One telltale signal that there’s an extremely talented artist on the rise, would be the scope of (jazz) all-stars that have already performed/recorded with him or her. In this instance, Irish jazz/improvisation guitar-slinger Mark O’ Leary is a man on a mission. With a rapidly growing discography on Leo Records, he’s already garnered the endowments of pianist Uri Caine, drummer Ben Perowsky, violinist Mat Maneri and other jazz luminaries. Obviously, Leo Records proprietor Leo Feigin believes in this young lad, witnessed by his production of the guitarist’s three critically acclaimed CDs, released during 2005.
This splendid venture finds O’Leary enjoying the company of Polish trumpet great Tomasz Stanko and all-world drummer, Billy Hart. Thus, the music spoken here is largely about improvisation and dynamic concepts, often intertwined into succinctly stated themes and overtones. O’Leary’s clean-toned electric licks are generated with the intimidation of a buzz-saw amid speedy and fluently generated lines. On this outing, the trio contracts, swerves and realigns via a potpourri of briskly enacted tempos and blitzing exchanges. And the absence of a bassist for this session provides an open-air type sound. Occasionally, O’Leary puts the pedal to the metal, but not as a means for shock-therapy. But more so from a climactically-oriented perspective, as some of these group collaborations skirt the fringes of what could coined as free/jazz-fusion. They tone it down in spots, while examining sub-themes and asymmetrical rhythms. Needless to state, O’Leary’s already making a name for himself while catching the eyes and ears of the global jazz community in expeditious fashion! (Exuberantly recommended.... )