Kurt Rosenwinkel Group
The Remedy: Live at the Village Vanguard
One of the most in-demand guitarists around, Kurt Rosenwinkel is known for his distinct style: melodic, a bit mysterious, and with more than a little edge. That’s not to say he sticks with a single motif, as Rosenwinkel is equally adept at airy Bill Frisell-like chords and sharp-edged solos.
But Rosenwinkel doesn’t just burn on guitar. He’s also a solid composer, as evidenced by the flowing melody and intricate harmony of “Chords,” as well as the slowly revealing layers of “Flute” and “A Life Unfolds.” The title track may provide the best example of Rosenwinkel’s abilities. Full of shifting tempos, varying levels of intensity, and surprising harmonic turns, it still maintains an atmosphere of quiet intrigue for all 11-plus minutes.
The rest of the quintet provides top-notch support. Tenor saxophonist Mark Turner turns in intense and twisting solos on “Chords” and “View from Moscow,” while Aaron Goldberg includes a bit more space in his piano solos, providing a good foil for the maximalist approach favored by Rosenwinkel and Turner. At the same time, drummer Eric Harland and bassist Joe Martin lock into a groove that’s tight but not constricting for either player.
At first blush, a two-disc set – two hours of music in all – seems like stretching things a bit too far. But the energy and focus from everyone involved results in pure enjoyment from beginning to end.
- John Frederick Moore