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Kurt Rosenwinkel: Caipi

Geannine Reid By

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Guitarist Kurt Rosenwinkel has been at the forefront of shaping what we call jazz today with the help of dynamic peers such as: Brad Mehldau, Brian Blade, Mark Turner, Joshua Redman and Chris Potter. Rosenwinkel's indelible mark in music is the consummation of being steeped in the rich and deep traditions of jazz, springing off the shoulders of the rich jazz vocabulary and canon as a foundation to stamp out his own musical language. A language that is influenced by all of the sounds and availability of different music from around the world. Rosenwinkel's evolving language embraces various sonic colors, and filters it through the chromatic and rhythmic embellishments that the heritage of jazz has come to be known for.

Rosenwinkel makes a radical leap in his musical direction on his 2017 release, Caipi, the debut release on his new label Heartcore Records. Ten years in the making, Caipi features Rosenwinkel playing all the instruments (drums, bass, piano, synthesizers, percussion) additionally he showcases his vocals prominently on tunes like the hard rocking "Hold On," the ethereal "Summer Song" and the slow ballad "Ezra," named for his son. The song "Little B" is named for his other son Silas, who was nicknamed Little Bear as a toddler. Caipi will certainly draw listeners of various genres, melting elements of rock and jazz. The two styles co-exist well with his recognizable personal style.

Caipi seems to find Rosenwinkel taking interest in developing and presenting melodies of significant emotional effect, a decidedly distinguishing feature of the project and perhaps it will be the key to its success. Although most of the instruments on the album were played by Rosenwinkel, there are some notable guests: Amanda Brecker (daughter of Eliane Elias and Randy Brecker) who provides Portuguese lyrics on "Kama" and contributes layered backing vocals throughout the album. Caipi also features the participation of a new young Brazilian multi-instrumentalist and singer Pedro Martins. Special guest Eric Clapton offers a subtle touch of signature string-bending on the upbeat pop number "Little Dream." Rosenwinkel's former musical partner Mark Turner delivers potent tenor saxophone performances on "Ezra" and "Casio Escher." Rosenwinkel expands upon his decision to bring Mark in on the new project, "I had to bring Mark in because it was very important to me to have that close friendship and collaboration represented on the album."

Caipi also finds Rosenwinkel taking the vocalist role. Rosenwinkel says, "Writing songs with lyrics has always been very much a part of my musical world, but they've usually stayed in my private sphere. With Caipi, I realized that these were also lyric songs and that ultimately, I would sing them as well. It's definitely something different from my other albums, but it's a familiar place for me and it was just a matter of doing what the music needed." Regarding his new role as a front man singing his own thoughtful, metaphysical lyrics, it will surely appeal to a wide audience and be a large step in the evolution of Rosenwinkel's catalog.

Caipi presents eleven Rosenwinkel compositions. With an interesting mix of unfamiliar and familiar, past and present. Though most in the jazz elite still find joy in playing standards, Rosenwinkel is playing and composing in a way that goes beyond the hallowed elitisms. The hallmark of Rosenwinkel's playing can be heard through-out Caipi. The judicious use of blue notes, against the beat phrasing, the occasional startling fast run, the sophisticated use of chromaticism's, horizontal patterns, and a pianistic sense of harmony, and a continuous variation in technique and tone, all with impeccable phrasing are key ingredients on this offering. Caipi is a welcomed breath of positive fresh air, again the boundaries of jazz and world music are added to in a thoughtful way.

Track Listing: Caipi; Kama; Casio Vanguard; Summer Song; Chromatic B; Hold On; Ezra; Little Dream; Casio Escher; Interscape; Little B.

Personnel: Kurt Rosenwinkel: guitar, bass, piano, drums, percussion, synthesizer, voice; Pedro Martins: voice, drums, keyboards, percussion; Frederika Krier: violin (2,5,10); Andi Haberl: drums (2); Antonio Loureiro: voice (3); Alex Kozmidi: baritone guitar (3); Kyra Garey: voice (4); Mark Turner: tenor saxophone; Eric Clapton: guitar (8); Zola Mennenoh: voice (10); Amanda Brecker: voice (7,8,9); Chris Komer: French horn (11).

Title: Caipi | Year Released: 2017 | Record Label: Heartcore Records


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