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Cycles Suite by Chris Jentsch Group Large

Cycles Suite cover is a kind of whited out picture of leader/guitarist/composer Chris Jentsch .

Cycles Suite pretty much kicks ass. Geeky Chris Jentsch is actually a pretty mean musician, as he roams between grooving, large band textures and full-on space bits, then launches into some rock guitar riffs. I would say the overall tone is pastoral, with the more out textures evoking birds and open fields (Jantsch writes how the free sections are actually intended to signify pre-birth/after-death, dream states and hallucinations. I still like the field animals and birds interpretation though) while the band textures are mostly impressionistic, with one tune even taking a bit from "Tristan and Isolde" as a starting point.

Of course, as with all large jazz ensembles, the band matters very much, Mike McGinnis' excellent clarinet solo in movement II is remarkable, and also the justly featured Mike Kaupa's mellophone and trumpet. Jentsh's guitar playing feels like a direct descendant of Abercrombie, and he tends to de-emphasize his own instrument throughout the piece. But then again, it's his writing that is the real star here. The composer has a broad reach and an excellent touch. Maybe in the end that doesn't matter after all.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Chris Jentsch Group Large
  • CD Title: Cycles Suite
  • Genre: Contemporary Jazz / Modern
  • Year Released: 2009
  • Record Label: Fleur de Son
  • Tracks: Cycles Suite: Movement I. Arrival, Movement II. Cycle of Life, Movement III. Home and Away, Movement IV. Old Folks Song, Movement V. Route 666, Movement VI. Departure
  • Musicians: Chris Jentsch (guitar), Mike Kaupa (flugelhorn)
  • Rating: Three Stars
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