Points of emphasis? Excitement to the third power? Triple exclamations? Robb Cappelletto shuns conventionality with his debut recording, titled in punctuation marks instead of words or numerals. !!! by the Robb Cappelletto Group (2013) features the Candian guitarist and two sidemen, Jon Maharaj on bass and Ahmed Mitchel on drums.
“Scare Tactics” opens the set. The trio plays with such passion, it’s easy to forget there are only three musicians. Mitchel plays a shuffle beat behind Cappelletto and Maharaj. Though the drummer is firmly locked in throughout, it’s the guitar that leads most of the way, with the bass getting its moment in the spotlight. Toward the end of the track, guitar and bass step aside. Mitchel takes full advantage, rolling through the entire kit before transitioning back to the melody.
The trio takes a tranquil approach to the bossa nova classic, “Corcovado,” also known to some as “Quiet Nights of Quiet Stars.” After the opening sequence, the musicians soften the tone, the peace occasionally broken by Mitchel’s timely cymbal splashes. Gradually, the group turns on the heat during Cappelletto’s middle solo. Maharaj’s play here is mindful of John Patitucci.
Cappelletto grew up listening to the sounds of Wes Montgomery and Buddy Guy. He earned a master’s degree in composition from New York University and is on faculty there. !!! has eight original Cappelletto compositions and two covers.