Wednesday 11 April 2012

Jonathan Kreisberg Quartet at Pizza Express

What a phenomenal guitarist Jonathan Kreisberg is! At the Pizza Express, Dean St last night the audience were treated to outstanding performance combining improvisational ingenuity and good taste. Taking material from the Shadowless album, some newer compositions and a couple of standards, Jonathan struck a perfect balance of energy and poise.  Melodies and soloing were intricate and inventive, Jonathan always in control of his material and searching for new ways though it. Shadowless includes some jazz fusion-based material, using a range of pedals - notably an octave pedal and really ingenious use of the volume pedal to create some synth-like effects. High points included an original arrangement of Stella by Starlight and Horace Silver's Peace.

Brilliant English alto player Will Vinson, who I caught at the Pizza Express a few weeks ago with his own band, doubled on piano. He is a passionate, inventive soloist with a beautiful tone, managing to combing romantic lyricism with modernity. Will is a very funny raconteur on stage so it was strange to see him in the role of sideman, though he did a great job. I really enjoyed Joe Martin's playing - a tasteful bass player at the top of his game. Drummer Colin Stranahan is a real find. He's recently toured by with Kurt Rosenwinkel and you can see what these band leader like about his playing. Consistently inventive and also good humoured - not unlike drummer Eric Harland.

The video below gives a sense of what the performance was like. The tune is called Twenty-One and it is, I'm reliably informed, in the time signature of 21/8.


Anonymous said...

John - I caught the same lineup as you this week at another venue - what a terrific gig! As well as being inventive, Kreisberg seems to play every note with a real intensity that I've not often seen in a guitarist. While modern, his style clearly comes from the jazz guitar tradition. He knows how to build rapport with an audience between numbers as well, something that is often neglected in "serious" music settings imo. Joe Martin was a revelation - understated but providing almost Mingus-like levels of propulsion mixed with modern melodic and rhythmic invention. Colin Stranahan was constantly mixing it up and interacting. I've been lucky to catch Vinson twice this month - he almost epitomises the sound of contemporary jazz to me, yet I hear the greats from the past in his lines and tone. Wonderful stuff!

Anonymous said...

... forgot to sign my comment! - Bill (JH guitar)