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Rob Levit Trio: Uncertain Path

Before settling in Annapolis, Md., Rob Levit spent time in New York playing with top-shelfers like Chris Cheek and Stephan Crump. He is a modern, versatile plectrist who reminds me of Pete McCann, and his trio disc Uncertain Path (Symbol System), with bassist Amy Shook and drummer Frank Russo, is a solid summary of his talents as an improviser and composer. The covers of Sting’s “Fields of Gold” and Bob Marley’s “Waiting in Vain” are unexciting, but “Footprints” is much better-a chance for Levit to go crazy with his harmonizer, as he also does on “M-Dive.” Even Levit’s folky acoustic numbers (“Safe Returns,” “The Undoing”) have complex layers, and the hints of dark, Shorter-esque harmony in “After You” and “Ballad #3” are a balm. Telltale Metheny-isms creep into Levit’s playing when he picks up the pace, as on “Moving Closer,” but tone-wise he’s arrived at something quite individual.

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