Rising Grace, MDR Kultur

Wolfgang Muthspiel hat sich für “Rising Grace” eine Band zusammengestellt, in der prominente Stimmen akzentuiert aber organisch zusammenfließen. Alte Freunde wie Drummer Brian Blade und Bassist Larry Grenadier treffen auf Brad Mehldau (am Klavier) und Ambrose Akinmusire an der Trompete. Das Quintett bringt die Improvisationen, jeder auf seine Weise, auf den Punkt, orientiert sich an einfachen Melodien und sprüht dennoch vor Experimentierwillen. Dabei lassen die fünf sich nicht aus den Augen. Ping-pong-artig spielen sie sich die Bälle aus den Soli in die Begleitung und wieder zurück. Der junge Akinmusire hat schon mit Anfang 20 den Thelonious Monk Preis gewonnen und kann mit Muthspiels Kompositionen zeigen, warum. Es ist ein Fest zu hören, wie sich derart charismatische Musiker untereinander verstehen können. Da ist eine Menge Erfahrung und ein guter Riecher für Besetzung zu spüren, hat Muthspiel doch schon in der Band von Gary Burton Pat Metheny ersetzt und mit Größen wie Dave Liebman, Maria João und Rebekka Bakken gearbeitet.

 

 

 

Angular Blues

They grow up so fast. It seems like just yesterday that a wave of compelling young jazz guitarists—Liberty Ellman, Kurt Rosenwinkel, and Wolfgang Muthspiel among them – was bringing new life to the instrument. Now those players are middle-aged, with a new crop of nimble plectrists snapping at their heels. But Muthspiel’s “Angular Blues” proves that gifted improvisers can hit their stride in their autumn years. He doesn’t let his agile fingers do all the thinking for him: his lines breathe rather than pant, particularly on the first three tracks, which feature acoustic guitar. Partnered with two receptive players—the drummer Brian Blade and the bassist Scott Colley—Muthspiel demonstrates his artistic maturity, but he still finds moments to loosen the reins, as on the aptly tided “Ride.”

Steve Futterman (New Yorker)

Angular Blues

They grow up so fast. It seems like just yesterday that a wave of compelling young jazz guitarists—Liberty Ellman, Kurt Rosenwinkel, and Wolfgang Muthspiel among them – was bringing new life to the instrument. Now those players are middle-aged, with a new crop of nimble plectrists snapping at their heels. But Muthspiel’s “Angular Blues” proves that gifted improvisers can hit their stride in their autumn years. He doesn’t let his agile fingers do all the thinking for him: his lines breathe rather than pant, particularly on the first three tracks, which feature acoustic guitar. Partnered with two receptive players—the drummer Brian Blade and the bassist Scott Colley—Muthspiel demonstrates his artistic maturity, but he still finds moments to loosen the reins, as on the aptly tided “Ride.”
Steve Futterman (New Yorker)

Angular Blues

They grow up so fast. It seems like just yesterday that a wave of compelling young jazz guitarists—Liberty Ellman, Kurt Rosenwinkel, and Wolfgang Muthspiel among them – was bringing new life to the instrument. Now those players are middle-aged, with a new crop of nimble plectrists snapping at their heels. But Muthspiel’s “Angular Blues” proves that gifted improvisers can hit their stride in their autumn years. He doesn’t let his agile fingers do all the thinking for him: his lines breathe rather than pant, particularly on the first three tracks, which feature acoustic guitar. Partnered with two receptive players—the drummer Brian Blade and the bassist Scott Colley—Muthspiel demonstrates his artistic maturity, but he still finds moments to loosen the reins, as on the aptly tided “Ride.”
Steve Futterman (New Yorker)

Angular Blues

There is so much to commend Wolfgang Muthspiel latest recording Angular Blues: the beautiful textures created by its guitar, bass and drums sonority; the outstanding quality of the musicianship on display; the interesting original compositions which bring forth reflective and introspective improvisations; the unique musical personalities of Wolfgang, bassist Scott Colley and drummer Brian Blade, all of whom are respectful of the Jazz tradition while, at the same time, bringing forth their own unique, individual voices.

It’s rare that a recording comes fully formed in terms of the excellence of its music, the musicians who perform it and the audio aura that captures it. Angular Blues is one of these singular occasions and Manfred Eicher should be rightfully pleased and proud of his production.

 

Steven Cerra (Jazz Profiles)