4

Wolfgang Schalk: Word of Ear

Mark F. Turner By

Sign in to view read count
Wolfgang Schalk: Word of Ear As if to quietly utter "enough with talking about the music...," guitarist Wolfgang Schalk gets to the heart of the matter with Word of Ear and lets his playing speak loud and clear. This is his sixth recording as a leader and he continues to reveal expressive phrasing and piercing solos on hollow body electric and acoustic guitars.

Schalk's bicoastal connection between New York and California (currently living in Los Angeles) finds recruiting some local talent in the tremendous rhythm section of drummer Tom Brechtlein and bassist Michael Valerio, who anchor award-winning pianist Helen Sung and George Whitty, on piano and keyboards.

With strong and modern post-bop vibe chops à la Pat Martino and Kevin Eubanks, the set is bookended by "Midnight Prayers," a solo improvisation conceived after a late night recording session which sets a tone that is contemplative and searching. The remaining tracks though, contain a mix of adrenaline ("Eating Melodies"), picturesque balladry found in the title, and a refreshing pieces like the up-tempo cover of Thelonious Monk's "Round Midnight."

"Written Tomorrow" and "Blues 'n' Roll" shout more vociferously and demonstrate the band and Schalk's abilities. The former finds the guitarist slicing through quick runs on acoustic guitar within a rousing tempo. The latter is a funky bluesy groove, with Schalk killing it on electric guitar, thoroughly working the changes as Whitty delivers a nasty solo on electric keyboards. A quote from the great Wes Montgomery—one of Schalk's influences--- sums up the vibe: "regardless of what you play, the biggest thing is keeping the feel going." Which is exactly what Word of Ear accomplishes.


Track Listing: Midnight Prayers (Part 1); Eating Melodies; Round Midnight; Toninho (for Toninho Horta); Broadway Song; Written Tomorrow; Word Of Ear; Blues 'n' Roll; Midnight Prayers (Part 2).

Personnel: Wolfgang Schalk: guitars; Helen Sung: piano (2, 3, 7); George Whitty: piano (4-6), keyboards (8); Michael Valerio: bass; Tom Brechtlein: drums.

Year Released: 2012 | Record Label: Frame Up Music | Style: Modern Jazz


Related Video

Shop

More Articles

Read June CD/LP/Track Review June
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 19, 2017
Read The Final Concert CD/LP/Track Review The Final Concert
by John Sharpe
Published: February 19, 2017
Read Desire & Freedom CD/LP/Track Review Desire & Freedom
by Glenn Astarita
Published: February 19, 2017
Read On Hollywood Boulevard CD/LP/Track Review On Hollywood Boulevard
by Budd Kopman
Published: February 19, 2017
Read The Motorman's Son CD/LP/Track Review The Motorman's Son
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 18, 2017
Read "Of The Night" CD/LP/Track Review Of The Night
by Budd Kopman
Published: October 30, 2016
Read "The Volume Surrounding the Task" CD/LP/Track Review The Volume Surrounding the Task
by John Eyles
Published: July 6, 2016
Read "Lovers" CD/LP/Track Review Lovers
by Mark Sullivan
Published: September 23, 2016
Read "Once Upon A Time In Portugal" CD/LP/Track Review Once Upon A Time In Portugal
by Mark Sullivan
Published: May 30, 2016
Read "Intenso!" CD/LP/Track Review Intenso!
by Jack Bowers
Published: November 7, 2016
Read "Piano Song" CD/LP/Track Review Piano Song
by Troy Collins
Published: January 26, 2017

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!