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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Torben Waldorff: Wah-Wah

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Danish guitarist Torben Waldorff's sixth album as a leader is a collection of elegant, subtle and intensely melodic compositions that simultaneously sound innovative and accessible. Wah-Wah is also his first without a saxophonist, leaving him alone in the frontline. His, long and satisfying solos are often tinted in muted colors as his intricate improvisations remain within the melodies' frameworks. His tasteful, complex and intimate sound on the opener, “Circle and Up," showcases his virtuosity without flaunting it. Pianist Gary Versace's sparse and contemplative playing enhances Waldorff's lyricism endowing the tune with a laidback, suave feel.

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Torben Waldorff: Wah-Wah

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Danish-born, Sweden-based guitarist Torben Waldorff takes the leading role on Wah-Wah as main soloist, putting his melodic integrity, and a natural leadership that stresses tight group interplay, up front. All his original compositions feature the guitarist's gift for structuring engaging melodies with rich and sophisticated harmonic patterns and tasteful and economic solos, all varied in moods and colors but never indulging in excess. Waldroff's American quartet, featured on this album, toured with these tunes right before heading to the recording studio. Waldorff's compositions are built on strong and clear melodic lines, enabling the quartet to communicate with ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Torben Waldorff: Wah-Wah

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Guitarist/composer Torben Waldorff has released a number of penetrating recordings, including 2008's Afterburn and 2010's American Rock Beauty , both on the musician-driven ArtistShare label. They are shaded with top-notch musicianship, fresh perspectives, and one elusive quality: the art of being copacetic, where the music evokes a sense of cool that's not just defined by chops or technological devices but, more so, with a vibe that feels relevant and evocative. Wah-Wah is further proof of the Sweden-based guitarist's abilities. Waldorff expresses composure and lyricism in the vein of Kurt Rosenwinkel, one that's less concerned about blistering runs ...

TAKE FIVE WITH...

Take Five With Torben Waldorff

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Meet Torben Waldorff: Born and raised in Denmark. Went to Berklee for four years. Have two CDs out on Swedish label LJ-Records. Signed with ArtistShare in New York 2006, with three CDs out--Brilliance, Afterburn and American Rock Beauty, all with saxophonist Donny McCaslin, a friend from the Berklee days, plus drummer Jon Wikan and bassist Matt Clohesy. Sam Yahel is also on Afterburn, while Jon Cowherd plays on American Rock Beauty. Recent performances include JazzBaltica, Rochester Jazzfestival, Aarhus International Jazzfestival and a long list of clubs in Canada, US, Scandinavia etc. 55Bar, Cornelia Street Café, ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Torben Waldorff: American Rock Beauty

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On his second release for ArtistShare, Danish guitarist Torben Waldorff has chosen to test the rare telepathic interplay among his quintet members on songs that were sketched intuitively in a matter of minutes. This unique approach has resulted in some very infectious tunes with strong, beautiful melodies, though it does feel as though this gifted quintet could have risen to higher challenges. Joining Waldorff are tenor saxophonist Donny McCaslin, bassist Matt Clohesy and drummer Jon Wikan--all of whom played on Waldorff's previous release, Afterburn (ArtistShare, 2008)--along with new recruit, keyboardist Jon Cowherd. The close and tight understanding ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Torben Waldorff: American Rock Beauty

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Danish composer/guitarist Torben Waldorff has crafted a plainly titled but memorable album in American Rock Beauty. Waldorff is an articulate and lyrical musician, which counts for a lot on an instrument that is prone to be used with effects that mask its organic beauty. American Rock Beauty is a sophisticated blend of American and European streams of music, from rollicking folk dance to the swing and swagger of jazz melded with burnished impressionism. Throughout, Waldorff shows himself to be a virtuoso guitarist with a great sensitivity for image, emotion and expression, all of which take precedence over his technique. His ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Torben Waldorff: American Rock Beauty

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It's interesting to watch musicians approach the comfort zone. Some see it as something sacrosanct, a precious relic to be protected and preserved like antique china; others treat it like the family handball, never hesitating to pick it up and hurl it against the wall with all possible force. Danish guitarist Torben Waldorff takes a third route on American Rock Beauty, slipping inside the comfort zone and expanding it from within.

There's nothing initially threatening or offensive about any of the pieces on Beauty, and that's usually a bad thing, because it means the artist didn't even try ...



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