New Focus Recordings announces the release of Rotational Templates, the debut recording from New York City based guitarist and composer Travis Reuter. The music on Rotational Templates, though written for jazz quintet, is inspired by contemporary classical music and draws heavily on influences from the music of composers Elliott Carter, Brian Ferneyhough, and Jason Eckardt. Reuter’s compositions focus on abstract forms, complex rhythmic structures, timbre, and polytonality, while continuing to explore the improviser’s role in a traditional setting. Each composition experiments with combinations of form, counterpoint, and non repetitive devices for improvisation.
And yet this music definitely does not sound academic – quite the contrary, it pulses with an aggressive urban energy that has become somewhat of a sonic badge for this emerging generation of young experimental jazz musicians. Underlying this approach is an implicit skepticism of the aesthetics of the mainstream jazz establishment and a deep hunger to integrate elements from other forward Clooking genres. Reuter’s guitar style itself is indicative of this voracity: his sound, use of effects pedals, and angular melodic patterns associate him with such experimental jazz guitarists as John Abercrombie, Allan Holdsworth, and Ben Monder, all of whom similarly looked outside of the Wes Montgomery/Joe Pass tradition for guidance. Continue reading