Jonathan Kreisberg: Trioing (2002)
Add Jonathan Kreisberg to your list of new and undiscovered jazz treasures. The New York-based guitar whiz has been featured to great effect in Yosvany Terry’s band and also with his own electrifying quintet, featuring Scott Wendholt, Gary Versace, Matt Penman, and Anthony Pinciotti. Trioing, his debut as a leader, is a trio standards session with bassist Johannes Weidenmueller and drummer Ari Hoenig (Kenny Werner’s steady rhythm section).
While listeners must await a future quintet release for evidence of Kreisberg’s impressive writing chops, Trioing reveals Kreisberg’s in-depth study of Miles, Monk, and Trane, among others. His sparkling clean tone, colored with just a touch of delay, perfectly suits his fluid, legato phrasing and tasteful, complex chordal work. Leading off with a straight-eighth rendition of Coltrane’s “Countdown” (not unlike Metheny’s recent interpretation of “Giant Steps”) and later tackling “Sorceror,” Kreisberg displays a command of some of the very toughest post-bop harmonic sequences. His lines are rhythmically crisp and precise yet never stiff, always attuned to the unpredictable, grooving flow laid down by Hoenig and Weidenmueller. There’s a relaxed, understated quality to the music, certainly on ballads like “I Fall In Love Too Easily” and “Ugly Beauty” but also on mid-tempo tracks like “All of You” and “Sweet and Lovely.” Among the more ear-catching creative twists: a 7/8 rendition of “Old Devil Moon,” a beautiful intro and outro vamp added to “A Child Is Born,” and 1:32 of ripping, unaccompanied guitar on “Have You Met Miss Jones?”
Track Listing: 1. Countdown 2. All of You 3. Sweet and Lovely 4. I Fall In Love Too Easily 5. Sorceror 6. Old Devil Moon 7. A Child Is Born 8. Have You Met Miss Jones? 9. Ugly Beauty
Personnel: Jonathan Kreisberg, guitar; Johannes Weidenmueller, bass; Ari Hoenig, drums
Record Label: New for Now Music