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by Mark F. Turner
Saxophonist Melissa Aldana leaves an indelible impression of her musicality in Back Home, her fourth release as a leader. She was the first female instrumentalist and first South American to win the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition in 2013. One listen to her tenor's flowing birdsong and the symbiotic connection with longtime trio mates bassist Pablo Menares and drummer Jochen Rueckert it is understood the work she's put in and the gift she possesses. First there's Aldanas's ...read more
by John Kelman
How time flies. While he's been busy with a number of other projects--his collaboration with the Portuguese Orchestra de Jazz de Mataosinhos on the ambitious Our Secret World (Wommusic, 2010) and the intimate, standards-laden Reflections (Wommusic, 2009)--it's been four years since guitarist Kurt Rosenwinkel last released a small group record focusing largely on new original music. 2008's The Remedy (Wommusic) was an exhilarating live recording from New York City's The Village Vanguard, and if his subsequent releases have been as ...read more
by John Kelman
Kurt Rosenwinkel and OJM Our Secret World Wommusic 2010 With the creative possibilities offered by its expanded palette, it's no surprise that so many artists who traditionally work in the context of more pliant, small ensembles turn to larger settings at least once in their career. For those already predisposed to greater compositional complexity, the intrinsic challenges are many; but so, too, are the ultimate rewards. It's no surprise, then, that Kurt Rosenwinkel--perhaps his generation's ...read more
by Stuart Broomer
Kurt Rosenwinkel has a well-earned reputation for aggressive guitar playing that's both rhythmically astute and harmonically exploratory, a talent that he's applied with Mark Turner and Brad Mehldau as well as with hiphop producer Q-Tip. With Reflections, he has reined in his sometimes-divergent impulses for an unusual collection of standards and tunes by Thelonious Monk and Wayne Shorter that's almost all at ballad tempo, with the sturdy support and interaction of bassist Eric Revis and drummer Eric Harland.read more
by Greg Camphire
A warm and understated trio record, Kurt Rosenwinkel's Reflections zeroes in on an approach to standard repertoire, marking an interesting career turn for the guitarist in the process. With support from drummer Eric Harland and bassist Eric Revis, the six-string innovator opens a window to another side of his playing, featuring quiet meditations on the blues, ballads, and swing. It's a curious listening experience, coming long after Rosenwinkel has already established an original voice as a composer ...read more
by John Kelman
After the incendiary The Remedy: Live at the Village Vanguard (ArtistShare, 2008), guitarist Kurt Rosenwinkel returns with Reflections, an intimate, ballad-heavy album that couldn't be more different. On the surface, with a set largely composed of standards, and trimmed down to a trio from the quartets and quintets of his past few years, it might appear that Rosenwinkel is returning to the territory of his earliest albums, specifically his live debut as a leader, East Coast Love Affair (Fresh Sound ...read more
by Mark Corroto
Like an Ian McEwan short story, guitarist Kurt Rosenwinkel can say more in a few lines than most guitarists manage over the course of an entire recording. On Standard Trio: Reflections he inscribes his signature sound on a set of ballads--all classic tunes except for one original.
His trio of bassist Eric Revis and drummer Eric Harland are perfect companions on a collection where less is truly more; they eschew the pyrotechnics for a steady accompanying swing. Harland--a member of ...read more