Bassist Steve LaSpina is best known to a wider audience as a longtime member of guitarist Jim Hall’s famous Trio. He is respected as a fast-finger master-instrumentalist in the tradition of Scott LaFaro and Gary Peacock. But the amount of impressing projects that he realized over the years for the SteepleChase label proves that LaSpina is as well a first rank composer and combo leader. „Play Room“ is his latest CD where he successfully and skillfully develops the compositional approach that comes out of the tradition of Wayne Shorter. Thus LaSpina’s compositions appear in an airy, almost sketch-like and loosely woven quality suggesting musical etchings stuffed with improvisational interjections and deconstructions by the musicians involved. The lineup of the group is splendid, consisting of a quintet of highly inspirational artists such as Dave Ballou (tp/flh), Billy Drewes (saxes),Jeff Hirshfield, and newcomer Gary Versace on organ and piano.
Steve LaSpina: Play Room
(both SteepleChase/ Plainisphare = swiss distributor)
Cd Review Jazztips, Germany