Guitarist Kurt Rosenwinkel takes The Next Step in his creative evolution on eight songs that exude several degrees of great jazz. He succeeds in topping the musical tastes presented on his debut release for the Verve label, The Enemies of Energy. Rosenwinkel is one of many young jazz musicians forging ahead into the new millennium with bold musical steps, and the compositions, all of which he wrote, represent the culmination of many life phases for him. First formed as a guitar-bass-drums trio in 1992, Rosenwinkel's band is now a quartet including Mark Turner on tenor saxophone, Ben Street on bass, and Jeff Ballard on drums, all excellent artists in their own right. All four musicians can be heard on The Enemies of Energy, and The Next Step is additional documentation of their relationship as a band.
Guitarist Kurt Rosenwinkel's Deep Song is an intimately atmospheric album that finds the ever-reaching jazz musician in the company of a stellar ensemble. Rosenwinkel has always displayed the strong influences of such expansive players as Pat Metheny, John Scofield, and Pat Martino, and tracks such as the continually overlapping "The Cloister" do nothing if not reinforce such high comparative praise.
Since arriving on the jazz scene as a leader with 1996's East Coast Love Affair, guitarist Kurt Rosenwinkel has established a unique voice and place for the guitar in jazz in the 21st century. His nine previous studio recordings have explored different facets of his fluid, yet highly individual style. Some of his earlier records – 2000's The Next Step, 2003's Heartcore, and 2009's Reflections – have revealed how expansive Rosenwinkel's reach is, whether it's exploring space, melody, creating massive grooves, or swinging right from the tradition. As fine as those records all are, it is perhaps Star of Jupiter that makes a definitive case for him as a major voice in the 21st century, as a guitarist and as a composer. Star of Jupiter features a new band, with pianist/keyboardist Aaron Parks, bassist Eric Revis, and drummer Justin Faulkner.
Human Feel's sophomore album, Scatter, is filled with tremendous and passionately performed avant jazz, but its importance comes mainly from being the first widely available CD (thanks to Gunther Schuller's GM Recordings label) featuring then-newcomers Kurt Rosenwinkel (guitar), Chris Speed (tenor sax), Andrew D'Angelo (alto sax), and Jim Black (drums). The presence of bassist Joe Fitzgerald is also noteworthy for a couple of reasons: he's a highly skilled and expressive player here (as he would also prove years later in Ballin' the Jack, and he left Human Feel after this CD and was not replaced.