Feb 28, 2013
This week at Straight No Chaser we will continue focusing on some of the finest guitar players in the world of jazz.. Hopefully by now you have enjoyed Podcast 336, which featured a conversation with Japan-born/Boston-based guitarist Yuto Kazamto. Today we feature another talented six string slinger, Jonathan Kreisberg.
I’m familiar with Jonathan’s work as a leader of a talented Quartet, and for his work as a key sideman in Dr. Lonnie Smith’s trio. He plays with an exceptional dexterity, and challenges the listener with both his ability to tackle the complex and to wring feeling from that material. For example, his Shadowless CD, a release of the Jonathan Kreisberg Quartet in 2010, features a tune called “21”, named not for the Blackjack hand, but for the timing signature, a mind-blowing 21/8.
Kreisberg’s latest project is a solo guitar CD, appropriately enough entitled ONE. Recording live in the studio sans any overdubs, and for the most part, any additional guitar effects, Kreisberg has put together a set of classic tunes squarely in the tradition of masters like Joe Pass. Considering himself as afflicted with “Musical A.D.D.”, he has selected tunes from the songbook of titans like Ellington, Rodgers and Gershwin, as well as Wayne Shorter (“E.S.P”) and Leonard Cohen (“Hallelujah”).
I spoke with Jonathan about the new CD as he was leaving Dr. Lonnie Smith’s group to head to Europe with the Quartet. We discussed how he came to record a solo guitar album, what it means for him to perform these songs, and plans to release new recordings with a Trio and the Quartet. Click here to listen to Podcast 337, featuring our conversation and music from Jonathan’s recordings, including:
Jonathan Kreisberg – “Escape from Lower Format Shift” from ONE. One of the few tunes to use guitar effects, Kreisberg says it sounds like something that could have been on the Blade Runner soundtrack. The song is one of two originals on the CD.
Jonathan Kreisberg – “Hallelujah” from ONE. Kreisberg says he approached this Leonard Cohen song with trepidation, given his respect for the penultimate cover of the song by the late Jeff Buckley. While he recalls the Buckley version in his introduction, he makes the song uniquely his own by emphasizing its stark beauty.
Kreisberg - "Caravan" from ONE. One of the first
tunes Kreisberg learned to play solo, this track captures the
wonderful gypsy feel of jazz.
Jonathan Kreisberg Quartet – “21” from Shadowless. Jonathan’s band
tears through athorny time signature to deliver the goods on this
2010 release. Kreisberg is on guitar, Will Vinson on sax, Henry Hey
on piano, Matt Penman on bass and Mark Ferber on
Jonathan Kreisberg Quartet – “Being Human” from Radio Broadcast from the Jazz-Up Festival, Salle Des Festivals, Avoriaz, France. Be sure to catch the current Kreisberg tour, which will feature the Quartet playing tunes from Shadowless along with some new compositions. Jonathan will have the band lay out for a few solo tunes as well. This live recording comes from the band composed of Jonathan Kreisberg, guitar & effects; Will Vinson, sax & piano; Joe Martin, bass; and Colin Stranahan, drums.