Jonathan Kreisberg

New For Now Music
Jonathan Kreisberg

There’s a whole new generation of jazz guitarists very conversant in the traditional language of the form, but with their own other influences. Jonathan Kreisberg is at the top of that list.

On Shadowless, cuts like “Twenty One” are the perfect intro to this adventurous player. Its opening statement by Kreisberg and Will Vinson (on sax) sets up a boppy melody where the soloists fly. Kreisberg’s playing is a mix of chords and single notes that builds beautifully before giving way to Vinson. His comping under the solo (and on every cut) shows a wealth of harmonic knowledge. The title cut is a lovely tune with almost classical overtones – Kreisberg and pianist Henry Hey weave around each other as well as two players can. The guitar solo is a melodic chopfest.

“Zembekiko” morphs into straight swing and shows a bit of the difference the younger generation may have from the elders; distorted guitar tone, especially while comping behind other solos. The originals here are well-written and interesting, and the closer, Gershwin’s “Nice Work If You Can Get It,” shows Kreisberg’s work on standards is up to par. His chordal work is beyond question, and his soloing shows a player comfortable with darting through changes. His playing is a perfect blend of technique and soul.

This article originally appeared in VG‘s June ’11 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.

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