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First In Mind

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Audio CD, May 24, 2011
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Editorial Reviews

Following up his 2008 Criss Cross debut Third Wish acclaimed guitarist Mike Moreno returns with another brilliant quartet outing, First In Mind. Bringing a flowing, centered tone and ceaseless improvisational ideas to the table, Mike offers a mix of jazz standards, compelling originals, and refreshing reinvention's of modern repertoire (Sonny Rollins's Airegin, Milton Nascimento's Miracle of the Fishes, Joe Zawinul's In a Silent Way). Joined by the esteemed Aaron Parks on piano, Matt Brewer on bass and fellow Houston native Kendrick Scott on drums, Mike cements his reputation as one of the strongest guitarists on the New York and international scenes.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 24, 2011)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Criss Cross
  • ASIN: B004QVMTPI
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #133,299 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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A couple of weeks ago I was fortunate enough to catch a couple of tunes on WBGO Jazz Radio by an up-and-coming jazz guitarist named Mike Moreno. Those two tracks were enough to hook me and compel me to go to Amazon and listen to samples from his four (to date) solo albums, which I promptly ordered and am now enjoying in between my reviews.

Moreno combines the steeped traditions of jazz guitar and the eclectic possibilities of the electric guitar, resulting in a fusion of old and new that matches the fire and invention of a young Pat Metheny, who has praised Moreno.

Moreno's albums are not just exercises in jazz guitar. Although he writes most of the originals that are not standards, the other musicians supporting him get to shine just as much as the leader, resulting in the cohesion of a true band. But Moreno's guitar is definitely the thread that holds everything together.

Although Moreno has released "only" four albums in the last five years, he by no means operates in a vacuum. A graduate of New School University's music program in his current home base of New York City, Moreno has performed, toured, and recorded with both established jazz superstars and fellow up-and-coming jazz artists.

I find it a bit weird being a fan of someone younger than me. All of my favorite actors and musicians are several years or decades older than me, which makes sense because I became a fan of them when I was a child. However, Moreno is only six years younger than me, so I don't feel so bad. I am proud to include him in my personal pantheon of favorite jazz/rock/fusion guitarists, including Andy Summers, Eric Johnson, Hiram Bullock, Pat Metheny, and Ronny Jordan.

I am even more excited that the future of jazz guitar is literally in good hands.
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