Record Review: Kurt Rosenwinkel

Kurt Rosenwinkel
Our Secret World
Philadelphia, PA

“Mind blowing jazz guitar”

Just when you thought the jazz guitarist of his generation couldn’t do anything more to blow minds, you find yourself picking your jaw up off the floor; Kurt Rosenwinkel has done it again.  Rosenwinkel completely changes course by following up on 2009’s Reflections by undertaking a big band collaboration of his own originals on Our Secret World.  The guitarist uses the Orquestra Jazz de Mantosinhos to take on fresh versions of tunes from his catalog and beautifully reinterprets some of his most challenging pieces.

From his shredding intro on the title track to the last fading orchestral swell on the closer, “Path of the Heart,” the album teems with Rosenwinkel’s typical lyricism, harmonic sophistication and intensity, but is furthered by OJM’s sophisticated textural reinvention of the guitarist’s musicality.

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While the title track is among the weaker of the set, of most noteworthy interest to fans is the inclusion of the angular and bubbling “Turns,” a piece previously unreleased but frequently played with Rosenwinkel’s smaller ensembles.  The new arrangement of “Zhivago,” finds the guitarist soaring over the rollercoaster harmonic and emotive changes in one of his most epic solos on record.  The album is one of the guitarist’s strongest to date (in a catalog full of nearly indispensable releases).  For anyone interested in 21st century guitar playing, or just plain iconoclastic music, Our Secret World is a must-have. (Wom Music)

Engineered by João Bessa and Mário Barreiros // Mastered by Greg Calbi // Mixed by James Farber // Produced by Pedro Guedes

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