The music on guitarist Wolfgang Schalk's new release sounds as if it could have been recorded decades ago, and that's not a bad thing. Like older guitarists such as Jim Hall and Pat Martino and younger players such as Adam Rogers and Kurt Rosenwinkel, Schalk clearly deserves greater recognition for his own soulful articulation and deep skills.
Space Messengers follows 2002's Rainbows in the Night with (thankfully) the same bandincluding pianist Dave Kikoski, bassist Andy McKee, and drummer Ian Froman. Their communication has gotten stronger, resulting in tighter performances. The title piece speaks volumes with a melody that's filled with hints of melancholy and much feeling. They literally swing into action on "Gossip and Schalk's hollowbody fretboard shines on "The Bell Song, where he explores the possibilities with a simple theme that contains alternating tempos and complex phrasing added by Kikoski's classical touch.
The stirring slower compositions, such as "Anyways and "Peoples, are balanced by the spirited jazz infused blues of "Why Ypsilon and "Hi There, reminiscent of Wes Montgomery and Grant Green. But the music is in no way nostalgic and shows the jazz guitar art form can still be vibrant without the use of modern techniques or gadgetry. This is most evident on the closing tour de force "Frame Up," featuring Schalk on a nylon-string guitar where the quartet reaches the apex of creativity and energy.
Track Listing: Space Messengers; Gossip; The Bell Song; Anyways; Why Ypsilon; Hi There; Peoples; Frame Up.
Personnel: Wolfgang Schalk: guitars; Dave Kikoski: piano; Andy McKee: acoustic bass; Ian Froman: drums.
I was first exposed to Jazz when a couple of dear friends of mine turned me onto it around 1971. I was already into Progressive music, R n' B, Soul, Motown, Latin Rock and other styles that were a great ladder to Jazz
I was first exposed to Jazz when a couple of dear friends of mine turned me onto it around 1971. I was already into Progressive music, R n' B, Soul, Motown, Latin Rock and other styles that were a great ladder to Jazz.
Being a Musician myself, (Lead Guitar/Bass Guitar), I studied at the Dick Grove School of Music with Dick Grove, Jeff Richman and Lee Ritenour. This was around '84-'85. I started playing the Guitar in November 1967. Playing Guitar came quite naturally to me thank goodness. Though I spent hours upon hours practicing while my school buddies were doing Sports.
It was in the early '70s that I really got into Jazz, Jazz Rock, Jazz Fusion and World Music. Seeing Weather Report, Miles Davis, Wayne Shorter, Larry Carlton, Steely Dan, John McLaughlin and the Mahavishnu Orchestra, RTF, Herbie Hancock and the Headhunters, VSOP, Freddie Hubbard and so many, many more amazing artists opened my eyes to the beauty and eloquent nature of Jazz. I really love the brilliant ensemble playing that is in Jazz!!
When I play and write music, it blends so many style together. Many fans ask me why my playing sounds so jazzy. It's because I understand Blue Notes, the phrasing, the tonality, time signatures and more. I can also play Rock, Folk, Soul, R n' B and other styles too. I seem to gravitate more and more as I get older to a jazzier style. Currently I'm 62 years old. I have released 2 CDs world-wide. Working on my 3rd.
I also teach Guitar/Bass/Music Theory to my students. They range from 6 years old to much, much older. (I was hired by the City of Aurora, CO to teach ages 6-13 specifically). Currently I teach 41 children in 5 classes. Additionally another 7 private students.
My wife, Meesh, and I love Jazz dearly. It was one of the things that we share together!
Most of the people that I know today do not get jazz. I try to explain what to listen for, but many times the music of Jazz is a bit much for them. So be it.
In a nutshell, I live, breath and listen to Music 24/7. No TV except the Food Channel and Weather.
I love John Kelman's articles. They are so insightful and well-constructed!
Thank you all for doing what you do.