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INTERVIEWS

Jeff Gauthier: Open

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Violinist Jeff Gauthier has been a leading figure in cutting-edge jazz on the West Coast since the mid-'70s. As a leader, he's produced half a dozen compelling works with his band of 20 years, The Jeff Gauthier Goatette. Open Source (Cryptogramophone, 2011) finds the quartet grown to a quintet, with trumpeter John Fumo bringing added fire to what was already one of the most exciting combos in modern jazz. Open Source blends folkish, pastoral airs with a very modern jazz aesthetic typified by the unclassifiable, yet always arresting, playing of guitarist Nels Cline. Drummer Alex Cline and bassist Joel Hamilton ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

The Jeff Gauthier Goatette: Open Source

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Open Source would have made a good alternative name for violinist Jeff Gauthier's ensemble, as it draws inspiration from myriad sources. Goatette continues its near twenty-year journey into territory ranging from avant-garde and sci-fi soundscapes, and deep funk grooves colored by searing electric guitar, to an altogether more pastoral melodicism reminiscent of the Mahavishnu Orchestra at its most serene. Now a sextet with the addition of trumpeter John Fumo, the widely traveled musician steers a course between post-bop and electric jazz-fusion. His voice, whether striding out on his own or blending beautifully with Gauthier's violin, makes a great impression and ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

The Jeff Gauthier Goatette: Open Source

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When two-thirds of a group has “effects" in their instrumental credits, it's a safe bet this ain't your granddaddy's jazz. When it's violinist Jeff Gauthier's Goatette, punctuating the quirky theme in the first moments of “40 Lashes (With Mascara)" with thundering drums and high-octane power chords, it's clear that Open Source is going to make plenty of demands--and not just on the musicians who play it. Any group featuring the intrepid Cline twins--guitarist Nels and drummer Alex--is going to be, at the very least, an eclectic one, so it's also no surprise that Open Source travels effortlessly ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

The Jeff Gauthier Goatette: House of Return

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Violinist/producer Jeff Gauthier is well-known for his cutting-edge solo work and being a proponent of his label's crystalline, sonic engineering process, where most all the details and nuances can be detected, even with low-budget stereo equipment. The Goatette's third release continues to demonstrate the musicians' nearly telepathic interactions amid an abundance of structured and improvisational components.

The quintet clearly projects a mark of distinction and from a stylistic perspective it might be somewhat of an anomaly to rigidly pigeonhole its sound and scope. It pursues an acoustic-electric brew that contains dreamy and lush mainstream jazz parts amid torrid ...

INTERVIEWS

Jeff Gauthier: Fiddling with the Future

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With over three decades playing in some of L.A.'s most innovative and interesting musical projects, violinist/composer Jeff Gauthier threatens to succumb to the irony of being better known as the founder/CEO of Cryptogramophone Records. Now in their tenth year, Cryptogramophone has outgrown underground status, even meriting a feature in trendy Details magazine. Boasting a roster including Nels Cline, Vinny Golia, Peter Erskine, Don Preston, Steuart Liebig, Alex Cline, and Gauthier's Goatette, Cryptogramophone also provided a safe haven for the long awaited creative rebirth of Bennie Maupin. Gauthier produced sessions regularly win glowing notices, and the label's artistic cred far outweighs ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

The Jeff Gauthier Goatette: House of Return

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Los Angeles based violinist Jeff Gauthier's fifth recording as a leader, House of Return is the third album to feature the capable talents of his self-coined Goatette. A veteran quintet of stellar West Coast improvisers, Gauthier and company work from a varied palette to explore a mix of sound worlds, ranging from thorny progressive fusion and unfettered psychedelia to folksy introspection and lush ballads.

As founder and producer of the adventurous Cryptogramophone label and co-founder of the influential acoustic group Quartet Music in 1979 (with guitarist Nels Cline, bassist Eric Von Essen and drummer Alex Cline), Gauthier's seminal ...

MEGAPHONE

Musical Community

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By Jeff Gauthier Music is all about community. The jazz musicians of New York are a musical community. Individual ensembles within that larger community are musical communities. However, so are social networking sites, record companies and the readers of All About Jazz. We can generally break communities down into two specific types: physical and virtual. Both communities can reflect specific musical styles. Physical communities and virtual communities have been interacting ever since people started banging rocks together and then throwing them at each other, but the manner in which they interact is always changing. Already, through ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

The Jeff Gauthier Goatette: One and the Same

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When most of the members of a jazz lineup are credited with “effects" along with their respective instruments, there may be reason to suspect that a dependence on electronics may be masking a deficiency of technical skill. Such is not the case with the Jeff Gauthier Goatette. To the contrary, the group's expert balance between the cerebral and the accessible is most evident when the musicians leave the effects pedals alone.

Though Gauthier is based in Los Angeles, the violinist's post-bop conception mirrors the intellectual European approach, with a production style in the ECM ballpark. On One and the Same, ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

The Jeff Gauthier Goatette: One and the Same

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Despite its considerably smaller output, the Los Angeles-based Cryptogramophone label could well be considered the American companion to ECM Records' distinctive aesthetic. Attention to sound quality and packaging has been integral to the label's approximately thirty releases, which have ranged from graceful elegance to outré experimentation, comprising a discography that's as worthy of brand loyalty as the larger one associated with Cryptogramophone's older German cousin.

The only down side for Gauthier the label owner is that it cuts into the time of Gauthier the musician. An accomplished violinist and active member of the edgy Left Coast scene which has been ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

The Jeff Gauthier Goatette: One And The Same

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One And The Same is violinist Jeff Gauthier's fourth recording with his Goatette quintet and his second on the Cryptogramophone label, of which he is also founder and producer. But Gauthier's group is no mere vanity project. His roots in West Coast improvisation reach back two and a half decades, most notably to the co-founding of the seminal group Quartet Music with the late bassist Eric Von Essen, guitarist Nels Cline and his brother, drummer Alex Cline, in the late 1970s. Nels and Alex are also charter members of Gauthier's Goatette, which includes two other veteran collaborators, bassist Joe Hamilton ...

RECORD LABEL PROFILES

Jeff Gauthier & Cryptogramophone Records

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Southern California-based Cryptogramophone Records was founded in 1998 by violinist extraordinaire Jeff Gauthier. Since its inception, the label has been on the upswing within the global jazz-centric community. In a sense, it has become an institution, featuring a roster of forward thinking musicians, such as Californians Nels Cline (guitar), Scott Amendola (drums), Steuart Liebig (bass), and of course Mr. Gauthier. The record label's manifesto is ensconced within pristine audio characteristics, artsy packaging, and a consistently versatile recording output. The record label's mission statement sums it all up rather appropriately: 'Cryptogramophone presents state of the art recordings of creative jazz in ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Jeff Gauthier: Mask

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The “Goat" in violinist Jeff Gauthier's Goatette is the nickname he was tagged with as a child. His band Goatette, together since 1991, adds guitarist Nels Cline for this recording. Gauthier has been a regular collaborator with Nels and his drummer brother Alex Cline since the late-1970s in the ensemble Quartet Music, with deceased legendary bassist Eric von Essen. Gauthier produced Nels Cline's recent barn-burning Instrumentals (Cryptogramophone 2002). Gauthier has also been a regular contributor to projects by creative artists Vinny Golia and Gregg Bendian.

Mask is Gauthier's third release as a leader, and his best yet.



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