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Guitarist Ryan Blotnick has been intermittently active in New York for years now, but since the release of his debut recording as a leader, Music Needs You, his activities have taken him throughout the world, with his own groups and also with Michael Blake, Pete Robbins and Kresten Osgood.
Blotnick's second record, Everything Forgets, travels through a wide array of textures, moods and atmospheres, at one moment careening through a dense cloud of rhythms, then gliding through a garden of relaxed melodicism. Tracks recorded by two distinct bands are spread out evenly throughout the record. There is a constant sense of mindfulness towards pacing and meaningful juxtaposition, however, and the smoothness of the transitions attests to both Blotnick's versatility as an improviser and clarity as a composer and bandleader.
One band, consisting of electric bassist Simon Jermyn, reeds player Joachim Badenhorst and veteran drummer Jeff Williams, delivers abstract improvisations like "Funes The Memorious" and "Slowdozer" and also revels in decidedly more textural takes on jazz lyricism, as on "Dark Matter," a tribute to Parisian pianist Benoît Delbecq featuring Badenhorst's glowing clarinet tone.
The second is the rhythm section from Blotnick's first CD: bassist Perry Wortman and drummer Joe Smith. The trio covers the lion's share of Blotnick's beautiful jazz compositions, offering contrasting takes on "Mainstream" and the country-inspired waltz "Ned Ferm." The trio setting offers plenty of room for effusive dialogue, which is particularly noteworthy during the dark ruminations of "Judge's Cave."
Blotnick is a consummate artist. He compiles his well-honed skills in various forms of music to serve as a springboard from which to search constantly for new paths and forms of expression.
Track Listing: Intro; Mansell; Judge's Cave; Mainstream I; My Memory, Sir, is Like a garbage heap; Ballad For a Crumbling Infrastructure; Dark Matter (for Benoit Delbecq); Slowdozer; Look, a Way!; Mainstream II; Sulphur, the Reins; Funes the Memorious; Business Class; Cloud Stove; Ned Ferm; Sonny Song.
Personnel: Ryan Blotnick: guitar; Joachim Badenhorst: tenor saxophone, clarinet, bass clarinet; Simon Jermyn: electric bass; Jeff Williams: drums, chimes; Perry Wortman: bass; Joe Smith: drums.
I grew up listening to mainstream '70s rock then ended up on the staff at the college paper at San Diego State, and volunteered to review heavy metal LPs. My second semester, the music editor dropped a Fenton Robinson LP on my desk, Night Flight. You like metal; they play guitar--he plays guitar, the editor told me
I grew up listening to mainstream '70s rock then ended up on the staff at the college paper at San Diego State, and volunteered to review heavy metal LPs. My second semester, the music editor dropped a Fenton Robinson LP on my desk, Night Flight. You like metal; they play guitar--he plays guitar, the editor told me. If we don't run a review, Alligator Records is going to stop servicing us.
Night Flight opened up a whole new world for me--the blues led me, inevitably, to Basie, who led to Duke, who led to Mingus, who led to Miles, who led to ...