of the more inspired moments on the disc.

Serpa's serene, wordless vocalizing provides an ethereal timbre to the disc's emotive themes. The lyrical angularity of "Enchantment", "Storms Coming" and "Season of Renewal" is highlighted through the vocalist's mellow tone and dead-on pitch. Richardson's biting alto is a prominent element throughout. With a robust sound, characterized by warmth and vibrato, the saxophonist exhibits sensitivity to melody with tireless technical flourishes.

Pinto is a fresh voice on the jazz scene, exploring contemporary ideas with honesty and unabashed risk-taking. Prologue is an impressive introduction to an emerging artist who seems destined for wider recognition.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Michael Pinto
  • CD Title: Prologue
  • Genre: Progressive
  • Year Released: 2009
  • Record Label: Inner Circle Music
  • Musicians: Michael Pinto (vibes), Logan Richardson (alto sax), Tommy Crane (drums), Christopher Tordini (bass), Sara Serpa (vocals)
  • Rating: Five Stars
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