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by Chris May
With practically no warning, violinist John Ettinger burst out of the San Francisco Bay area scene and towards national cult status in 2006 with Kissinger In Space (Ettinger Music, 2006). The album--made with tenor saxophonist Tony Malaby, bassist Devin Hoff and drummer Scott Amendola--announced Ettinger as a thrilling new voice in creative jazz and made an irrefutable case for the violin as a heavyweight frontline instrument. Kissinger went on to become an AAJ Publisher's Pick and figured in several best-of ...read more
by Paul Olson
Although violinist John Ettinger's been a presence in the San Francisco Bay Area music scene since he moved to the region from Arizona in 1992, he was by no means a household name even on the West Coast and was virtually unknown elsewhere. That state of relative obscurity made his recorded debut as a bandleader, August Rain (Ettinger Music, 2003) a wonderful surprise. Simply put, the album was great --who was this guy? August Rain's compositions--all but one Ettinger's own ...read more
by Chris May
Rarely the ringmaster and more often the performing seal, the violin has never been a member of the jazz lineup's inner circle. From Stuff Smith's congenial swing through Ornette Coleman's excruciating scratchings, it has instead orbited colourfully around the margins, at best providing exoticism, at worst attention-seeking novelty. The closest the fiddle ever got to the beating heart of things was probably with Stephane Grappelli in the Hot Club de France in the 1930s. 59-year-old Billy Bang aside, precious few ...read more
by AAJ Staff
Let's be honest. The best thing about what critics do is that we get the chance to listen to new music more or less constantly. So when something random falls out of the mailbox, we might just make a discovery. And have a chance to share it with the world, of course.
And so with that selfish mindset a given, John Ettinger just scored a whole heap of points this evening. August Rain comes from San Francisco and the artist ...read more