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Lucio Hopper: Reflections

You may want to give your stereo speakers a tune-up to ensure proper low-end handling before spinning bassist Luico Hopper ‘s Reflections. This veteran sideman and Broadway player (recent gigs include Bring in ‘da Noise, Bring in ‘da Funk and The Lion King) offers his compositions in thick, bassy and mood-making arrangements. From the spacey vibes and mysterious atmosphere of “Reflections” to the dusky, romantic R&B of “Hidden Treasures,” Hopper weaves unique low-end elements into his arrangements, lending depth and texture through acoustic and electric bass, as well as keyboard. Another distinguishing mark is Hopper’s attention to detail. Though his pieces can teeter towards over-arrangement territory, touches like Robert Stevens’ glistening piano melody on a sunny, Stevie Wonder-ish read of Bill Withers’ “Lovely Day” and Zane Mark’s sliding organ grounding the clattering, hopping funk of “Don’t Hold Back” provide just the right counterpoint. Other highlights here include the lovely nightscape piece, “Leslie,” marked by doodling guitar and both tenor and alto flute, and the elegant “Butterfly,” lent a retro feel by electric piano-type touches and some great, expressive trumpet work.

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