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ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Benedikt Jahnel: Equilibrium

Read "Equilibrium" reviewed by John Kelman

He may be better known internationally to ECM fans for his participation in the pan-cultural Cyminology, but German pianist Benedikt Jahnel has been devoting just as much attention to his multinational trio featuring Spanish bassist Antonio Miguel and American drummer Owen Howard. Releasing the trio's debut in 2008 on Viennese guitarist Wolfgang Muthspiel's Material Records imprint, ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Wolfgang Muthspiel: Drumfree

Read "Drumfree" reviewed by Raul d'Gama Rose

Drumfree contains some of the most stimulating three-way counterpoint written and played in a long time. All of the compositional credit goes to Wolfgang Muthspiel, the composer; but making it all come alive is Muthspiel, the guitarist, and his chosen partners for this date: saxophonist Andy Scherrer and bassist Larry Grenadier. Muthspiel leads from the front ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Wolfgang Muthspiel: Drumfree

Read "Drumfree" reviewed by Jack Huntley

Wolfgang Muthspiel is a hypnotically adept guitarist who seems to have a penchant for exploring the percussion-less musical setting. His previous album, Live At The Jazz Standard (Material Records, 2010), was a technically impeccable guitar duo with Mick Goodrick, and in some ways, Drumfree is a natural extension of the ideas investigated on that album. But ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Wolfgang Muthspiel / Mick Goodrick: Live at the Jazz Standard

Read "Live at the Jazz Standard" reviewed by Jack Huntley

The worry, when two distinctive musicians play in a duo setting, is that one will display a heavy-handedness that brings down the combined feel. The urge to fill in the openness is ever-tempting. Luckily, both Wolfgang Muthspiel and Mick Goodrick are not only talented guitarists, but well-schooled in the art of supporting others musically, while maintaining ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Wolfgang Muthspiel / Mick Goodrick: Live at the Jazz Standard

Read "Live at the Jazz Standard" reviewed by John Barron

Guitarists Wolfgang Muthspiel and Mick Goodrick are two like-minded explorers of fretboard possibilities. Goodrick, the elder, has been a renowned performer and educator for over forty years, working with the likes of Gary Burton, Jack DeJohnette and Steve Swallow. Muthspiel, Goodrick's former student at Berklee College of Music has performed with Peter Erskine, Paul Motian and ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Wolfgang Muthspiel / Mick Goodrick: Live at The Jazz Standard

Read "Live at The Jazz Standard" reviewed by John Kelman

Guitar duos can be a dangerous thing. With 12 strings and four hands, there's the potential for serious train wrecks; but if the two players are really listening, there's also potential for inspired greatness. Ralph Towner and John Abercrombie's two albums for ECM--Sargasso Sea (1976) and Five Years Later (1982)--exemplify how two can, indeed, conjoin for ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

MGT: Wolfgang Muthspiel / Slava Grigoryan / Ralph Towner: From a Dream

Read "From a Dream" reviewed by John Kelman

For over a decade now--at least on record--guitarist/pianist Ralph Towner has worked exclusively in two contexts: solo guitar albums under his own name for ECM, including Time Line (2006), and collaboratively with his longstanding group Oregon, last heard on 1000 Kilometers (Cam Jazz, 2007). Though never less than satisfied, many of his fans have hoped he'd ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Wolfgang Muthspiel 4tet: Earth Mountain

Read "Earth Mountain" reviewed by Chris May

A guitarist who moves at a pace through a variety of styles, from ambient, fusion, straight-ahead and post-rock to experimental jazz, Wolfgang Muthspiel sometimes returns to his projects, typically with a twist.



Collaborations with oud player and singer Dhafer Youssef and drummer Brian Blade have already been winningly revisited. Having worked on Youssef's Electric ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Wolfgang Muthspiel / Brian Blade: Friendly Travelers Live

Read "Friendly Travelers Live" reviewed by Chris May

This terrific two-disc package--identically sequenced in-concert CD and DVD recordings made in Austria in 2007--finds guitarist Wolfgang Muthspiel and drummer Brian Blade performing half a dozen tracks from their studio album Friendly Travelers (Material Records, 2007) and another, “Shanghai," from Muthspiel's trio album with bassist Matthias Pichler and drummer Andreas Pichler Bright Side (Material Records, 2006). ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Dhafer Youssef / Wolfgang Muthspiel: Glow

Read "Glow" reviewed by Chris May

Although it's a dual-leader album, in which oud player Dhafer Youssef's performance is at least as important as that of guitarist Wolfgang Muthspiel, one of Glow's chief causes for celebration is Muthspiel's on-form presence. After releasing the shimmeringly beautiful Bright Side (Material Records, 2006)--a little-known masterpiece which may yet take its place alongside such jazz guitar ...