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Kurt Rosenwinkel - 'The Remedy: Live at the Village Vanguard'

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Kurt Rosenwinkel - 'The Remedy: Live at the Village Vanguard'
Courtesy of Artistshare
With Kurt Rosenwinkel's The Remedy: Live at the Village Vanguard, the guitarist proves why he is one of the contemporary masters of jazz. On this double disc release he plays alongside his friend and collaborator, tenor saxophonist Mark Turner, the two of whom have virtually redefined the contemporary jazz scene.

The collection of songs on The Remedy: Live at the Village Vanguard combine what Rosenwinkel and Turner are best known for. With the help of a top-notch rhythm section, they create a beautiful set of ballads, loose grooves, and fast swing over which they masterfully phrase their characteristically unpredictable and shimmering melodies.

A Collaborative Effort

The guitar and tenor saxophone duo are modern representatives of the intellectual movement that has persisted in jazz since the time of Charlie Parker, which holds that melodies that are harmonically justified are therefore musically justified. They are known for their deep interest in music theory and harmony, and their explorations of various harmonic approaches result in music that can be cerebral and difficult for a non-jazz audience to relate to. On the other hand, both players are revered within the jazz circle, and the lines that curl around the block before their performances are often filled with jazz students and musicians.

The Remedy frames the cascading improvisations of these modern masters within compositions that combine simple, repeated groove sections with lush harmonic landscapes and thickly-knotted melodies that almost leave the listener feeling pleasantly dizzy. Each piece grasps for a range of moods, from nostalgic, to disoriented and longing, to agitated and exhilarated.

All-Star Band

At times the music has elements of popular music such as hip-hop or rock, mostly implied by drummer Eric Harland, who drives the group with astounding accuracy and finesse. Bassist Joe Martin is locked into Harland’s every beat, and his solos on “A Life Unfolds” and “Safe Corners” display his resonant sound and technical facile reminiscent of the great Scott LaFaro. A real star of this recording is pianist Aaron Goldberg, who is best known for his traditional approach. Perhaps inspired by Turner and Rosenwinkel, Goldberg sounds like he is stretching his reach, and succeeding wonderfully. His introspective solos blossom naturally into jousts with Harland that build to great heights of intensity.

A Must-Own

This recording is so filled with nuance that it can be played over and over, each time ripe with the possibility of hearing something that went previously unnoticed. The melodies have a way of sticking with the listener despite their complexity. The Remedy features a guitarist who is reaching his mature style as an imaginative composer and improviser drawing from all of the influences that most young people today grew up listening to. His band is equipped to support and build off of his pieces every step of the way.

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