An interesting title, has guitarist Ryan Blotnick's first CD. In his liner notes he basically uses it to answer the age-old question, "If a young, very talented jazz quintet makes a CD and no one hears it, does it exist?", with a resounding "No"!
It is comforting, therefore, that he chooses this inaugural CD to challenge and delight us: a beautifully subdued but intense work that pays dividends with each listening. Music, especially jazz, needs more assiduous caretakers like Ryan Blotnick. As to the evidence:
Blotnick plays guitar with much skill and confidence; his real talent however, is his composing. He wrote all but one of the numbers on Music Needs You. His tunes are fascinating murals which require his entire quintet to paint. For the most part, it is difficult to imagine any of these works being played without each member of this band adding their own unique brushstrokes. Solos apperar as if by magic out of contrapuntal melodies, then disappear just as mysteriously.
Actually, the compositions are not as mysterious as all that. Blotnick's liner notes are absolutely replete with explanations of each tune. In some cases, these explanations may muddy the water just a bit for the virginal jazz listener, but it's nice to see an artist not talking down to his audience. However, if you find your eyes glazing over reading these notes, don't panic. Just put them down, sit back, and enjoy this terrific CD.
We are extremely fortunate currently in jazz appreciation. There are many young lions ready to take the reins and drive this music where it will go. Ryan Blotnick may well end up at or near the front of that pride of young lions. And don't forget. Music Needs You.