Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

262

Torben Waldorff: American Rock Beauty

Raul d'Gama Rose By

Sign in to view read count
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 writing eschews pomp and circumstance, veering toward simplicity and melody over musical devices.

Despite the fact that there are many different styles of playing on the album, from country and jazz, there is a quiet flow from one to the other that causes barely a ripple in this ocean of music. The menace of "Shark," for instance, is couched in a stuttering melody over a few choice chords that define the far horizons of its harmonic changes. Soon after the opening bars the music begins to ebb and flow with a strong, catchy rhythm. "Shining Through" has a folksy swagger that mimics the canter of horse and carriage on a country road against a sweeping landscape. "Waves" and "Late," both rhythmically pulsating pieces, feature some fine playing by the stellar cast of musicians and the latter has a memorable solo by saxophonist Donny McCaslin, which curves the air around the piece.

"Song-ella" has a lilting Brazilian flavor and might have been out of place were it not for the smooth lyricism of the musicians who link it by sophistication and stylish ambience to the rest of the music. "American Rock Beauty" has a fine narrative feel and is dappled with slightly crepuscular visuals, mostly through the deep and mystical playing of McCaslin's tenor saxophone that leads into Waldorff's slow and thoughtful solo, exploring the full fret board, especially the lower register. "Lama" and "Scape" fit into the visual pattern that seems to define Waldorff's style of composition on this album.

The color of the music is provided not only by the saxophonist. Pianist Jon Cowherd, who has performed memorably on Brian Blade's music, lends an air of distinction. So do bassist Matt Clohesy and the bright drummer Jon Wilkan. Together they embellish the music so that it becomes etched in the memory as a moving tribute and a beckoning soundscape from a musician who ought to be better known than he is today.

Track Listing: Shark; Shining Through; Waves; American Rock Beauty; Late; Lama; Song-Ella; Scape.

Personnel: Torben Waldorff: guitar; Donny McCaslin: tenor saxophone; Jon Cowherd: piano, Fender Rhodes, organ; Matt Clohesy: bass; Jon Wikan: drums.

Title: American Rock Beauty | Year Released: 2010 | Record Label: ArtistShare

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Shop Music & Tickets

Click any of the store links below and you'll support All About Jazz in the process. Learn how.

American Rock Beauty

American Rock Beauty

Torben Waldorff
American Rock Beauty

Choro Dancado

Choro Dancado

Torben Waldorff
Afterburn

Alice

Alice

Torben Waldorff
Brilliance, Live at the 55 Bar...

CD/LP/Track Review
Take Five With...
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Holiday On Fire

Holiday On Fire

Artist Share
2017

buy
Wah-Wah

Wah-Wah

Artist Share
2012

buy
Afterburn

Afterburn

ArtistShare
2008

buy
Brilliance

Brilliance

ArtistShare
2007

buy
Brilliance

Brilliance

ArtistShare
2006

buy

Related Articles

Read Rats Live on No Evil Star CD/LP/Track Review
Rats Live on No Evil Star
by Jack Bowers
Published: December 9, 2018
Read We Two CD/LP/Track Review
We Two
by David A. Orthmann
Published: December 9, 2018
Read Angel Band: Free Country Vol. 3 CD/LP/Track Review
Angel Band: Free Country Vol. 3
by Peter Hoetjes
Published: December 9, 2018
Read The Complete Lansdowne Recordings 1965-1969 (Vinyl box set) CD/LP/Track Review
The Complete Lansdowne Recordings 1965-1969 (Vinyl box set)
by Roger Farbey
Published: December 9, 2018
Read The End of the Universe CD/LP/Track Review
The End of the Universe
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 9, 2018
Read Little Big CD/LP/Track Review
Little Big
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 8, 2018
Read "Edmund Rubbra – The Sacred Muse" CD/LP/Track Review Edmund Rubbra – The Sacred Muse
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: May 31, 2018
Read "Sheroes" CD/LP/Track Review Sheroes
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: July 3, 2018
Read "Before Dawn" CD/LP/Track Review Before Dawn
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: March 30, 2018
Read "Colours of Sound" CD/LP/Track Review Colours of Sound
by Jack Bowers
Published: May 23, 2018
Read "Happy Fire - New Kind of Jazz" CD/LP/Track Review Happy Fire - New Kind of Jazz
by Troy Dostert
Published: April 16, 2018
Read "Plunged" CD/LP/Track Review Plunged
by John Sharpe
Published: February 5, 2018