Album Review: Dedications by Jazz from Planet Flippo

Album:  Dedications
Artist:  Jazz from Planet Flippo
Label:  Oppilf Records
Website:  www.flippomusic.com

Bandleader and keyboardist Dave Flippo demonstrates his astuteness to apply straight-ahead jazz attributes to a diverse range of melodies from adult pop to R&B/soul and classic arias.  Flippo shows that he can reimagine any type of song with jazz-infused trimmings, and he does so on his latest release Dedications.  Each track is dedicated to an individual in his life.  Supported by Donn De Santo on acoustic and fretless bass, Dan Hesler on saxophones and flute, Heath Chappell on drums, and Aras Biskis on percussion, Flippo personalizes each track.

The recording opens with Stevie Wonder's "Too High" garnished in Flippo's twinkling keys and Hesler's flailing saxophone, producing an uplifting ambience anchored by De Santo's bopping bass and Chappell's splashing drums.  His re-interpretation of Amy Winehouse's mega-hit "Rehab" gives the track a swing blues finish as the rhythm section plays a cool New Orleans groove while suspending the  rippling tweets of Hesler's saxophone.

Flippo's jazzification of Radiohead's "Karma Police" produces new shapes along the melodic swells, draping the track in sweet sounding saxophone wails.  "Finch House" enhances the recording's sweetness basking the track in the agile flutters of Hesler's flute, mirroring the fluttering sounds of a finch bird.  Comparatively, "Giraffe Track" rustles with a jungle-like playfulness, mirroring the ambling gait of a giraffe.  This number is dedicated to Hesler whose jostling notes on the saxophone accentuate the safari-vibe.

Flippo wrote "Third Eye Open" as a dedication to his bass player Donn De Santo, weaving swirling patterns and harmonic forms into a vibrant montage.  The middle eastern rhythm of "Syrtotic" is joined by the spiraling coils of Hesler's saxophone, adding an exotic ambience into the recording.   The joyful pulses in the treads of "Spring Joy" project a sunny mood.  A track that Flippo dedicates to his wife.

Treating each track with a personal touch,  Flippo demonstrates an astuteness for applying straight-ahead jazz idioms to a broad range of arrangements.  He flexes his affinity for jazz along with his adventurous nature and impulses to be inventive.

Musicians:

Dave Flippo - piano, keyboard, and melodica
Donn De Santo - acoustic and fretless bass
Dan Hesler - saxophones and flute
Heath Chappell - drum set
Aras Biskis - percussion


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