Guitarist Kurt Rosenwinkel takes The Next Step in his creative evolution on eight songs that exude several degrees of great jazz. He succeeds in topping the musical tastes presented on his debut release for the Verve label, The Enemies of Energy. Rosenwinkel is one of many young jazz musicians forging ahead into the new millennium with bold musical steps, and the compositions, all of which he wrote, represent the culmination of many life phases for him. First formed as a guitar-bass-drums trio in 1992, Rosenwinkel's band is now a quartet including Mark Turner on tenor saxophone, Ben Street on bass, and Jeff Ballard on drums, all excellent artists in their own right. All four musicians can be heard on The Enemies of Energy, and The Next Step is additional documentation of their relationship as a band.
Guitarist Kurt Rosenwinkel's Deep Song is an intimately atmospheric album that finds the ever-reaching jazz musician in the company of a stellar ensemble. Rosenwinkel has always displayed the strong influences of such expansive players as Pat Metheny, John Scofield, and Pat Martino, and tracks such as the continually overlapping "The Cloister" do nothing if not reinforce such high comparative praise.
Since arriving on the jazz scene as a leader with 1996's East Coast Love Affair, guitarist Kurt Rosenwinkel has established a unique voice and place for the guitar in jazz in the 21st century. His nine previous studio recordings have explored different facets of his fluid, yet highly individual style. Some of his earlier records – 2000's The Next Step, 2003's Heartcore, and 2009's Reflections – have revealed how expansive Rosenwinkel's reach is, whether it's exploring space, melody, creating massive grooves, or swinging right from the tradition. As fine as those records all are, it is perhaps Star of Jupiter that makes a definitive case for him as a major voice in the 21st century, as a guitarist and as a composer. Star of Jupiter features a new band, with pianist/keyboardist Aaron Parks, bassist Eric Revis, and drummer Justin Faulkner.
Eric Clapton was the opening act of his own Crossroads Guitar Festival on April 12. He took the stage at New York's Madison Square Garden just before the official starting time of 7:30, as if he couldn't wait to get the night going. Seated with an acoustic guitar, dressed in shades of gray and wearing glasses, Clapton performed a short set with his current touring band, starting with an earthy stroll through Charles Brown's
The Crossroads Guitar Festival hit Madison Square Garden in April this year with tickets selling out in the blink of an eye. It's no wonder either, with some of the best guitarists in music history making up the line-up at the 2013 event including the Allman Brothers Band, Jeff Beck, Keith Richards, Keith Urban, Gary Clark Jr., Vince Gill, John Mayer and, of course, festival organiser Eric Clapton. Clapton has been curating this event since 2004 with talent-filled festival taking place every 3 years in aid of the Crossroads Center Antigua - a private drug rehabilitation centre founded by the artist himself.