427

Jentsch Group Large: Brooklyn Suite

By

Sign in to view read count
Jentsch Group Large: Brooklyn Suite 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.

Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: Fleur De Son | Style: Big Band


Shop

More Articles

Read Fellowship CD/LP/Track Review Fellowship
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 22, 2017
Read E.S.T. Symphony CD/LP/Track Review E.S.T. Symphony
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 22, 2017
Read June CD/LP/Track Review June
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 22, 2017
Read The Invariant CD/LP/Track Review The Invariant
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 22, 2017
Read Akua's Dance CD/LP/Track Review Akua's Dance
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Daylight Ghosts CD/LP/Track Review Daylight Ghosts
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 21, 2017
Read "Now Hear This!" CD/LP/Track Review Now Hear This!
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: February 7, 2017
Read "Hecho En Puerto Rico" CD/LP/Track Review Hecho En Puerto Rico
by James Nadal
Published: June 6, 2016
Read "Groovin'" CD/LP/Track Review Groovin'
by Jeff Winbush
Published: November 2, 2016
Read "Umbrella Weather" CD/LP/Track Review Umbrella Weather
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: January 24, 2017
Read "All My Treasures" CD/LP/Track Review All My Treasures
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: May 20, 2016
Read "Matthew Halsall: On the Go (Special Edition)" CD/LP/Track Review Matthew Halsall: On the Go (Special Edition)
by Phil Barnes
Published: July 1, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!