I'm a sucker for the sound of a classical guitar in jazz; I'll admit that going in. But within that sound, there are many different styles—some players do their best work in a solo context, while others shine brightest in Brazilian settings. Ken Hatfield is an all-around artist whose compositions are varied as well, as demonstrated in this collection of ten. There are funky, bluesy tunes ("Most Every Day" and the second-line "Funkissimo"), the mischievous ("Ariadne's Thread" and the title track) the churning ("The Chimera"), the gently swaying ("A Demain") and the poignant ("Berceuse," "Iphigeneia"). On the bossa "Castalia," Hatfield recalls Charlie Byrd, but without the sharper edges of Byrd's touch.
What these tunes have in common is strong and memorable melodies; there's also a directness about Hatfield's playing that conveys great warmth. He's recruited the ideal support in drummer Jeff Hirshfield—whose subtlety and brushwork are rarely matched—and bassist Hans Glawischnig, whose arco work is terrific (especially on "Berceuse") and whose thoughtful solos are not the kind people talk through when seeing a trio live.
In fact, this is an exceptional trio, and it's a thoroughly enjoyable CD. It's Hatfield's fifth on Arthur Circle Music, which is reason enough to search out the others.
Track Listing: The Chimera, A Demain, Iphigeneia, Mixed Motion, The Surrealist Table, Castalia, Berceuse, Most Every Day, Ariadne's Thread, Funkissimo
Personnel: Ken Hatfield (guitar, composer), Jeff Hirshfield (drums), Hans Glawischnig (bass)
I grew up listening to my father's Jazz records and listening to radio. My dad was a musician for many years as a vocalist, bassist and drummer. His two uncles played in the Symphony of Reggio Calabria back in Italy
I grew up listening to my father's Jazz records and listening to radio. My dad was a musician for many years as a vocalist, bassist and drummer. His two uncles played in the Symphony of Reggio Calabria back in Italy. So music and jazz specifically have been a part of me since I was born. I love and perform in all styles of music from around the world. Improvisation in jazz is what drew me in, and still does as well as other genres that feature improvisation. A group of great musicians expressing themselves as one is the hallmark of great jazz and in fact all great music.