Kurt Rosenwinkel plays guitar with a fluid, mellow voice all his own. On his sixth outing, “Deep Song,” he is joined by a stellar quartet, including saxophonist Joshua Redman and pianist Brad Mehldau, who enhance Rosenwinkel’s cool, cerebral compositions to great effect.
Playing with these two jazz stylists, each with their own full body of work, drives Rosenwinkel to express himself with more fullness and assertiveness than ever before. Redman pulls the songs towards the biting energy of post-bop, while Mehldau encourages Rosenwinkel’s more introspective side.
Rosenwinkel has not given up the complex, fractured rhythms of his past work, but here uses them to better effect. “Cake” augments the pulsing rhythmic tensions without losing the flow. “The Cross” works with stop-time pauses, not for their own sake, but as part of the forward-driving energy. His soloing here shows why Gary Burton kidnapped him away from his jazz studies over a decade ago.
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