Metheny, Wes Montgomery, Mike Stern are just a few of the jazz guitarists
who come to mind. One might hear influences from one or all on Jonathan
Kreisberg’s Shadowless (New for Now Music, 2011), his wake-up call
to the jazz world.
The idea is to honor tradition but reach beyond the boundaries of an
all-acoustic set-up. To help him accomplish this goal, Kreisberg is
supported by Will Vinson on saxophone, Henry Hey on keyboards, Matt Penman
on bass and Mark Ferber on drums.
“Twenty One” sets the bar high. This nearly eight-minute composition
shifts gears several times, giving the band plenty of freedom to follow
form while exploring outside the box. Kreisberg plays cleanly (no squeaks)
and gives a taste of several modes of jazz guitar.
Kreisberg is accompanied only by bass and piano for the title song. With a
4/4 rhythm countered by triplets in the lead, it has a classical feel.
“Shadowless” may have an unintended double meaning. With Ferber sitting it
out, the absence of drums and cymbals could be interpreted as the absent
Shadowless marks Kreisberg’s return to New for Now, a personal label he
created in 2002. Recent releases were on Criss Cross Jazz and Mel Bay, but
Kreisberg felt the compositions – he wrote six of eight songs – were so
powerful that he wanted to maintain complete control by using his own
Free to do it his way, Kreisberg delivers an eclectic set that’s sure to
get many repeat plays.