Marc Ciprut, Blue House Review
Marc Ciprut’s Blue House: A Vivid Fusion Expression
by Icrom Bigrad
Marc Ciprut, guitarist, songwriter, and producer, has always found beauty in the blend. With influences ranging from Wes Montgomery to Jimi Hendrix to Stevie Wonder, Ciprut has always been a fusion artist at heart. Blue House, his latest recording, is a grand exhibition of his musical expertise, combining jazz, blues, and rock to create a diverse stimulus of sonic experiences.
Blue House has an array of talented musicians, including the bass talents of Jimmy Haslip and James Genus and the keyboard artistry of Scott Kinsey, Jon Cowherd, Jeremy Manasia, and Etienne Lytle. Their collaborative efforts bring to life nine distinct original Ciprut compositions, two of which feature Steven Santoro’s vocals.
The album starts with a blues meets fusion jazz composition titled “Roll It Out,” characterized by Ciprut’s warm, expressive guitar tones. As a listener, it is clear that Ciprut is all about creating a distinctive tone and speaking from his heart with his guitar. The journey continues with “Jack Be Nimble,” a joyous composition akin to a rich culinary fusion, tantalizing the taste buds with its varied textures and tones. Here, Ciprut displays a fluid compositional style with a song form that visits multiple feels and textures.
As we step further into Blue House, “Shaggy” takes center stage, an affecting rock-styled riff paired with vibrant rhythmic figures in the ensemble, as colorful and smooth as a velvety wine reduction. “Closer” introduces us to the captivating singing of Steven Santoro, perfectly complementing the rich guitar flavors and enriching the sonic palette.
“Smooth” returns to the funky blues fusion vibe, punctuated by Ciprut’s emotive guitar bends and impressive storytelling steeped in the expressive blues language. “Greasy Weasel” turns up the energy with a distorted rock fusion delight. Ciprut continues to impress with his dialed-in tone and shaping of his guitar sound to bring out the character of each composition.
“Take A Cip,” a relaxed funk fusion selection, and “Cissy Strut,” an adventurous collection of feel changes, keep the listener engaged with their rhythmic intricacies. The album concludes with “Kiss You Again,” a moving love song that masterfully balances jazz fusion with pop and soul.
But the true magic of Blue House lies in the spaces between the notes. Like a master chef with a knowing hand, Ciprut’s playing resonates with collaboration, innovation, and joy. The notes, the tones, and the spaces between become an auditory feast, revealing Ciprut as a guitarist, composer, and visionary alchemist blending genres into a cohesive narrative.
Blue House is a triumph, a musical journey through the landscapes of jazz, blues, rock, and soul, filled with surprises and leaving a lasting impression of Ciprut’s talent. Let it play, let it move you, let it carry you through a journey worth taking. With Ciprut as your guide, a musical chef who knows exactly how to serve a meal for the soul hungry for rich fusion tones, you’ll find a place at the table in the Blue House. It’s a reservation well worth making.