Guitarist Ryan Blotnick is on a journey of exploration on this, his first CD. All of the compositions are his originals with one exceptiona ballad by alto saxophonist Pete Robbins. Blotnick is accompanied on this journey by Robbins as well as Albert Sanz (piano), Perry Wortman (bass) and Joe Smith (drums), a quintet that was assembled for a tour last year and is well-attuned to each other.
There is a chamber feel to this CD because of the tightly-knit ensemble playing and the nature of the music. Blotnick's compositions are short musical statementssimple lines using different time signaturesthat allow for each track to be mostly improvisation. Robbins' ballad "Barceloneta has more of a melody than the rest, but is also loosely structured so as to blend nicely with the rest of the material.
Each player has their very good moments. There is some well-done contrapuntal work between Blotnick and Wortman; Smith provides some tasty brushwork and Robbins' saxophone shines on several tracks. Blotnick is always present and evinces a smooth style of playing.
This CD is almost a "concept" piece in the sense that the tracks are very much alike in feeling and ensemble approach. It is almost an act of bravery for an artist to record all originals for a first CD. However, there is curiosity as to how Blotnick would have interpreted one or two standards as a contrast to his personal statements. But since he is only 24 years old, he has much more exploring to do.
Track Listing: Winter Melt; Thinning Air; Music Needs You; The Quiet Space Left Behind; Barceloneta; Liberty; You Can Talk During This; Wrong Turns; Tired House.
Personnel: Ryan Blotnick: guitar; Pete Robbins: alto saxophone; Albert Sanz: piano; Perry Wortman; bass; Joe Smith: drums.
I grew up listening to my father's jazz records and listening to the radio. My dad was a musician for many years as a vocalist, bassist and drummer. His two uncles played in the Symphony of Reggio Calabria back in Italy
I grew up listening to my father's jazz records and listening to the radio. My dad was a musician for many years as a vocalist, bassist and drummer. His two uncles played in the Symphony of Reggio Calabria back in Italy. So music and jazz specifically have been a part of me since I was born. I love and perform in all styles of music from around the world. Improvisation in jazz is what drew me in, and still does as well as other genres that feature improvisation. A group of great musicians expressing themselves as one is the hallmark of great jazz and in fact all great music.