Heartcore

Heartcore

5.0 1
by Kurt Rosenwinkel
     
 

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Kurt Rosenwinkel went right to the source for this hip-hop-infused jazz project. The daring guitarist brought in Q-Tip -- the noted MC and former member of A Tribe Called Quest -- as co-producer, and his inclusion tipped the scales: Heartcore is Rosenwinkel’s most artistically successful project to date. Marrying studio technology and jazz improvisation has

Overview

Kurt Rosenwinkel went right to the source for this hip-hop-infused jazz project. The daring guitarist brought in Q-Tip -- the noted MC and former member of A Tribe Called Quest -- as co-producer, and his inclusion tipped the scales: Heartcore is Rosenwinkel’s most artistically successful project to date. Marrying studio technology and jazz improvisation has been tricky for even the most ambitious jazz players; Rosenwinkel, to his credit, has found the balance. The beats may be propulsive or trancelike, but the incisive solos from the leader and, notably, tenor saxophonist Mark Turner never get lost in the sonic sauce. The acoustic rhythm section of bassist Ben Street and drummer Jeff Ballard provides the elemental swing, allowing Rosenwinkle and Q-Tip to manipulate the sound world about them. The writing, almost entirely by the guitarist, is particularly strong, giving the recording substance and an enduring interest. It's debatable whether contemporary jazz is heading in the same direction as Rosenwinkel, but if it is, the future is bright.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Richard S. Ginell
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.

Product Details

Release Date:
08/12/2003
Label:
Verve
UPC:
0731458977629
catalogNumber:
000073202
Rank:
127112

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Heartcore 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I first heard about this album about seven months before its release, and I think it was started well before that even. I was wondering if it would ever hit the streets because of rumors of Kurt getting "dropped" by Verve. Well, when Kurt told me it was coing out for sure on Verve, I just about had to change my underwear. Same thing for when I listened to it. If Kurt were any more creative than this, I don't think my brain could take it. He continues to get better at everything, and continues to push the envelope with every album. Just check out early stuff like Turner's Yam-Yam, or his own East Coast Love Affair. He was great then, but has just gotten better every album since. His tunes, his time, his lines, his technique, and his ambitions... Dude... it's scary. How's he going to top himself now?