It is not every day that anything from Wayne Krantz comes along. What is so special about the guitarist? Well ask Phil Robson, or put another better way ask a guitar innovator why they listen to other guitar innovators.
It is hard to think of anyone who can incorporate ''harder, louder'' rock into post-bop and still retain a subtlety and sophistication to crucially develop a vocabulary that would put pocket editions of the Merriam-Webster dictionary to shame in terms of contents.
What do we know about Write Out Your Head so far?
Not a lot to be frank. However, It is a studio album and will be released in a few weeks' time.
The most important thing to do first up rather than reading lots of old press clippings is to listen to the lead-off track. Chris Potter on tenor saxophone solos extensively on 'Kulturny' the lead-off track although listen carefully and there are intertwining solos underneath and that is part of the Krantz appeal.
Layers within layers swirl, listen closely what Keith Carlock on drums is doing while Krantz on guitar interjects. While there are different bassists on the album it is expat Englishman in New York the former cricketer Orlando Le Fleming on bass guitar here and as the track unfolds you'll also detect tiny percussion, scraps of electronics and a more African vibe late on as the harmonies lean temporarily towards crypo funk before returning to the main theme.
Complex music, nonetheless there is a shard of unsentimental melodicism that glues the narratives together built around a tiny motif that Potter does inventive things with to express. Released on the Abstract Logix label, one of the main quality jazz-rock/Indo-fusion labels around and who Krantz has recorded for before, back in 2014 again on the same label Krantz put out his last studio album Good Piranha Bad Piranha but Nate Wood is absent this time. Besides Le Fleming, Krantz has recruited quite a few bassists to dot about on the record and who are Will Lee, Tim Lefebvre (who also popped up on the eralier record) and the great Pino Palladino and retaining drummer Keith Carlock, and vocalist Gabriela Anders. Krantz (born 1954) hails from Corvallis, Oregon and burst on to the New York scene in the mid-1980s and made his first album as a leader in 1990. He has played with Carla Bley, Billy Cobham, Michael Brecker and Steely Dan among others but it is as a leader that he is at his most interesting. Other track titles are: 'Well-Spoken Astronaut,' 'Xandea,' 'High 70s,' 'Write out Your Head,' 'Ride,' 'Hello World' and 'Magic 44.'