Christy Doran: Undercurrent - Live at Theater Gutersloh

Glenn Astarita By

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This release by acclaimed Irish-Swiss guitarist Christy Doran (Tim Berne, Carla Bley, Pierre Favre) denotes volume 14 of the European Jazz Legends series, all performed at the German venue, Theater Gutersloh. With the trio Sound Fountain, Doran synthesizes his mega-talented musical persona, along with nods to one of his primary influences, Jimi Hendrix.

Indeed, the audience was most appreciative as the trio opens the set with a capacious walking blues motif on "You'd Never Know You Know," where the guitarist's expressive buildups and jazzy impetus is mimicked by drummer Lukas Mantel's dancing patterns and snappy rimshots. Here, the musicians' coordination is akin to a precision-oriented machine, topped off with off-centered progressions and Doran's blistering flurries.

"Undercurrent" is engineered with a loose groove tightened up in spots with pulsating maneuvers and forceful jazz rock statements that slant toward the outside realm amid alternating plots and Doran's manifold chord voicings. Hence, the trio diversifies its set list and doesn't reside within one field of play. For example, "Abstraccion Felina" features a dreamy medium-tempo theme and the leader's melodic parts that are reconstructed and firmed-up by Franco Fontanarrosa's punctual bass lines. Other tracks are designed with circular riffs, zigzagging currents and odd-metered unison phrasings via reverse-engineering processes and Doran's superspeed and wiry single note lines, uplifted by penetrating distortion-laced breakouts.

The band covers quite a bit of musical terrain, including journeys into the avant-garde space and danceable mini-motifs, experimental jazz fusion sprees and other genre-bending implementations that dutifully mirror its extensive capabilities. Doran once again draws from his mighty technical gifts and imaginative improvisational acumen on this rapidly paced program that veers off into disparate directions, elevating the excitement factor throughout.

Track Listing

You'd Never Know You Know; For the Kick of it; Undercurrent; The Spanish Moment; Abstraccion Felina; Leakin'; Mystery Shopper; Interview with Christy Doran.


Christy Doran: e-guitar; Franco Fontanarrosa: e-bass; Lukas Mantel: drums.

Album information

Title: Undercurrent - Live at Theater Gutersloh | Year Released: 2017 | Record Label: Intuition


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