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Saturday, December 10, 2016

Album Review: Futurefun from Mark Lettieri

Mark Lettieri’s guitar-based tracks can be interpreted as a convergence of progressive, indie/alternative, psychedelic, experimental, and fusion with a shot of funk induced art rock. Any way audiences view his material, it’s reminiscent of the revving rumbles of Joe Satriani, the introspective moods of John Scofield, and the blazing surges of Jake Hertzog. Lettieri’s sophomore release Futurefun is a testament to his devotion to funk-based melodies, creating extemporaneous chord patterns sparked by a grooving rhythm.

Jimi Hendrix’s influence can be heard in veritably every track from the groaning licks and spiking shreds of “Catboy” to the racing chord revolutions inflating the title track. A country flange in Lettieri’s guitar burrows along the funky beat of “Intro” moving into the robust developments of “Catboy” motored by the psychedelic pyrotechnics of the guitar effects. The title track stokes of the flames of improvisation as Lettieri indulges in experimental dynamics then glides into the cool, fluid swells of “Extraspecial” adorned in smooth grooves and glistening motifs that create a reposing atmospheric beaming a romantic tint. A track which Lettieri dedicates to his wife.

“Stinger” follows in a similar vane to “Extraspecial” strapping a narrative voicing in the chord movements, melodically versed and elegantly spun. The guitar riffs transition into a series of adventurous acrobatics in “Slugbug” surging fast and furiously which recedes to a simmer arching mild ripples in the center then returns to a volley of firecracker-laden surges in the later half of the track. The recording finishes off with “Outro” exhibiting a series of funky free-for-all riffage bursting with reflections of bluesy musings.

Lettieri evokes a dialogue in his chord patterns, exhibiting a range of emotions as deep as its composer from the raging flusters of “Catboy” to the lulling sonorous of “Extraspecial” making for a lover’s sonnet. Futurefun comes on the heels of his debut offering Knows in 2011, and showcases his talent for composing extemporaneous material stirred from a grooving rhythm.

Mark Lettieri – guitars, Robert Searight – drums, Jason Thomas – drums and percussion, TaRon Lockett – percussion, Braylon Lacy – bass, Wes Stephenson – bass, Jeff Plant – bass, Caleb Campbell – piano, Wurlitzer, and keyboards, and RC Williams – Rhodes

Intro, Carboy, Futurefun, Extraspecial, Stinger, Slugbug, Outro

Labels: Album Review: Futurefun from Mark Lettieri

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