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Chris Jentsch Group No Net: Topics in American History

Read "Topics in American History" reviewed by Jerome Wilson

Guitarist Chris Jentsch's newest project is a suite that treats various periods of American history to a somewhat skeptical, alternative viewpoint. It doesn't attempt to tell a chronological story but instead hopscotches through topics like the Civil War, Westward Expansion, the Cold War and post-World War II suburban sprawl with a constant sense of unease and caution. Jentsch uses a nine-piece group here, giving him room to play with brass and reed voicings as well as feature his ...

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Chris Jentsch Group No Net: Topics in American History

Read "Topics in American History" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Brooklyn-based guitarist / composer Chris Jentsch writes with clear images in mind and invites the listener to see and hear them as he does. On his sixth and latest CD, Jentsch draws on a longstanding interest in historical events and trends to describe in musical terms Topics in American History ranging from 1491 (the year before Europeans led by Christopher Columbus landed in the New World and changed the North American continent forever) to the harrowing decades of the Cold ...

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Jentsch Group No Net: Topics in American History

Read "Topics in American History" reviewed by Troy Dostert

Don't let the album's title fool you. Guitarist/composer Chris Jentsch's Topics In American History isn't a disguised syllabus for a college seminar. Jentsch's liner notes reveal an abiding interest in American history, but his modus operandi is to use pivotal aspects of the nation's past as springboards for creative, immersive music. Although using just a nine-piece band, Jentsch's compositions feel designed for a larger unit, and they certainly do justice to the sweeping tableau of America's rich--and sometimes fraught--legacy.

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Jentsch Group Quartet: Fractured Pop

Read "Fractured Pop" reviewed by Jerome Wilson

Chris Jentsch is a guitarist who, from the evidence of this recording, enjoys splashing around in the wide pool of music between jazz and rock. His work here goes all the way from grooving hardcore jazz to ambient nature sounds with a lot of fun things going on in between those two poles. The title track starts out on a folkish acoustic guitar riff joined to Matt Renzi's climbing tenor sax, establishing an overall style of jazz improvisation ...

INTERVIEWS

Chris Jentsch: Cycles and Reflecting on the Journey

Read "Chris Jentsch: Cycles and Reflecting on the Journey" reviewed by Ludwig vanTrikt

John Coltrane once said, “Let the music speak for itself." The guitarist/composer and band leader Christopher Jentsch adds an interesting twist on that subject by opting to describe himself when asked about the broader subject of how to capture his music in his own words. “I think of myself as a composer/guitarist working with contemporary improvisational forms on the fringe of jazz, but jazz that is inclusive of rock/pop, world music and classical genres. I also strive generally for a ...

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Jentsch Group Large: Brooklyn Suite

Read "Brooklyn Suite" reviewed by Michael P. Gladstone

Guitarist/composer/arranger Chris Jentsch has produced a highly original forty-five minute work in the titular Brooklyn Suite, as well as two other new compositions. Jentsch has lived in the New York borough of Brooklyn since 1999 and pays homage to the sights and sounds of his adopted home. Jentsch did the same for another city on Miami Suite (Blue Schist, 1999).

Brooklyn Suite is an ambitious work, impressive in its creativity. The influence of the orchestral writing ...

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Jentsch Group Large: Brooklyn Suite

Read "Brooklyn Suite" reviewed by Mark F. Turner

A resurgence and appreciation of large ensemble jazz suites is on the rise, as witnessed in the acclaim attending recordings such as the Maria Schneider Orchestra's Grammy nominated Sky Blue(ArtistShare,2007). But while scores for larger collectives are not unusual, it is less common to find them centered on orchestra and guitar. Enter Brooklyn Suite by guitarist/composer, Chris Jentsch, who helms just such a group, articulating his statement of “what my life sounds like" in Brooklyn, New York. ...

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Jentsch Group Large: Brooklyn Suite

Read "Brooklyn Suite" reviewed by Graham L. Flanagan

It's nice to see that some of that grant-money floating around out there is being put to good use. Such is the case with guitarist Chris Jentsch's Brooklyn Suite, a 2005 live recording of a complex-yet-highly rewarding suite for 18-piece ensemble. Underwritten by the American Composers Forum and the Jerome Foundation, the project takes full advantage of these resources. Jentsch's ambitiousness pays off with a work that, while at times bordering on the modal and even atonal, ends up overall ...

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Christopher Jentsch Trio: Media Event

Read "Media Event" reviewed by Mark Corroto

For baby-boomers and their children, the guitar has been the delivery system for most music we hear. Bars never hold air- clavichord competitions for a very good reason. Those six-strings were freedom to a Vietnam generation and a common vocabulary for all listeners. Perhaps the guitar more than any instrument allows beginners and startup bands to get up on stage, and in the case of rock music, get a contract with a major label. In jazz it’s a different story. ...


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