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Album Review

With this recording, guitarist Kurt Rosenwinkel creates a unique sound world, blending elements of jazz and rock with electronica, occasional Third World strains, and other grooves in an absorbing, inward journey that defies classification. In doing so, Rosenwinkel refuses to limit himself to the guitar, often contributing keyboards, drums, and voice, and at times he takes over entire tracks all by himself via layerings in his Brooklyn studio. The way Rosenwinkel extends his strings of endless melody over an ever-changing harmonic backdrop reminds one of the winding compositions of Wayne Shorter. Indeed, at times he produces a sax-like tone from his guitar, with Mark Turner's duskier tenor sax as a unison co-voice and a foil. "Blue Line" finds Rosenwinkel drumming in the left channel, keeping up a complex groove with drummer Jeff Ballard on the right, eventually overcome by synthesizer washes. "All the Way to Rajasthan" evokes the Pat Metheny sound but the rhythm is fractured and the music seems to have and lack direction at the same time. "Your Vision" is a loop out of a sci-fi film — all Rosenwinkel except for Andrew D'Angelo's bass clarinet, a truly strange track — while "Interlude" is another fascinating gauzy bit of electronica at the CD's halfway point. "Thought About You," another one-man track, takes a Turkish rhythmic vamp and gradually builds a moody, enveloping texture. Rosenwinkel claims that the music of Arnold Schoenberg and hip-hop alike inspired another technique on this CD — producing unusual harmonic textures by means of different dynamic levels on the instruments in the mix. Well, maybe, but in a way, this is 21st century expressionism of a sort, creating levels of ambiguity and uncertainty, leaving the listener out on a limb yet always intrigued. Give it a shot; you may not want to leave this twilight zone. ~ Richard S. Ginell, Rovi

Customer Reviews

Incredible Creativity

One of my favorite albums of the decade, this Rosenwinkel release not only shows off his virtuosity, but his seemingly limitless creativity. Heartcore was produced by Q-Tip (!) and defnitely blurs the lines between many genres including jazz, hip-hop, and electronic music. The tunes speak for themselves and transcend description. Check it.

Emotionally engaging...

A sonic voyage from an urban world to a desolate landscape. Rosenwinkel never stops; we never know where he's going to take us.

Kinda shakey

I want to preface this by saying that Rosenwinkel is my favorite guitarist in jazz,.. And I have a lot. And when he plays on this album it is SPOT ON(!!) however out of 11 songs there are 5 that are without any guitar and for that matter are without any musical merit whatsoever. They sound like African motif background music or are synthesized computer program beats that go on for sometimes 8 min!! I was glad to hear the occasional blissful sound of his guitar but equally distraught when some museum background piece played on for what seemed like forever,... Glad his other albums are better....


Born: October 28, 1970 in Philadelphia, PA

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Guitarist Kurt Rosenwinkel began his professional career in 1990, when he dropped out of Berklee only two and a half years into his college education to go on tour with Gary Burton and his band. Burton gave the young musician a hand up, helping him move to New York, giving him money, and setting him up with the kind of connections that Rosenwinkel needed to get started. The effort paid off when Rosenwinkel shortly became one of the most respected jazz guitarists on the East Coast. His fluid style...
Full Bio
Heartcore, Kurt Rosenwinkel
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  • $9.99
  • Genres: Jazz, Music, Contemporary Jazz
  • Released: Aug 12, 2003

Customer Ratings