573

Scott Kinsey: Kinesthetics

John Kelman By

Sign in to view read count
Scott Kinsey: Kinesthetics Given Legacy's recent release of the retrospective Weather Report box Forecast: Tomorrow, keyboardist Scott Kinsey's debut as a leader couldn't come at a better time. Most emerging pianists cite Corea, Evans, Hancock and Jarrett as influences, so it's refreshing to hear someone whose primary reference point is Weather Report co-founder Joe Zawinul. Kinsey, like Zawinul, possesses formidable chops, but he's equally interested in the orchestral possibilities of technology in real-time improvised settings.

Kinsey has been one of the driving forces behind fusion guitarist Scott Henderson's Tribal Tech, joining shortly after graduating from Berklee in 1991. But he's also explored other avenues with saxophonist Bob Belden, trumpeter Tim Hagans and guitarist Kurt Rosenwinkel. Kinesthetics is the sum of Kinsey's experiences to date. Its potent grooves mix with sounds that, despite being clearly electronic, feel wholly organic. Delineated solos exist throughout but all within the context of an interactive collective.

What's most remarkable is that the majority of Kinesthetics was recorded in just two days with a cast of twenty including Hagans, Henderson, woodwind multi-instrumentalist Steve Tavaglione, percussionist Brad Dutz and drummer Kirk Covington. While the individual personalities come through, Kinsey's well-developed sonic approach defines the record. Kinsey's writing style ranges from spare to complex but always affords his players as much freedom as possible.

Percussion-heavy tracks like "Kinesthetics, "This is That and "Big Rock all bear Zawinul's unmistakable world music stamp, but avoid strict imitation in their more collaborative approach. While Zawinul has to a large extent left the jazz world behind, it remains a clearer harmonic component for Kinsey. With Tavaglione, Kinsey's only constant partner on the record, Kinesthetics suggests where Weather Report might have gone had Zawinul and saxophonist/co-founder Wayne Shorter continued on and allowed Shorter's change-based writing to balance out Zawinul's disposition for powerful grooves. "Quartet swings in its own way while "Wishing Tree —one of three tracks partially or completely sourced from a December, 2004 live performance—is more textural, a completely improvised but focused duet featuring Kinsey's multiplicity of textures and Tavaglione's tenor.

Kinsey describes his approach to writing as coming up with lines and ideas, then seeing where the band can take them. But as much melodic ideas drive the band, so too do astute sonic choices. What makes technology a valid and equal partner is Kinsey's ability to come up with innovative sounds on the fly. Even dog barks can be musical in Kinsey's world. "Uncle Pat's Gypsy Van —partially sourced from the same live performance—may revolve around a simple, hypnotic eight-note phrase, but Kinsey's aural landscape gives Covington and Tavaglione plenty to work with.

There's no shortage of muscular playing. Kinsey doesn't completely subscribe to Zawinul's "everybody solos and nobody solos aesthetic, but it does inform much of Kinesthetics. Still, with a broader set of references, Kinesthetics is an album that, with its continuous arc, appealing grooves and occasionally knotty but always appealing melodies, is one of the year's best fusion efforts.


Track Listing: Kinesthetics; This is That; Sometimes I...; The Combat Zone; Quartet; Wishing Tree; Big Rock; Uncle Pat's Gypsy Van; Under Radar Intro; Under Radar; Shinjuku; One for Jinshi.

Personnel: Scott Kinsey: keyboards, piano, melodica, vocoder, VP-1; Steve Tavaglione: tenor and soprano saxophones, C and alto flute, Bb and bass clarinets, EWI (1-10,12); Scott Henderson: guitar (4,11); Michael LandauL guitar (12); Jinshi Ozaki: guitar (4); Tim Hagans: trumpet (4,12); Walt Fowler: trumpet (3); Jimmy Earl: bass (4,8,11); Gary Willis: bass (2); Abraham Laboriel Sr.: bass (3,10); Armand Sabal-Lecco: bass (7,10); Robert Hurst III: bass (5); Paul Shihadeh: bass (1,12); Brad Dutz: percussion (1,4,7,9,10); Alex Acuna: percussion (2); Arto Tuncboyaciyan: percussion (2); Satnam Ramgotra: percussion (10); Kirk Covington: drums (1-3,7-10,12); Cyril Atef: drums (3,4,8); Vinnie Colaiuta: drums (5); Ronald Brunner, Jr.: drums (11).

Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: Abstract Logix | Style: Modern Jazz


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 "Michael Shrieve's Spellbinder" CD/LP/Track Review Michael Shrieve's Spellbinder
by Doug Collette
Published: August 17, 2016
Read "Whirlwind" CD/LP/Track Review Whirlwind
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: May 24, 2016
Read "Triangular III" CD/LP/Track Review Triangular III
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: April 15, 2016
Read "America's National Parks" CD/LP/Track Review America's National Parks
by Mark Sullivan
Published: October 10, 2016
Read "Time on My Hands" CD/LP/Track Review Time on My Hands
by Jack Bowers
Published: December 10, 2016
Read "Freedom is Space for the Spirit" CD/LP/Track Review Freedom is Space for the Spirit
by Budd Kopman
Published: February 2, 2017

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!