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Carl Filipak: Looking Forward Looking Back

Dennis Chambers’ presence is only one of the factors that makes Baltimore-based guitarist Carl Filipiak’s Looking Forward Looking Back (Geometric) such a solid recording. Chambers and John Thomakos share the drum chair on this very enjoyable CD, a collection of originals and cover tunes performed with freshness and inspiration by Filipiak and his able backing musicians. “One for Wes” is a swinging tribute to Wes Montgomery, one of Filipiak’s influences, and the guitarist’s version of Coltrane’s “Giant Steps,” which gets a bossa nova feel, spotlights saxophonist Paul Soroka. Filipiak’s take on Charlie Parker’s “Au Privave” is a hearty funk workout, and on Charles Mingus’ ode to Lester Young, “Goodbye Pork Pie Hat,” Soroka turns in a moving performance that is supported by Jay Dulaney’s doleful bass and Chambers’ gentle, brushed drums. The delicate “I’m Only Dreaming” features Filipiak’s graceful, floating guitar work, and the guitarist and Soroka romp at breakneck speed through the closer, “Chasin’ the Checkbook.”

Originally Published