Album Review of
Short Stories

Written by Joe Ross
December 26, 2023 - 11:37am EST
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To say that New York-based composer and pianist David Lopato is an eclectic, well-grounded, innovative jazz musician would certainly be an understatement. Presenting eight original compositions written during a four decade timespan, David Lopato & Global Coolant’s Short Stories have all the necessary elements to provide meaningful and memorable musical narratives. He also provides a creative interpretation of Wayne Shorter’s “Prince of Darkness” to open the set. Lopato’s own musical tales are set in such disparate times and places as Tibet (“Through the Veil”), New Orleans (“Looking for Mr. Babar”), Washington D.C. (“The Glass Ceiling”) and Cuba or the Latin barrios of New York (“Papagayo”).  

The arrangements’ free-flowing style and extended phrasing provide recognizable voice for characters, themes, conflicts and plots. For example, “Nelson” is Lopato’s upbeat and celebratory homage written upon Nelson Mandela’s release from prison in 1990. “For Chick” channels the free-jazz, fusion and spontaneous feelings for the innovative Chick Corea. The tracks on Short Stories reflect various moods, thoughts and tones. Ideas and ruminations span from melancholy to uplifting, hopeful to ominous, intellectual to adventurous.

Pianist Lopato surrounds himself with some stellar musicians who share his points of view and greatly impact how the stories are told. They include Ed Neumeister (trombone), Lucas Pino (sax, clarinet), Anson Jones (vocals on two tracks), Ratzo Harris (string bass), Michael Sarin (trapset), Rogerio Boccato and Keita Ogawa (percussion on four tracks), and Bobby Sanabria (percussion on one track).

Lastly, Lopato’s personal writing style is one of the most important elements of his stories. The way he speaks emphasizes clear and concise ideas, expressive and intellectual. He does this musically with profound melodies, sensitive chord clusters, connected phrasings and opaque ruminations. All in all, the Short Stories album has very powerful, compelling, warm and descriptive music that is also very easy to listen to. (Joe Ross, Roots Music Report)  

For more info, check out:  Lopato's Bandcamp Page  AND  Lopato's Short Stories