BRATTLEBORO >> On Saturday at 8 p.m., the Vermont Jazz Center will kick off its 2016-17 season with a guitar enthusiast's dream: Kurt Rosenwinkel and his "post-jazz sonic trio of breathtaking virtuosity." His new group, Bandit 65, is fresh off of two European tours and performances in Los Angeles, Montreal, Philly and Boston. Bandit 65 explores the potential of combining drums with two guitarists replete with looping pedals and electronic enhancement to create a brand-new sonic landscape. Guitarist Pat Metheny has stated "I admire the musician who makes the commitment to ask the harder musical questions that transcend the everyday issues of style and idiom, such is Kurt Rosenwinkel – a thinking guitarist who is working hard to come up with answers that meet his own personal criteria of what music is and what music can be." Never one to sit on his laurels, Bandit 65 represents Rosenwinkel's next phase of development, a distinct move from the Standards Trio he has been touring with the past few years.
Bandit 65 is Kurt Rosenwinkel on guitar and electronics, Tim Motzer on guitar, prepared guitar, loops and electronics and Gintas Janusonis on drums, percussion and "circuit bent toys." The music they play is outer-worldly, filled with varied sounds, textures and grooves; it is exceptionally dynamic, exploring the range that exists from the "spaces in between the notes" to "sheets of sound." The music we will be hearing on September 17th is not bebop, swing or the sophisticated, composed melodies that many of us are accustomed to hearing from Rosenwinkel. It is a new, progressive exploration of the counterpoint of never before heard sounds. Like Miles Davis, Rosenwinkel is too impatient to stand in one place for too long - his brilliant, curious mind will not be constrained to recreating his past successes. Like Metheny states, this new group is Rosenwinkel's response to "transcending the everyday issues of style and idiom."
Kurt Rosenwinkel's penchant for complex but deep melodies drives him to create some of the most fresh and invigorating music that can be found in the entire North American jazz scene today. As Ben Ratliff of the New York Times states "[Rosenwinkel] lives in the Keith Jarrett world of extreme sensitivity to dynamics and note choices, and he's a post-Pat Metheny guitarist, with all the deep harmony that implies." Rosenwinkel is one of the striking young crowd who has access to the entire landscape of dialects that have evolved throughout jazz's history including bebop, modal explorations, metric modulations and intervallic development. Yet with his huge vocabulary, he still chooses to play lyrically and melodically. His solos evolve with a sense of unexpected inevitability - drawing out phrases that pull the curious ear eagerly along a winding path.
Although the music that Rosenwinkel plays with Bandit 65 borders on rock (it carries a sophisticated, jam-band aesthetic), the origin of his style comes from a place of melody. He states "The music that I love always had that [melodic] quality to it. From Billie Holiday to Sonny Rollins and John Coltrane, Ornette Coleman and Don Cherry, Miles Davis and Bill Evans...there's always a deep sense of song to it. That's a quality that I feel can be very lacking in today's jazz that's being made."
Bandit 65 matches Rosenwinkel with guitarist Tim Motzer. After 17 years of world touring, stunning collaborations, and over 70 albums of credits this innovative Philadelphia-based guitarist continues to traverse manifold territories in music and has developed a distinct textural guitar voice utilizing looping, bowing, electronics, and prepared techniques. The drummer for the project is Gintas Janusonis, a NYC based, Grammy nominated, internationally acclaimed drummer, composer, and producer who has worked with a diverse range of world class artists, groups, and producers during a 20-plus year career. Come find out why John Scofield (another guitar wiz) states "Kurt Rosenwinkel is one of the finest and most creative guitarists playing today." Hear him with his new, forward thinking band Bandit 65. No matter what style of music you love, this concert will treat you to a new sonic pallet you never thought possible.
Tickets for the Kurt Rosenwinkel's Bandit 65 at the Vermont Jazz Center are $20+ general admission, $15 for students with I.D. (contact VJC about educational discounts); available at In the Moment in Brattleboro, or online at vtjazz.org, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Tickets can also be reserved by calling the Vermont Jazz Center ticket line, 802-254-9088, ext. 1. Handicapped access is available by calling the VJC at 802 254 9088.