Wayne Krantz, HOWIE 61

Wayne Krantz -][- HOWIE 61 – [Abstract Logix, 2012] –

Ever-evolving and improvisational New York guitarist Wayne Krantz has re-invented himself yet again with a stunningly creative recording, and a bold new direction, Howie 61, through Abstract Logix Records.

Better known for his preference of the trio format, the musical main-stay now enlists a multitude of world-class musicians in a variety of lineups, including Vinnie Colaiuta (Jeff Beck, Frank Zappa, Sting), Tal Wilkenfeld (Jeff Beck, Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock), Pino Palladino (Jeff Beck, The Who, Eric Clapton), and Anton Fig of The Letterman Show’s ”World s Most Dangerous Band”, among many others (Keith Carlock, James Genus, Nate Wood, Henry Hey, Owen Biddle, Charley Drayton, John Patitucci, John Beasley, Jeremy Stacey, Paul Stacey, Yasushi Miura, David Binney, Kenny Wollesen and Gabriela Anders).

Though Krantz has utilized vocals in his music before – most notably on his last album, Krantz Carlock Lefebvre – on Howie 61 Krantz pushes this aspect of his artistry a step further by incorporating vocal content in his music in a manner that is more complete and tightly integrated than anything he has done in the past. ”I’m very excited about this record,” says Krantz, ”It’s another step in a direction that I’ve been making since Long To Be Loose really; Long To Be Loose was an instrumental version of this record. I’ve been trying to figure out how to get words into my music for the longest time, and it took so much trial and error just to get to the point where I could use just a few words on a song, and have it feel integrated with the music. I’m super excited because I’m kind of cracking it – this record is not the completion of that journey at all, but it is a step in the direction that’s been in my head now for a really long time.”

From riff-driven rock and funk, to stirring ballads, Krantz hits many moods on Howie 61, all the while retaining the harmonic and rhythmic acuity he’s well known for. Highlights include rockers such as The Bad Guys and Can’t Stand To Rock – both high energy tracks propelled by Krantz’s searing guitar work. On the tongue-in-cheek U Strip It, David Binney, a frequent Krantz collaborator, delivers a burning sax solo over a playful, driving groove. Son Of A Scientist features legendary drummer Vinnie Colaiuta weaving in and around Krantz’s deep rhythm and lines. It’s one of two tracks that feature Colaiuta with bass phenom Tal Wilkenfeld.

On Check Yo Self Krantz hearkens back to his group-improv ethos with drummer Keith Carlock and bassist James Genus for a funky, stripped-down instrumental take on the Ice Cube-meets-Grandmaster Flash classic. At the opposite end of the spectrum, a second instrumental track entitled beLls features Krantz at his most evocative with a clean-tone, largely chordal piece, perfectly enhanced by well-placed effects and drummer Anton Fig’s embellishments. The somber I’m Afraid That I’m Dead begins as a haunting piano ballad, before morphing into a ”zombie dream” state courtesy of sonic alchemist Yasushi Miura. On How The West Was Left, Paul Stacey’s slide guitar work provides a great augmentation to one of Krantz’s most lyrical and dynamic offerings ever.

With Howie 61, Krantz demonstrates once again that he is more than just a guitar player, more than just an improviser; he is, in fact, a genre-defying visionary whose musicality is expressible in a myriad of ways. By combining that vision with an all-star cast and a stunning collection of engrossing, smart compositions, Howie 61 may be the most significant album of Krantz’s career. -[Editorial Review | Amazon.com]-

..:: SOURCE: Amazon.com ::..