427

Jentsch Group Large: Brooklyn Suite

By

Sign in to view read count
It's nice to see that some of that grant-money floating around out there is being put to good use. Such is the case with guitarist Chris Jentsch's Brooklyn Suite, a 2005 live recording of a complex-yet-highly rewarding suite for 18-piece ensemble. Underwritten by the American Composers Forum and the Jerome Foundation, the project takes full advantage of these resources. Jentsch's ambitiousness pays off with a work that, while at times bordering on the modal and even atonal, ends up overall as an accessible album that will also appeal to crossover audiences due to the guitarist's fondness for the rock music aesthetic.

Don't assume, however, that Brooklyn Suite is a guitar-driven work. On the contrary, Jentsch makes himself somewhat scarce over the course of the album; he throws in a few licks here, some feedback there and a minimal number of solos; but he seems happy to let the "Group Large" do most of the talking. Henceforth, Brooklyn Suite should be considered less of a showcase for Jentsch's instrumental bravado, but more for his talents as an arranger and composer. His charts for the big band bring to mind a few familiar names, notably Stan Kenton (at his most advanced) and Gil Evans. In a strange way, some of Brooklyn Suite is reminiscent of Bernard Hermann, making a case for Jentsch's name as part of an "original music by" credit in a feature film. He definitely has the chops for it.

However, this album is only partially accessible; most classic-minded jazz fans might not gravitate towards the implementation of the rock-guitar sound over familiar big band instrumentation. It's an acquired taste that could perhaps rub some fans of the aforementioned legendary big band arrangers the wrong way. But you must applaud Jentsch's courage in this area; and take heed, old-fogies afraid of change: his guitar stylings aren't completely rock-based. His fondness for the Wes Montgomery sound (as noted in the liner notes) is quickly made clear on a number of occasions.

It's comforting to know that Jentsch has plans to continue performing into the new year in ensembles both small and large in and around town. And good news, folks: he recently received another grant which he plans to use on recordings with this same ensemble.

Track Listing: Opening Shards; Inside (Interlude); Outside Line; Going to Hail; Follow that Cab; Imagining the Mirror; Closing Shards; See You in Bali; Our Daily Dread.

Personnel: Chris Jentsch: guitar; John Mettam: drums; Jim Whitney: double bass; JC Standford: conductor; John Carlson: trumpet; Laurie Frink: trumpet; Jon Owens: trumpet; Russ Johnson trumpet; Brian Drye: trombone; Alan Ferber: trombone; Jacob Garchik: trombone; Kurtis Pivert: trombone; Ben Kono: reeds; Andy Laster: reeds; John O'Gallagher: reeds; Mike McGinnis; Dan Willis: reeds.

Title: Brooklyn Suite | Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: Fleur De Son

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Shop for Music

Start your music shopping from All About Jazz and you'll support us in the process. Learn how.

Album Reviews
Interviews
Album Reviews
Read more articles
Fractured Pop

Fractured Pop

Fleur De Son
2017

buy
Cycles Suite

Cycles Suite

Fleur De Son
2009

buy
Brooklyn Suite

Brooklyn Suite

Fleur De Son
2008

buy
Media Event

Media Event

Blue Schist
2000

buy

Related Articles

Read Avec le temps Album Reviews
Avec le temps
By Mark Sullivan
April 23, 2019
Read Snaketime: The Music Of Moondog Album Reviews
Snaketime: The Music Of Moondog
By Mark Corroto
April 23, 2019
Read Requiem for a New York Slice Album Reviews
Requiem for a New York Slice
By Mark Corroto
April 23, 2019
Read Trion Album Reviews
Trion
By Dan McClenaghan
April 22, 2019
Read LE10 18-05 Album Reviews
LE10 18-05
By Jakob Baekgaard
April 22, 2019
Read After the Rain: A Night for Coltrane Album Reviews
After the Rain: A Night for Coltrane
By Jakob Baekgaard
April 21, 2019
Read Cadillac Turns Album Reviews
Cadillac Turns
By Troy Dostert
April 21, 2019