178

Nat Janoff and Jake Schwartz: Live

Walter Kolosky By

Sign in to view read count
Nat Janoff and Jake Schwartz: Live A lot of professional guitar players are going to listen to this live album and determine they must abruptly change career paths. The playing is that good. There are truly only a handful of jazz players who can claim a unique voice on acoustic guitar. John Scofield once said that is why he doesn’t play it. He lamented that, with very few exceptions, all electric jazz guitarists sound the same when they unplug. Nat Janoff and Jake Schwartz are two very notable exceptions.

Uniqueness does not mean that influences don’t show. Both players have listened a lot. The influences are what you may expect for this format, McLaughlin, De Lucia, DiMeola, Coryell and Lagrène, to mention the key few. There are also some that you may not expect such as Montgomery, Django, Grisman and even Lester Flatt! It is the seamless melding of the styles and spirits these players created, displayed at just the right moments, which blend into the unique voices offered by Janoff and Schwartz. Anyone interested in guitar history would do well to observe how these players utilize the many tools given to them by their predecessors.

As if they need to show their acoustic bona fides, Janoff and Schwartz cover the obligatory “Spain” and DiMeola’s “Mediterranean Sundance” with precision and feeling. Their own compositions are quite encompassing and impressive. Schwartz's pieces seem to be a bit more cerebral, while Janoff's tend to be more jazz/blues-oriented. But, they jump into each other’s bags at high break speed so often that such categorization is probably off the mark, if not downright unfair. Schwartz’s “Jazzgrass” is probably the best example of this. The two players trade with such energy, speed and a feeling of joy that you believe they have become part of the same organism. To talk of individual style differences, even when they clearly exist, at such moments becomes irrelevant anyway.

This is uplifting and exciting music of the new acoustic guitar tradition, captured flawlessly before a very lucky and appreciative club crowd. While other guitarists may be forced to flee the business or hide in a closet somewhere until it is safe to come out, Janoff and Schwartz should make sure this particular collaboration continues to see the light of day. They are in a position to create a tradition all their own.


Track Listing: Spain; Spiral; Jacob's Latter; Source; Even If; Horizon; Jazzgrass; Mediterranean; Mercy, Mercy, Mercy

Personnel: Nat Janoff- Acoustic Guitar; Jake Schwartz- Acoustic Guitar

Year Released: 2004 | Style: Beyond Jazz


Shop

  • Transit
    Transit
    Nat Janoff
    Come Together Move Apart
CD/LP/Track Review
Take Five With...
Extended Analysis
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles

More Articles

Read The Picasso Zone CD/LP/Track Review The Picasso Zone
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: February 23, 2017
Read The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark CD/LP/Track Review The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Les Deux Versants Se Regardent CD/LP/Track Review Les Deux Versants Se Regardent
by John Sharpe
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Molto Bene CD/LP/Track Review Molto Bene
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 23, 2017
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 "Expansions: The Puzzle" CD/LP/Track Review Expansions: The Puzzle
by Budd Kopman
Published: March 16, 2016
Read "Reflections" CD/LP/Track Review Reflections
by Andrew Luhn
Published: March 23, 2016
Read "Solstice" CD/LP/Track Review Solstice
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: November 25, 2016
Read "Life" CD/LP/Track Review Life
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: September 16, 2016
Read "Rubicon" CD/LP/Track Review Rubicon
by John Kelman
Published: July 29, 2016
Read "A Curious Feeling" CD/LP/Track Review A Curious Feeling
by Glenn Astarita
Published: July 16, 2016

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!