On his debut, Of The Woods, Philadelphia guitarist Mike Lorenz shows not only his guitar skills, but his gifted compositional talents as well. With an innovative sound combining modern, free, and bebop jazz styles, Of the Woods is an easy listen while, at the same time, pushing new boundaries of jazz. It is obvious, throughout this work, that this 27 year-old guitar virtuoso is pleased to share the time on his compositions with his very talented quintet including alto saxophonist Mike Cemprola, who is featured on several tunes, and tonally beautiful pianist Matt Mitchell.
Lorenz goes note-for-note with Cemprola on "Between Signals" demonstrating both his guitar skills and ear for music. All members of the band contribute on this tune, with outstanding free form rhythms from drummer Matt Scarano. "North/South" is a standout tune, with its lyrical and wistful melody; Mitchell plays beautifully here, with a striking double bass solo from Brian Howell and brush stroke drumming by Scarano. The tune builds for a moment, when all the band members play together, but then ends quietly with a soft guitar and sax duet. This is one well thought-out jazz tune, compelling for its beauty and power; actually, beauty and power may well describe this well-produced CD overall.
Lorenz is a young Philadelphia talent with a great future ahead. If Of the Woods is any indication of his future work, jazz indeed has something to look forward to in the years to come.
Another Day; Between Signals; North/South; I Know Of No Such Thing; Were You
Thinking Of Me?; Routine Five; 3 Step
Mike Lorenz: guitar, Mike Cemprola: alto saxophone, Matt Mitchell: piano, Brian Howell:
bass, Matt Scarano, drums
All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, shelter in place and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary effort that will help musicians now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the bottom right video ad). Thank you.
Get more of a good thing
Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.