Kurt Rosenwinkel Quartet | Jazz Showcase | Jazz | Chicago Reader

Kurt Rosenwinkel Quartet Recommended Soundboard Critics' Picks

When: Thu., Jan. 15, 8 & 10 p.m., Fri., Jan. 16, 8 & 10 p.m., Sat., Jan. 17, 8 & 10 p.m. and Sun., Jan. 18, 4, 8 & 10 p.m. 2009

Guitarist Kurt Rosenwinkel has an awful lot of music in his head, and last year he shared a bunch of it with the double CD The Remedy: Live at the Village Vanguard (ArtistShare). Though his tunes, like a surprising amount of current postbop, sound subtly influenced by Radiohead, the emphasis is on the performances, with their high-level group interplay, unusual harmonic rigor, and elaborate, richly lyrical melodies. He’s not only one of the most expressive improvisers to emerge from New York’s jazz scene in the past two decades but also one of the most subtle, relying not on flashy soloing but on the twists and turns of his detailed, episodic compositions—and when he does pull off a breathtaking lick, he does it with understated nonchalance. Rosenwinkel plays with a lustrous post-Metheny tone, often shadowing his guitar parts with wordless falsetto vocals, and on The Remedy he unpacks the gorgeous chords he uses to build the songs by blending and braiding his lines with those of pianist Aaron Goldberg and saxophonist Mark Turner. For his first Chicago gigs in two years he’s leading a terrific band: bassist Ben Street, drummer Kendrick Scott, and hotshot young pianist Aaron Parks, whose 2008 disc Invisible Cinema (his debut for Blue Note) suggests he’s got great things in his future. Last week Rosenwinkel played the Vanguard with this same group, and NPR has posted both sets from that show. —Peter Margasak

Price: $20-$25

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