Nov 9, 2009
Since his debut in the late 1980’s, Kurt Rosenwinkel has emerged as one of the finest jazz composers and soloists of the day. Rosenwinkel’s recorded music has gone from standards and bop-influenced stylings to eletronica touched with hip-hop influences over his almost fifteen year career as a leader. His latest release finds him returning to classic tunes in a trio setting for the first time in a decade.
Born in Philadelphia, Rosenwinkel dropped out of Berklee in 1990 to join vibraphonist Gary Burton’s band, following in the footsteps of guitar gods like Larry Coryell, Pat Metheny and John Scofield. Tenure as a sideman for drummer Paul Motian allowed him to further develop his unique guitar style, which merges a sustained, legato sound with a full, deep tone.
It was his time playing at Small’s, a Greenwich Village nightclub that was a veritable incubator for jazz talent in the 1990’s that propelled him to a greater following. There Rosenwinkel played (and later recorded) with artists who are now recognized as the very best at their craft, including pianist Brad Mehldau, drummers Brian Blade and Jorge Rossy, saxophonist Joshua Redman, organists Sam Yahel and Larry Goldings, bassists Larry Grenadier and Avishai Cohen, and especially saxophonist Mark Turner, with whom he has had a long collaborative relationship.
Joining Rosenwinkel on tour for hte album will be Eric Revis (Branford Marsalis, Joey Calderazzo) on bass and Rodney Green (Diana Krall, Greg Osby) on drums. Revis and drummer Eric Harland recorded Kurt Rosenwinkel Standards Trio Vol. 1: Reflections with him in New York over three days in June. That album, overdue at this point, will be mostly classic ballads like “You Go to My Head” and “More Than You’ll Know” and compositions by jazz legends like Thelonious Monk.
Reflections will appear on the wommusic imprint, an extension of the partnership between Rosenwinkel and his manager, Anders Chan-Tidemann. Rosenwinkel has explored a number of innovative ways to get his recorded music to the public. Selling primarily through digital portals like his website, iTunes and eMusic, he emphasizes forging direct relationships with his fans. This process began successfully last year when his critically acclaimed double live CD “The Remedy” was released on the innovative Artistshare. He has also recorded as a leader for traditional jazz labels like Criss Cross and Verve.
Rosenwinkel left New York behind in 2003 to serve as a professor at the Jazz Instute Berlin. He now lives in Switzerland with his wife and small child. His stated musical influences include Keith Jarrett’s “American Quartet” with Dewey Redman, Miles Davis’ Second Quintet with Herbie Hancock and Wayne Shorter, and Ornette Coleman’s 1962 Trio. Interestingly, none of these groups had guitar players.