Make a difference: Support jazz online

Support All About Jazz Your friends at All About Jazz are looking for readers to help back our website upgrade project. Of critical importance, this project will result in a vastly improved design across all devices and will make future All About Jazz projects much easier to implement. Click here to learn more about this project including donation rewards.

5

Jentsch Group Quartet: Fractured Pop

Jerome Wilson By

Sign in to view read count
Chris Jentsch is a guitarist who, from the evidence of this recording, enjoys splashing around in the wide pool of music between jazz and rock. His work here goes all the way from grooving hardcore jazz to ambient nature sounds with a lot of fun things going on in between those two poles.

The title track starts out on a folkish acoustic guitar riff joined to Matt Renzi's climbing tenor sax, establishing an overall style of jazz improvisation married to fluid rock rhythms. "Are You Bye?" is a pure jazz tune, Jentsch and Renzi sliding all over a loose shuffle rhythm laid down by Jim Whitney and John Mettam. Renzi swings easily here and Jentsch solos with tight, reverberating notes like Bill Frisell. "Outside Line" has swirling overdubbed guitars and low pitched tenor leading into a short bass solo. Then the piece shifts into overdriven psychedelic guitar cranking by the leader that sounds like a cross between Larry Coryell and Jerry Garcia.

"Old Folks Song" is a gentle mix of acoustic and electric guitars and flute that resembles a spacey 60's folk song while "Meeting At Surratt's" sounds like a processional march from an Ennio Morricone spaghetti western soundtrack with Jentsch's overdubbed guitars buzzing around Renzi's precise lead tenor and a reggae beat added in the middle. "Radio 666" is heavy jazz-rock with the distorted guitar feel of early King Crimson and "Radio Silence" sounds like 70's prog rock with a stately beat and Renzi's saxophone drifting over a rhythm that has a hint of "Whiter Shade Of Pale" about it.

"Old Folks Postlude" is the "your mileage may vary" track, seven and a half minutes of bugs chirping that Jentsch says was inspired by listening to Brian Eno. "Cycle Of Life" starts out with random rattles and peeps too but here some clarinet and sustained guitar notes bubble out and the piece eventually resolves into a loose, floating tango. The frisky "Follow That Cab" ends the CD nodding to Ornette Coleman as Jentsch and Renzi jog furiously over a dancing, splashy rhythmic groove before launching into individual honking and screaming solos.

Jentsch and Renzi play off each other very well in the ensemble bits and Whitney and Mettam are fine supporting and really excel when they get a bit of space like Mettam's rolling and crashing on "Follow That Cab" and "Outside Line."

There's also an accompanying DVD in this package. I didn't have the equipment to access the alternate takes and remixes listed on the back cover but I did watch a couple of slide show music videos for "Cab" and "666" and a video of the recording session that includes three of the CD tracks plus one new track "summer grasses," a pastoral combination of quiet flute, guitar that goes from placid to screaming and simmering percussion. The whole thing shows Chris Jentsch and his band making excellent music as inventive and varied as any of the big name guitar players around today.

Track Listing: CD: Fractured Pop; Radio Silence; Are You Bye?; Outside Line; Old Folks Song; Old Folks Postlude; Route 666; Meeting At Surratt's; Imagining the Mirror; Cycle Of Life; Follow That Cab. DVD: Fractured Pop; summer grasses, all that remains of soldiers' dreams; Outside Line; Are You Bye?

Personnel: Chris Jentsch: guitars, compositions; Matt Renzi: tenor saxophone, clarinet; alto flute; Jim Whitney: double bass; John Mettam: drums.

Title: Fractured Pop | Year Released: 2017 | Record Label: Fleur De Son

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Not Nearly Enough To Buy A House CD/LP/Track Review Not Nearly Enough To Buy A House
by Mark Sullivan
Published: January 21, 2018
Read Journey to a New World CD/LP/Track Review Journey to a New World
by Troy Dostert
Published: January 21, 2018
Read Disappeared Behind the Sun CD/LP/Track Review Disappeared Behind the Sun
by John Sharpe
Published: January 21, 2018
Read 2018 Neujahrskonzert New Year’s Concert CD/LP/Track Review 2018 Neujahrskonzert New Year’s Concert
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: January 21, 2018
Read Lux CD/LP/Track Review Lux
by Karl Ackermann
Published: January 20, 2018
Read Unleashed CD/LP/Track Review Unleashed
by John Sharpe
Published: January 20, 2018
Read "Begin to Dance" CD/LP/Track Review Begin to Dance
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: March 19, 2017
Read "The Roc" CD/LP/Track Review The Roc
by Roger Farbey
Published: January 28, 2017
Read "Moonlight Vision" CD/LP/Track Review Moonlight Vision
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: August 28, 2017
Read "Trollskogen" CD/LP/Track Review Trollskogen
by Friedrich Kunzmann
Published: December 22, 2017
Read "Time Being" CD/LP/Track Review Time Being
by Geno Thackara
Published: October 25, 2017
Read "I'll Tell You Later In December" CD/LP/Track Review I'll Tell You Later In December
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: November 4, 2017