Wednesday, November 8, 2017

3 for 3 (2017), by Mike Moreno

With 3 for 3, Mike Moreno’s scorecard for high-quality album releases is now 6 for 6.

The Texas-born, New York City-based jazz guitarist’s sixth solo record is his first leading a trio, and it is every bit as compelling and engrossing as his previous entries fronting quartets and quintets.

Moreno, bassist Doug Weiss, and drummer Kendrick Scott prove to be a tight unit as they dazzle their way through eight covers with aplomb and deftness. The arrangements and performances are elaborate and beautiful.

Very few artists in any genre have a body of work that is consistently good, and Moreno holds an esteemed place in that extremely small group. Not every single song of his, whether original or standard, is absolutely stunning or amazing, but none of them are sub-par or uninteresting either, a rare and unique feat in itself that makes each of his albums equally solid.

All of the songs here are captivating, but my favorites are “Clube da Esquina No. 1,” with its mesmerizing blend of lyrical acoustic guitar and swooning electric guitar, and “Glass Eyes,” which features swirls of cascading electric guitar tones.

This is another outstanding entry from an extraordinary musician who continues to excite, innovate, and inspire.

--Raj Manoharan

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