JS Bach, Kurt Weill and Joni Mitchell material are in the mix for Wolfgang Muthspiel's autumn release Dance of the Elders

Among the top new albums just announced for the autumn Dance of the Elders from Wolfgang Muthspiel certainly stands tall on paper at this vantage point - the Austrian guitar master in trio formation with distinguished bassist Scott Colley and …

Published: 3 Aug 2023. Updated: 9 months.

Among the top new albums just announced for the autumn Dance of the Elders from Wolfgang Muthspiel certainly stands tall on paper at this vantage point - the Austrian guitar master in trio formation with distinguished bassist Scott Colley and Colley's fellow American drummer Brian Blade whose own 2023 album Kings Highway with his band the Fellowship tops our new album selections for the year to date.

Out on 29 September this ECM release follows on from 2020's excellent Angular Blues. The new album was recorded after touring in Europe, the US and Japan last year at La Buissonne in France and includes studio improvisation, a take on Bach chorale 'O Sacred Head, Now Wounded' (which inspired Paul Simon's 'American Tune'), Muthspiel original 'Cantus Bradus,' Kurt Weill’s 'Liebeslied' a classic that Muthspiel and fellow guitarist the late Mick Goodrick covered on 2010's Live at the Jazz Standard, Joni Mitchell Hejira evergreen 'Amelia' and 'Folk Song' - a Muthspiel piece inspired by Keith Jarrett. Muthspiel says of the last of these: “I had a vague idea of Keith’s music when coming up with this one, especially his vamp improvisations from the Belonging-era. You can always tell how harmonically inventive someone is when they play around one chord for a long stretch. Everything Keith implies with his upper lines, his middle voices, shows you all the chords he could play but then only teases at. I love that about Keith.”

  • Read a 2014 interview with Wolfgang Muthspiel here

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Track of the day - 'Blackberry Winter' from Richard Baratta's Off the Charts

A must, certainly for the passionate touch of Jerry Bergonzi and David Kikoski on the New York drummer Richard Baratta's version of the Alec Wilder-Loonis McGlohan classic. What a great choice of repertoire given we haven't had many versions of the …

Published: 2 Aug 2023. Updated: 9 months.

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A must, certainly for the passionate touch of Jerry Bergonzi and David Kikoski on the New York drummer Richard Baratta's version of the Alec Wilder-Loonis McGlohan classic. What a great choice of repertoire given we haven't had many versions of the song in the last decade. Its sound - Baratta laying down a knowing pace - sends us to the Keith Jarrett American Quartet album Bop-Be (1978) and thoughts of Dewey Redman and Jarrett himself on this tender ballad mirrored so effectively by Bergonzi and Kikoski.

Drawn from the Savant release Off the Charts out at the end of this month an album stocked with pieces by Wayne Shorter, Bobby Hutcherson, Charles Lloyd and Chick Corea, personnel line-up also includes Classic Wayne Quartet bassist John Patitucci plus percussionist Paul Rossman in Baratta's collection of players.