Music You Don't Know You Like Yet
2008-04-12Paul Renz is a teacher of the jazz genre. Earning high accolades while on tenure at the West Bank School of Music and as resident jazz guitar teacher at MacPhail Center for Music in Minneapolis, this is his first venture fronting a quintet, with Anders Bostrom on flute, Nathan Fryett on drums, Eric Graham on bass and Brian Ziemniak on the Hammond organ and piano. When I think jazz guitar, I think Wes Anderson and to some extent Les Paul and maybe a side helping of Hot Rats-era Frank Zappa. This was more along the lines of mid-1970s Steely Dan maybe without the lyrics. Not that that's a bad thing, mind you, but I was somewhat disappointed here. Maybe that's a genre thing. I was expecting Frank Zappa-esque frontman interpretations and some real novel use of the electric guitar in a jazz quintet, but Renz only seemed to use brass phrasings here. I was hoping for a bit more ingenuity, but local reviews of the album hail it as a fresh contribution to modern jazz. All Renz originals, save a Bud Powell homage on "Un Poco Loco" - Daniel Graeber
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