The list of modern jazz artists that Mike Moreno has recorded with would gobble up too much space here. In any event, this new release marks the New York City based guitarist’s debut outing as a leader. With medium-toned electric in hand, Moreno’s craft is often immersed within the construction of budding themes via his fluidly articulated elegance, topped-off with raw firepower. And on "Old Wise," drummer Kendrick Scott mans the brisk swing vamp with his crisp, ride cymbal pulse and snappy accents. Here, Moreno and saxophonist Marcus Strickland engage in weaving unison choruses, followed by the leader’s animated solo foray.
The guitarist’s mode of attack is steeped within textural chord progressions, tinged with a sense of determination and sentiment − accelerated by supercharged single note flurries and melodic overtones. Moreno is also quite savvy when employing volume control techniques as he directs the band through a panorama of shifting pulses and abbreviated shifts in momentum. He breaks out his acoustic guitar on a few works, where he conjures up blissful imagery. But the preponderance of this set is rooted in converging bop and swing lines amid an assortment of nooks and crannies. Ultimately, Moreno shines as a shrewd composer who is blessed with enviable chops and a wide-ranging jazz vernacular that bears a mark of distinction. A superfine exposition, it is.