Between the Lines
World Culture Music
Mike Moreno’s appealing tone, cascading lines and inherent sense of lyricism mark him as one of the most outstanding new guitarists since Kurt Rosenwinkel. The talented Texan (a classmate of pianist Robert Glasper at the Houston High School for the Performing and Visual Arts) has been an in-demand sideman since moving to New York in 1997. On his debut as a leader, he surrounds himself with some gifted youngbloods in drummer Kendrick Scott, saxophonist Marcus Strickland, pianist Aaron Parks and bassist Doug Weiss. While he exhibits remarkably agile lines, picking effortlessly over the changes on harmonically intricate pieces like “Forward and Back” and “Uncertainty,” it’s the depth of his composerly vision that truly impresses here. Pieces like “Road Song,” “World of the Marionettes,” the swinging title track and the stirring piano-guitar duet “Still Here” have a beautiful architecture about them and show an uncommon maturity for one so young.