Jazz guitarist Kurt Rosenwinkel's previous album Caipi (Heartcore Records, 2017) was unique in his discography. Not just original musicthat was true of many of his previous recordsbut Brazilian influenced, and featuring his vocals. This set is a call back to the Kurt Rosenwinkel Standards Trio's Reflections (WOMMUSIC, 2009): a selection of mostly modern jazz standards, played by a guitar trio. Here the trio includes Italian bass guitarist Dario Deidda and American drummer Gregory Hutchinson (whose relationship with Rosenwinkel extends back to the New York jazz scene of the 1990s).
Thelonious Monk's "Ugly Beauty" opens the set with the balance between a contemporary sound and a modern jazz sensibility that characterizes everything here. Rosenwinkel outlines the head and the harmonies, taking flight during the solo sections; virtuosic without overt display. Deidda and Hutchinson provide empathetic support all the way. "Ease It" is a little known hard bop tune by legendary bassist Paul Chambers, first recorded on Go (Vee Jay Records, 1959). It includes a striking bass solo andin true bebop fashionsolos traded between guitar and drums.
Fittingly, there is another fine Deidda solo on bassist Charles Mingus' "Self-Portrait In Three Colors," another unexpected choice for a guitar trio which works very well. There are two originals in the set. Rosenwinkel's "Simple #2" is not especially simple, but it is a driving modal 6/8 groove in the style of the classic John Coltrane Quartet. The title tune comes from Deidda's pen and is based around a chordal rock riff. The guitar dances over the top, then relentless repetition gives way to a gentle coda: a lovely, surprising conclusion to the tune and the album. Confident, accomplished playing all around, and Rosenwinkel aligns himself with the modern jazz tradition while still displaying an individual, contemporary guitar sound.
Ugly Beauty; Ease It; Self Portrait in Three Colors; Simple #2; Punjab; Time Remembered; Angels Around
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