Kurt Rosenwinkel

Kurt Rosenwinkel Plays Piano

One need not be an established fan of Kurt Rosenwinkel to appreciate the technical and melodic instinct with which he writes. That said, while catalog familiarity isn’t a prerequisite, much of what shapes Rosenwinkel’s story as an artist is what can shape the way this album is received. The album showcases the piano as a melodic storyteller and Rosenwinkel as a composer. On both fronts, the album delivers a rich, surprising and qualitatively diverse listening experience.

Despite its conceptually general title, “Music” establishes a clear musical throughline with a syncopated motif that recurs throughout the piece. Yet, between these familiar moments, the piece floats along in a carefree manner. Rhythms change fluidly and subsequently, the the melody’s flow seems to shift like someone continually changing their gait as they walk. This isn’t a sign of compositional dysfunction. Rather, it should be seen as a window into the musically diverse relationships — flush with classical and jazz — both of Rosenwinkel’s parents had with the piano.

“Whispers Of Love” offers glimpses of delicate and warm melodies, tucked between reverb-laden, rapid melodic rumblings. The latter seems to oppose delicate whispering but perhaps it’s the inverse: The piece’s busiest sections reflect quick bursts of love. Rosenwinkel’s most direct homage to his father, “For Dad,” displays Rosenwinkel’s appreciation not only for who his father was as an individual and a parent, but also for how Rosenwinkel views music: as a medium that provides healing and that can help humanity convey empathy without uttering a word.

On Sale Now
September 2023
Kris Davis
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