We first heard from bassist David Lockeretz upon the release of “Pedestrian Crossing,” a 2021 reissue of his band Outside Pedestrian’s 1999 debut album. The guitar, bass and drum trio is a modern instrumental project that explores the many flavors of electric Jazz fusion by incorporating elements of Rock and Blues into their sound. The Boston native formed the band with guitarist Anthony Fesmire in the late 1990’s after graduating from his hometown’s acclaimed Berklee School of Music and then relocating to Los Angeles.
David Lockeretz spent 20 years in sunny California before returning to New England and settling down in Central Massachusetts. In addition to his work with Outside Pedestrian the bassist has performed and recorded extensively with a variety of other artists on both coasts. Along the way he has also produced two solo albums. His most recent is the 11 song collection “Mulligan!” On the record we find Lockeretz expanding his sound beyond the guitar/bass/drums fusion of his OP work by experimenting with unexpected ensembles, musical styles from across the decades, and even a little bit of ancient Anglo/Saxon poetry.
“Mulligan!” opens on the funky modern fusion sounds of “Don’t Read The Comments.” We know right away we’re in for something different when the song’s brief double bass and drum intro is met by a steel drum playing lead over piano and guitar accompaniment. The creative arrangements continue on the 420 friendly “Non-Hybrid Seeds” as David Lockeretz introduces some analog synths into a low-key groove that recalls the late 70’s and early 80’s work of legendary composer and producer Quincy Jones. The mellow 3/4 waltz of “The Old Neighborhood” follows. With an accordion in the lead role and some beautifully melodic piano the song conjures cinematic images of Boston’s famed North End.
We don’t stay in Little Italy for long though as “Minor Outlying Island” reintroduces the steel drum and adds a pan flute sampled synth for a cool Caribbean groove. Lockeretz hints at his Outside Pedestrian roots with the slow Jazz/Blues guitar number “I Will See You There.” Even through all of the record’s many stylistic detours, David Lockeretz’s keen melodic sense as a composer and his impeccable bass technique are the common cohesive elements that tie it all together.
“Deor” is easily the most adventurous track on this album full of alchemy. Lockeretz’s bass duets with the drums as he reads the mysterious and historic Old English poem of the song’s title. In his spoken word rendition of the tale he trades verses with a Theremin. The track takes full advantage of the instrument’s inherent Sci-Fi aesthetic to transform this already avant-garde track into something entirely new. “Old Habits” and “Green Girl” follow with a bit of Milt Jackson-esque early 60’s acoustic vibraphone Jazz. “Big Leo” continues the 60’s groove with a melody that sounds like the score to a James Bond movie. The record ends on some behind-the-scenes fun with demo versions of “Non-Hybrid Seeds” and “Green Girl.”
Listening to the new album “Mulligan!” by David Lockeretz is like flipping through the Jazz bins at your favorite vinyl shop. With a little bit of everything, virtuosic musicianship and a healthy dose of fun he has put together a record that revels in the joy of making music. Check out the album in its entirety below. You can also hear the tracks “Big Leo” and ” Don’t Read the Comments” on the Deep Indie Jazz playlist. Follow the links below to connect with David Lockeretz. Get on his socials and dig into his rich musical history.