Bar code: 8427328424998
"Guitarist Mike Baggetta has been recording for the past ten years, amassing a discography of distinction. His first release (in 2005) was with TIN/BAG, a duo with trumpeter Kris Tiner, and the pair have released four albums since then. He formed a quartet with saxophonist Jason Rigby, bassist Eivind Opsvik and drummer George Schuller, releasing four albums since 2009. Put in a solo recording and you have a substantial discography of a guitarist with a personal style.
Baggetta is not an in-your-face player, preferring to dole out thoughtful but dynamic phrases with an emphasis on melody and texture. While he uses effects to enhance his sound they are never the dominant force. He frequently distorts his lines through unique phrasing and subtle bending and scraping of strings. And he always seems to be seeking new avenues to explore.
Toward that end, he has recorded Spectre with a new trio of bassist Jerome Harris and drummer Billy Mintz. They’re well-chosen partners and the group really works as a unit. Baggetta is the main voice but Harris and Mintz are always in there helping to shape the material, occasionally merging into one. The general tone is one of pensive calm, yet there’s a questing search inherent in this music that takes it beyond mere subtlety.
“Passage”, the longest track here at 10+ minutes, feels like a distant cousin to “In A Silent Way” with an electronic underlay functioning like the electric pianos on that legendary Miles Davis track. “Leavin’ On Your Mind” (Patsy Cline’s last recording before her 1963 death in a plane crash) gets a gorgeous, free-flowing reading, which unfolds in kaleidoscopic fashion. And just so the listener doesn’t get too complacent, Mintz’ “Nasty” is delivered with snarling fuzz-drenched guitar. This trio is a new vein for Baggetta and Spectre shows it’s one that clearly deserves to be mined further."
-Robert Iannapollo, The New York City Jazz Record (May 2015)
“NY guitar poet Mike Baggetta's new recording with his potent trio veers daringly and compellingly from patient, elegiac freedom to searing, oozing sludge rock without the slightest hesitation or apology. One cannot resist its myriad charms. Cool!”
-Nels Cline, Guitarist
"This is one of the freshest guitar records I've heard in a long time. Highly recommended!”
-Ben Monder, Guitarist
"His playing is always thoughtful and highly melodic. Guitar fans admire his mastery ... But it's his melodicism as well as extended techniques that mean he projects a strong identity ... The technical proficiency, tonal variety and creativity of 'Spectre' are nonpareil."
-Andy Hamilton, Jazz Journal (UK)
"New York guitarist Mike Baggetta and his colleagues mix hallucinatory soundscapes with intricate improvisational workouts... Comparisons to Bill Frisell and Marc Ribot make sense, but Baggetta's career so far suggests that he'll emerge from those shadows sooner rather than later and establish himself as a significant new jazz explorer."
-Matthew Everett, Knoxville Mercury
"...this music is often quiet, filled with pauses and silences, the three musicians interacting in the studio having a conversation that draws the listener in... listen closely to how this music moves, how each player is important to the direction and the sound, and just how well the guitarist integrates the electronics... Baggetta's other-worldly sounds, with phrases that may remind some of the "bent" country sounds of Bill Frisell or the expressive Jeff Beck... There is a spaciousness to the music that one often feels as if he were standing on a mountain top surveying the universe."
-Richard Kamins, Step Tempest
"Mike Baggetta is an electric guitarist and musical conceptualist of real stature. His new album Spectre (Fresh Sound New Talent 499) breaks important ground and constitutes a high-water mark thus far for his artistry on disk... Mike has evolved an original style that here remind me sometimes of the McLaughlin of "In A Silent Way" and just after, maybe the exotic touch of vintage Terje Rypdal, but mostly his well conceived original musical self... The guitar work is lyrical and beautifully sonic. There is much brilliance to hear!"
-Gregory Applegate Edwards, Gapplegate Guitar Blog
"...an improv fest that seamlessly incorporates multiple guitar styles, cool vibrato arm work, and looping."
-Michael Ross, Guitar Moderne
"Mostly poignant and completely touching. What makes this disc so great is that it defines its own place in creative music without being dragged into established genres or styles. There is no showing off going on here, just an honest effort to create a number of mesmerizing moods and dreamscapes.”
-Bruce Lee Gallanter, Downtown Music Gallery
"Top Ten Pick (June)"
-David R. Adler, Lerterland