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Reuter, Travis: Rotational Templates

"Guitarist and composer Travis Reuter's debut recording takes the jazz guitar quintet into unchartered territory. Inspired by the music of classical modernists like Elliott Carter and new complexity adherents like Jason Eckardt, Reuter has fused his propulsive approach to rhythm, melodic angularity, and formal experimentation into a style that reflects a new genre developing at the intersection of contemporary music and avant-garde jazz (http://www.newfocusrecordings.com/index.php?option=com_maian15&view=album&album=47&Itemid=91, 2011).

This album features Travis Reuter on guitar; Jeremy Viner on tenor saxophone; Bobby Avey on Fender Rhodes; Chris Tordini on bass and Jason Nazary on drums.

Very interesting and original work of jazz, mixing great sax work with some excellent guitar experimenting. Solid and entertaining jazz that keeps you involved and interested with all of its many varieties of melodies and rhythm. The Fender Rhodes work and the way it blends so well with the guitar play will also set this album apart from the rest of your contemporary jazz collection.

Soft intricate drums, sax and bass open 'Vacancy at 29', as cool high pitched guitar chords pierce the background noise. Then Travis adds on more cool experimental guitar effects as the rhythm changes and the music gets louder. The cool guitar work weaves and ducks as the sax, bass and drums take a back seat later as the music progresses and the pace picks up.

Slow grooved bass and lead electric as 'Residency at 20 (Part 1)' opens amidst sax and drums.

'Singular Arrays' opens with more interesting sax and bouncy drums, bass and intricate guitar chording all set to a good beat. The Fender Rhodes and bass work stand out on this track.

'Flux Derivatives' is full of more great sax, bass, and that wonderful Fender Rhodes delivering rhythm and spirit as Travis weaves his guitar play through the sound. The soft tapping drums keep a good beat.

The sax takes the lead on 'Residency at 20 (Part 2)', as the bass, Rhoades and lead electric weave their intricate melody.


Track Listing
1. Vacancy at 29
2. Residency at 20 (part 1)
3. Singular Arrays
4. Flux Derivatives
5. Residency at 20 (part 2)

Added: August 30th 2011
Reviewer: Mark Johnson
Score:
Related Link: More Information
Hits: 1419
Language: english

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Reuter, Travis: Rotational Templates
Posted by Denis Brunelle, SoT Staff Writer on 2011-08-31 19:02:49
My Score:

This project is the brainchild of guitar player Travis Reuter. He took along with him Jeremy Viner (tenor sax), Bobby Avey (Fender Rhodes), bass player Chris Tordini and Jason Nazary on drums. Mr. Reuter has written all the compositions to be heard on this release.

Jazz is not the easiest type of music to be interested in. Thanks to the brilliant mind of a genius like Frank Zappa, this music has become affordable to us regular folks. Like Uncle Frank once said: "Jazz is not dead, it just smells funny". Alive and doing pretty well thanks to people like Travis Reuter, who managed to make a somewhat snobbish musical genre, entertaining and pleasant to a wider audience. This music is not without revitalizing memories from late sixties, early seventies material from Mr. Zappa. Albums like: Hot Rats, The Grand Wazoo and Waka Jawaka are coming to mind from the beginning of this disc to the end. That being said, Travis Reuter and friends are no cover band and they have their own little take on the jazzy progressive and instrumental music. The simple fact of being instrumental work does help making this album easier to digest, so to speak. You have some more jazzy moments with the bass, which I presume is the upright type of instrument, and saxophone duet on a few occasions. Then you have frequent solos from the guitar and the Fender Rhodes, which are sometimes sounding quite similar, making them difficult to differentiate at times. The guitar playing is perhaps not astounding or flamboyant as Frank; still it shows intricacy and bears an adventurous style. You can also enjoy the saxophone and guitar in a couple duet parts when they play in harmony; something I have not witnessed before personally.

In short, Rotational Templates is a nice progressive jazz release, filled with adventurous, abstract, harmonious and intricate moments.



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