Arthur Lipner’s Modern Vibe (Jazz-heads) is well named. Considering the nearly ubiquitous back beat-it is mercifully absent on “Flor de Lis,” a pleasant, fast bossa, and modified on “Blue Tango,” Lipner’s best original-the overall sound is aggressively contemporary. Lipner’s generally unimaginative writing is marked by lots of unison, on-beat and off-beat ensemble phrases, with their staccato lines doubled by the drums. His arrangements tend to be dragged down by the weight of the instrumentation-there’s a strong reliance on electronics, like keyboardist Nick Bariluk’s frequent use of a string choir patch.
Become a JazzTimes member to explore our complete archive of interviews, profiles, columns, and reviews written by music's best journalists and critics.