Guitarist and composer Chris Jentsch - "Ša composer who can convey his ideas on a grand scale, swings with the grace of Duke Ellington and rocks with the nuance of Frank Zappa," (Mark F. Turner, All About Jazz) - releases Fractured Pop, a double album length studio recording accompanied by extras including a DVD of a short live set. The recording, Jentsch's fourth, will be out January 13, 2017 on the Fleur de Son label.
Fractured Pop features Jentsch Group Quartet with longtime compatriots Jim Whitney (double bass) and John Mettam (drums), and multi-instrumentalist Matt Renzi. It's accompanied by a DVD of a short live set recorded at Context Studios in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, and chock full of extras like alternate takes, slide show music videos, a high-resolution FLAC file of the audio CD, PDF lead sheets of the tunes, and four of the composer's own remix/mash ups.
As Bill Milkowski writes in the album's liner notes, in Fractured Pop "Jentsch re-examines some of the same tunes that appeared on his large ensemble outings with a lean quartetŠ The title track, for instance, has a whole web of guitars, from acoustic strumming on the intro to clean electric lines played in unison with Renzi's sax on the intricate head to Jentsch's distortion-laced guitar solo. The moody and atmospheric 'Radio Silence' also makes use of crafty guitar overdubs throughoutŠ'Are You Bye?' Jentsch's clever contrafact of 'Bye Bye Blackbird,' is underscored by Mettam's supple brushwork and culminates in some fiery call-and-response between sax and guitar at the tagŠ. 'Route 666,' a hard-hitting groover with angular lines, is fueled by bassist Whitney and sparked by a twisted distorto solo from JentschŠ. Tenor sax and distorted guitar lines weave together near the end of 'Meeting at Surratt's', building to an ecstatic crescendo."
Chris Jentsch is a Brooklyn-based composer, bandleader, and guitarist working primarily in jazz and contemporary improvisational forms. Based in NYC since 1999, his main ensemble is Jentsch Group in its various configurations. As a composer, he has been the recipient of grants, commissions, or fellowships from American Composers Forum (3), New Music USA, Meet the Composer, New York State Council on the Arts (3), Ucross Foundation (2), and most recently, Chamber Music America/Doris Duke New Jazz Works, which commissioned his new work Topics in American History. The work will have its world premiere on Friday, December 2 at ShapeShifter Lab in Brooklyn, NY. The piece will also be performed on Sunday, January 8 at iBeam, 168 7th St., Brooklyn. Performing is Jentsch Group No Net, a nine-piece chamber jazz ensemble conducted by JC Sanford with Jentsch on guitar, Michel Gentile on flute, Mike McGinnis on clarinet, Jason Rigby on saxophone, David Smith on trumpet, Brian Drye on trombone, Jacob Sacks on piano, Jim Whitney on bass, and Eric Halvorson on percussion.
As a bandleader and sideman Jentsch has performed in clubs and concert halls throughout the East Coast, and has worked with such diverse musical personalities as George Russell, John Cage, Maria Schneider, and Chris Wood. He appears as a guitarist on the CD John Cage, Volume 11 (Mode Records 41). He is also featured in Scott Yanow's book The Great Jazz Guitarists (2013 Hal Leonard). Jentsch has released four CDs as a leader.
Jentsch attended Berklee College of Music and has liberal arts and jazz guitar degrees from Gettysburg College, New England Conservatory, and the Eastman School of Music. He earned the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Jazz Composition from the University of Miami in 1999 and is published by the University of Northern Colorado Press, Advance Music, and Fleur de Son Records.
2017 Chris Jentsch Events
January 8, 2017 - Jentsch Group No Net at iBeam, Brooklyn NY - follow up performance of Topics in American History.
January 13, 2017 - Fractured Pop CD/DVD release, Jentsch Group Quartet.
Ongoing This fall was the debut of Jentsch's new YouTube channel https://www.youtube.com/user/JentschChris. Six hours of content including an entire 2012 set from Jentsch Group No Net (HQ), selections from a 2015 trio date, two jazz orchestra records, modified aleatoric music for two mixed chamber quartets, and more.