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I Wish I Knew (with Jorge Rossy, Kurt Rosenwinkel & Chris Higgins)

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Album Review

It has long been said that one can tell a mature jazz musician from an up-and-coming one in the way they handle ballads. Most younger players have a tendency to play too many notes with excessive energy, often filling in all the spaces during the slower tempos. Chris Cheek, who judging by the photo on his CD cover is in his 20s or early 30s, is a major exception. Teamed up with guitarist Kurt Rosenwinkel, bassist Chris Higgins and drummer Jordi Rossy in a pianoless quartet, Cheek mostly performs the standards-oriented program at slow speeds and he is not shy of letting his notes ring. Often sounding a bit like Stan Getz, Cheek draws out plenty of emotion from such songs as "I Wish I Knew," "Skylark" and "Stairway to the Stars." While guitarist Rosenwinkel (who has a cool tone but a modern style) provides most of the fire on the ballads, Cheek comes across on a medium-tempo "I'll Be Seeing You" with some advanced melodic improvising a la Warne Marsh. He shows the most individuality on his original "Garden Floor" and Bill Evans' "Time Remembered," closing off the date with an achingly emotional yet restrained version of "What'll I Do." This easily recommended CD was released in 1997 as part of the Spanish Fresh Sound label's "New Talent" series.


Born: 16 September 1968 in St. Louis, MO

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Chris Cheek is among the cream of a young new crop of jazz musicians who came of age in New York during the 1990s. Raised in St. Louis, the tenor and soprano saxophonist attended Webster University before relocating to the Berklee College of Music in Boston. There he studied with Joe Viola, Hal Crook, and Herb Pomeroy, among others. In 1992 he made the move to New York, and has since worked with Paul Motian's Electric Bebop Band, Guillermo Klein's Los Guachos, Seamus Blake's Bloomdaddies, Stephan...
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I Wish I Knew (with Jorge Rossy, Kurt Rosenwinkel & Chris Higgins), Chris Cheek
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  • 8,91 €
  • Genres: Jazz, Music, Hard Bop
  • Released: 01 January 1997

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