Over producing can kill a good recording faster than mediocre material. In the days of overdubs, loops, and programming Jonathan Kreisberg goes back to basics with ONE.
Instead of music that has been sanitized for your protection Kreisberg shows not only that he is a master technician but displays an amazing feel and ability to transcend tunes from Wayne Shorter, Leonard Cohen and Rogers & Hammerstein and take ownership while never mangling a beautiful melody. One of the two finest solo guitar releases I have had the pleasure of reviewing this year. Essentially a live studio recording with no overdubs, loops or extraneous production crutches tossed in for effect. A pure instrumental recording that has Kreisberg as one with his instrument and the transformation of a slightly eclectic song list into an intimate presentation that comes from well past the heart and some place far deeper. Guitarists take note, the bar has been raised.
Far from a "newbie" finds an impressive resume with Kreisberg having worked with vibraphone wizard Joe Locke and the great Dr. Lonnie Smith. Moving from the larger format to the purest form of instrumental work can be a sonic trip wire for some as it lays out the artistic ability warts and all. Kreisberg crushes material that some of contemporaries might be best advised to avoid. A completely improvised riff on Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah" and the iconic Wayne Shorter tune "E.S.P" are but two highlights on this gem which also includes "Summertime" and "Skylark."
While Kreisberg is a master technician it is a soulful and soul filled connection with the diversity of material that takes what could have easily passed for a "good" recording to a special level of "greatness" that artists such as Kenny Burrell and Pat Martino have achieved. Make no mistake, this is not simply a "standards" record but a pure instrumental recording with Kreisberg falling back in love with the ability to be lost in the moment and this is why the release works so well. Pure artistic honesty and integrity wins out every time.
Finding that perfect record is tough. I think One just might qualify. I have absolutely no criticism to weight in with here. The music speaks for itself.
Tracks: Canto de Ossanha; Summertime; Without Shadow; Skylark; Caravan; Tenderly; My Favorite Things; Hallelujah; E.S.P; I Thought About You; Escape From Lower Formant Shift.
Jonathan Kreisberg - Solo Guitar.
Easily one of the best for 2013!