COMPOSERS: Kurt Rosenwinkel
ALBUM TITLE: Kurt Rosenwinkel
PERFORMER: Kurt Rosenwinkel (guitars, bass, piano, drums etc), plus guests, including Eric Clapton (guitar), Mark Turner (sax) et al
CATALOGUE NO: RD4618
Kurt Rosenwinkel has been the go-to guitarist for jazz modernists ever since he came to notice with Paul Motian’s Electric Bebop Band in the early 1990s. Now, after a long spell teaching in Europe, he’s reinvented himself as leader, starting with Caipi.
It’s something of a departure. Not only is the new original material mostly lyric songs, but Rosenwinkel is playing practically all instruments. The biggest surprise is just how conventional the music is: a blend of supper club Brazilian and showy, jazz rock. There are some decent cameo performances, especially from Brazilian singer Pedro Martins, whose wavering voice recalls Caetano Veloso, and also tenorist Mark Turner. But otherwise it’s hard not to be underwhelmed by the sheer soppiness of some songs. Guitarist Eric Clapton seals the middle-of-the-road deal with his contribution to the poppy number ‘Little Dream’. It’s a well-crafted but ultimately uninspiring return to the spotlight.