Guitarist Kurt Rosenwinkel serves vibrant, electric rhythms on Heartcore, bringing along a septet of talented musicians for the task.
Rosenwinkel gets to the heart of the matter on the title track with a fusion-laced beat. He plays around the tempo of a funky drum machine with a deep bass pattern. Mark Turner's saxophone blasts high notes that help carry the track. The conclusion winds up truly melodious and pensive. "All the Way to Rajasthan" begins with an echoing pluck of the bass by Ben Street and the band chiming in. With a soft, rhythmic pace, the melody becomes almost trance-like. Rosenwinkel displays a penchant for harmony and the keyboard overlay has a haunting sound that accents the guitarist's circuitous melody. A pensive, but electric "Interlude" is a beautiful piece: three minutes of cosmic relaxation.
Overall, Heartcore is an electric, upbeat venture. As with any disc, there are peaks and valleys, the peaks aforementioned and the valleys less dramatic. Clearly, the band is well-chosen for Rosenwinkel's purpose. And, if Heartcore's purpose is to excite and then calm the listener, its goal was accomplished successfully.
Track Listing: Heartcore; Blue Line; All the Way to Rajasthan; Your Vision/ Interlude/ Our Secret World' Dream/Memory?; Love in the Modern World; Dcba//>>; Thought About You; Tone Poem.
Personnel: Kurt Rosenwinkel: guitar, keyboards, drums, programming;
Mark Turner: tenor saxophone, bass clarinet; Ben
Street: bass; Jeff Ballard: drums; Ethan Iverson: piano, keyboards;
Andrew D'Angelo: bass clarinet; Mariano Gil: flute.
I was first exposed to jazz while working overseas in Africa as a Peace Corps Volunteer. I would listen to the Voice of America on the radio and they had a nightly jazz program on at 10:00pm. I learned a lot about jazz listening to this program. I also had a friend who listened to real jazz by artists like Charles Mingus, Eric Dolphy and Archie Shepp. On my way home from Africa I landed in New York and had the opportunity to see the George Adams/Don Pullen quartet at the Village Vanguard as well as Kenny Barron and Ron Carter at another club, and was in heaven.