Friday, September 21, 2012

Marius Gundersen Una Dia de Noviembre Ponca Jazz 2006

Working as a critic goes deeper than new releases or the latest flavor of the month to crack Bill Board, Jazz Week or Radio & Records. A true jazz journalist should look for talent that has been flying under the radar if not right under your nose only to have the more main stream jazz publications occasionally look the other way.

Such is the case with the 2006 release from Norwegian guitarist Marius Gunderdsen. Una Dia de Noviembre is a classically inspired incredibly melodic offering with one of Europe's most gifted guitarists. A true virtuoso in every sense of the word as most (not all) classically trained guitarist seemingly struggle to make the transition to playing the more modern form of improvised music we know here in the United States as jazz. While some players struggle with the ability to free themselves of classical handcuffs placed on their creativity early on, Gundersen strikes a happy medium by walking a personal hybrid between the two on this particular offering. Modern classical guitar that embraces modern jazz sensibilities. A master technician with the artistic soul to break free of the limitations imposed by some in the recording industry, Gundersen has created his own unique voice.

Having had the pleasure to review his first official jazz recording which is inspired with the bright and breezy melodies of the more traditional Brazilian samba influences, I would encourage you to check out that review here: (go ahead, I'll wait).

Una Dia de Noviembre finds Gundersen walking that harmonic tightrope as he goes from the opening track "El Ultimo Tremolo" with an exquisite flamenco undercurrent smoldering just beneath the surface. A master technician do in part to his studies with renowned masters including David Russell, Roland Dyens and Marco Socias to name but a few. Gundersen's artistry shines through even brighter with the Harold Arlen classic "Over The Rainbow" turning a wistful ballad into an emotional sound scape of texture and open ended harmonic depth. "Cavatina" is an absolutely stunning ballad, cinematic in scope yet a breathtakingly simple melodic line where Gundersen shifts meter and dynamics seemingly at will.

Marius Gundersen can easily hold his own with the masters working in the modern classical genre but is chameleon like in his ability to shift his sonic color palette to fit the particular piece. An absolutely pristine recording of uncompromising artistry. Well worth the trip back to 2006!

Tracks; El Ultimo Tremolo; Over The Rainbow; Londonderry air; Romance de los Pinos; Siguenza; I'Hymne a l'Amour; Saudade no. 2; Sur Vesdre; Cavatina; Una Dia de Noviembre; Recuerdos de la Alhambra; Capricho Arabe; Endecha; Nortena; El Testamento de Amalia; El Noi de la Mare; Love Waltz la Catedral; Preludio; Andante Religioso; Allegro Solemne.

Marius Gundersen - guitar.