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Travis Reuter: Quintet Music

Travis Reuter: Quintet Music
Released as the long-anticipated encore to his avant-garde debut, Rotational Templates (New Focus, 2011), Travis Reuter's Quintet Music is a masterpiece of musical sorcery, brimming with bold invention and innovative creativity. Reuter, a maverick guitarist who is unafraid to color outside the lines, leads his band of equally audacious virtuosos through a sonic wonderland that most musicians only dare to visit in dreams.

The quintet, with Peter Schlamb swapping the traditional piano for the vibraphone, tosses the jazz playbook out the window. They dive headlong into a labyrinth of complex rhythms and harmonies, crafting a soundscape that thrills and bewilders in equal measure. The performance is a raw display of constructive interaction, where the spirit of improvisation permeates every track, despite—or perhaps because of—their bold departure from jazz norms.

From the get-go, the session dazzles with "Same Song," where Reuter's delightfully unorthodox phrasing commands a tight ship. He, along with tenor saxophonist Mark Shim and Schlamb, navigate through intricate unison lines. Shim responds with sharp voicings and a poignant solo, setting the stage for an album teeming with rhythmic quirks and thematic switchbacks. Reuter's guitar is both the compass and the wind in the sails, steering us through the tumultuous waters of his musical mind. His knack for merging dissonance with harmony paints a soundscape that is as challenging as it is welcoming, while Tyshawn Sorey's drumming is an electrifying force, injecting vitality into the complex compositions.

The quintet offers an up-tempo sonic marvel with each instrument taking a turn in the spotlight. On "#8D@z," the ensemble (without the bassist) delivers a spirited jam, complete with off-kilter melodies and Sorey's stylish rhythms. Here, Shim and Schlamb play a game of musical tag, constantly pushing the tempo and creatively clashing with each other.

The energy peaks during "Fast Louis," as Reuter takes listeners on a frenetic ride, fueled by Sorey's intricate polyrhythms and explosive cymbals, anchored by Harish Raghavan's pliant bass lines. This track is a wild ride of innovative motifs and cunning musical twists, while "#15" mirrors a high-speed bop with its rapid-fire exchanges and dynamic solo interplays.

In essence, Quintet Music is a spectacular salute to the outer limits of jazz, where intricate complexity shakes hands with gut intuition, and where innovation waltzes with tradition. If you are in the mood for a musical expedition that is anything but ordinary, this album is your ticket. Dive into the spellbinding world of Travis Reuter's Quintet Music—a celebration of daring exploration and masterful collaboration.

Track Listing

Same Song; #13 F34; Interlude 1; #8 D@z; Fast Louis; Interlude 1; #9 Low/High 1; Interlude 1; #15; Carrico Real.


Mark Shim
saxophone, tenor
Peter Schlamb

Album information

Title: Quintet Music | Year Released: 2024 | Record Label: Self Produced

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