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Album Review

Fans of electric guitarist Wayne Krantz have been waiting well over a decade to hear something new or commercially available on CD, and here it is. It seems he's a more mature player, not as raucous or raw as in previous years where volume and screaming, high-pitched sounds were favored. Not to say he's refined his approach, but it seems as if Krantz is more interested in flowing composition, symmetry, and teamwork within funky beats rather than trying to stand above the plethora of rock-oriented jazz guitarists. With bassist Tim Lefebvre and drummer Keith Carlock, Krantz has a solid idea of what he wants to portray, and compact ideas swimming around in his head and fingers. There's only a modicum of noodling, some inane vocalizing here and there, but it does not detract from the overall message he's attempting to get across. He might even be heard as a thoughtful tunesmith on the languid "Rushdie," a slow and introspective "The Earth from Above," or "Moseley." While faster externally, "Left It on the Playground" is a nine-minute jam, at times wonky, but for the most part exploring some interesting industrialized effects. Then again, there are those untamed moments, as on the appropriately titled "War-Torn Johnny" or the hard-edged "Holy Joe" where the razor-edge impulses of Krantz cannot be denied. It is his tribute, "Jeff Beck," where the guitarist adds something unique, as vocal-type, faux-wah-wah sounds from Lefebvre set up some choppy and looser lines, while a much more defined blues in 6/8 time signifies "Rugged Individual." Of the vocal selections, the anthem for sommeliers "Wine Is the Thread" works best in its soulful, song-style repast, but it is not a strong suit. Krantz admitted he became discouraged with the music business, as working diligently on a project did not mean the recording would get proper promotion or distribution. Since the advent of the Internet, he's made live performances available as downloads. This project has a spontaneous, liquid quality to it that may very well establish a new concept for a figure far too talented to take any more time away from the studio to document his pithy, intriguing music., Rovi

Customer Reviews

Mixed bag

I purchased this album with fairly high expectations. All the musicians are incredibly strong players and are committed to pushing the boundaries of the musical genres of jazz-rock. However, while the album does have its strong moments, it ultimately left me fairly underwhelmed. The problem is not so much the playing, but the writing. The tunes are really just extended jams around some basic forms with room for the players to show off their chops. Melodies aren't really what this is all about, and that's fine to a point - but it means that the album doesn't have great staying power. After about the fourth song the album tends to lose definition, with everything sounding rather samey. This means the album doesn't get as many plays from me as I would have imagined.
So, all in all, ok and with some definite hot moments, but not quite enough to keep me hooked for long.

Fantastic from start to finish.

Krantz and co. never play anything obvious but what they play seems like the only thing to play at that time. Guitarist Wayne Krantz has been burning it up for years and carving out such a unique voice on the instrument that I knew this recording would be nothing but spectacular.

Biography

Born: July 26, 1956 in Corvalis, OR

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s

Fiery fusion guitarist. Krantz is an excellent multi-dimensional player, as likely to rock like Hendrix, or play duets with...
Full bio
Krantz Carlock Lefebvre, Wayne Krantz
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