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Wolfgang Schalk: Word of Ear

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As if to quietly utter “enough with talking about the music...," guitarist Wolfgang Schalk gets to the heart of the matter with Word of Ear and lets his playing speak loud and clear. This is his sixth recording as a leader and he continues to reveal expressive phrasing and piercing solos on hollow body electric and acoustic guitars. Schalk's bicoastal connection between New York and California (currently living in Los Angeles) finds recruiting some local talent in the tremendous rhythm section of drummer Tom Brechtlein and bassist Michael Valerio, who anchor award-winning pianist Helen Sung and George ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Wolfgang Schalk: Wanted

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Guitarist/composer Wolfgang Schalk draws inspiration from his experiences on the New York and Los Angeles jazz scenes. These varied musical environments have led the Austrian native down a divergent musical path, colored with a variety of textures and moods. For Wanted, his fifth release as a leader, the guitarist teams up with pianist Geoffrey Keezer, drummer Marvin “Smitty" Smith and the late bassist Dave Carpenter. The combined musicianship of the quartet is a powerful force, skillfully exploring a set of progressive jazz originals penned by Schalk.

Schalk's single-note lines, on both electric and acoustic guitar, evoke the pin-point precision style ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Wolfgang Schalk: Wanted

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With full hollow-bodied goodness, guitarist Wolfgang Schalk delivers his most heartfelt recording to date with Wanted. Recorded in Los Angeles, Schalk not only switched locations from his bi-coastal residencies in New York but also sports a new quartet with veteran aces Geoffrey Keezer (piano), Marvin “Smitty" Smith (drums) and bassist Dave Carpenter, who sadly passed away in June 2008. Schalk has recorded a number of noteworthy recordings including 2005's Space Messengers (Universal Music Group). He continues to refine a sound that is not only well informed of Wes Montgomery modalities, but also possesses its own post bop ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Wolfgang Schalk: Space Messengers

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The music on guitarist Wolfgang Schalk's new release sounds as if it could have been recorded decades ago, and that's not a bad thing. Like older guitarists such as Jim Hall and Pat Martino and younger players such as Adam Rogers and Kurt Rosenwinkel, Schalk clearly deserves greater recognition for his own soulful articulation and deep skills.

Space Messengers follows 2002's Rainbows in the Night with (thankfully) the same band--including pianist Dave Kikoski, bassist Andy McKee, and drummer Ian Froman. Their communication has gotten stronger, resulting in tighter performances. The title piece speaks volumes with a melody that's filled with ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Wolfgang Schalk: Space Messengers

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On Space Messengers, Austrian musician Wolfgang Schalk proves to be an explosively inventive guitarist and a gifted, challenging composer. Backed by an alert, vibrant rhythm section, he digs deep into eight original compositions, improvising with considerable intelligence, passion, and swing.

In the CD booklet, Schalk cites Pat Martino as one of his primary influences, and indeed, the Austrian possesses a clarion, ringing guitar sound that recalls Martino. Yet Schalk is very much his own man. He plays with an attractive lyricism, enabling some of his phrases to float over the rhythm section, and one of his most intriguing ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Wolfgang Schalk: Rainbows In The Night

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With heartfelt sincerity and dedication to guitar greats such as Wes Montgomery and George Benson, jazz guitarist Wolfgang Schalk interprets his vision and love for the jazz guitar dialect. Rainbows in the Night is a thoughtful and earnest recording. The compositions are seemingly not intended to highlight a blistering jam session, but more a mellow sense of swing.

Wolfgang Schalk, like most musicians of his caliber, has been on the jazz scene for a while. A native of Austria who now lives in New York City, Schalk has garnered international acclaim as a talented composer and guitarist. His style is ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Wolfgang Schalk: Rainbows In The Night

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Wolfgang Schalk comes with a strong reputation. He is certainly a gifted guitarist, with his clean lines, chord structures and often thick timbre. All of this would ostensibly make his new album a treat. However, it falls short, and the prime reason is his unwillingness to go out and seek different directions.

Schalk is content to swim in a relaxed groove all the way. He opens with 'Waltz in Blue (for Hildegard)', which is laid back and daubed in pastel shades. The gentle flow of his guitar makes for an interesting contrast with the piano counterpoint. 'The Intergalactic ...



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