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Fans of electric guitarist Wayne Krantz have been waiting well over a decade to hear something new or commercially available on CD, and here it is. It seems he's a more mature player, not as raucous or raw as in previous years where volume and screaming, high-pitched sounds were favored. Not to say he's refined his approach, but it seems as if Krantz is more interested in flowing composition, symmetry, and teamwork within funky beats rather than trying to stand above the plethora of rock-oriented jazz guitarists. With bassist Tim Lefebvre and drummer Keith Carlock, Krantz has a solid idea of what he wants to portray, and compact ideas swimming around in his head and fingers. There's only a modicum of noodling, some inane vocalizing here and there, but it does not detract from the overall message he's attempting to get across. He might even be heard as a thoughtful tunesmith on the languid "Rushdie," a slow and introspective "The Earth from Above," or "Moseley." While faster externally, "Left It on the Playground" is a nine-minute jam, at times wonky, but for the most part exploring some interesting industrialized effects. Then again, there are those untamed moments, as on the appropriately titled "War-Torn Johnny" or the hard-edged "Holy Joe" where the razor-edge impulses of Krantz cannot be denied. It is his tribute, "Jeff Beck," where the guitarist adds something unique, as vocal-type, faux-wah-wah sounds from Lefebvre set up some choppy and looser lines, while a much more defined blues in 6/8 time signifies "Rugged Individual." Of the vocal selections, the anthem for sommeliers "Wine Is the Thread" works best in its soulful, song-style repast, but it is not a strong suit. Krantz admitted he became discouraged with the music business, as working diligently on a project did not mean the recording would get proper promotion or distribution. Since the advent of the Internet, he's made live performances available as downloads. This project has a spontaneous, liquid quality to it that may very well establish a new concept for a figure far too talented to take any more time away from the studio to document his pithy, intriguing music.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Krantz Carlock Lefebvre is one of the finest cds I have heard this year. Wayne Krantz is a New York based guitarist that have held residency at the 55 Bar for many years. It is wonderful to see that he has produced a studio effort and certainly lives up to the hype. The songs are coherent, groovy, rhythmic, hummable, listenable. The recording is top notch. The musicianship is out of this world. Keith Carlock who is a drummer for Steely Dan and James Taylor and Sting is certainly a force to reckon with. I have yet to hear another drummer that can adapt so well to the envrioment he plays in. Tim Lefebvre is rock solid and plays just right. Brilliant. Some really interesting vocals. Wine is the thread... great song by the way. If you like good music, rest assured this is a musical gem