Album Reviews

Wolfgang Muthspiel

Rising Grace

Artist:     Wolfgang Muthspiel

Album:     Rising Grace

Label:     ECM

Release Date:     10/28/2016


JazzTimes said it all when they hailed Austrian guitarist Wolfgang Muthspiel’s 2014 trio debut, Driftwood, for its “haunting, rapt atmospheres. On this earthy, poetic follow-up– his second as session leader– he expands to quintet, adding the youthful yearning of trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire and the seasoned, improvised lyricism of pianist Brad Mehldau to the heady rhythm section of bassist Larry Grenadier and drummer Brian Blade.

Equally enchanting (“Wolfgang’s Waltz”) and enchanted (the title track, “Triad Song,”  and the generously harmonious tribute to late trumpeter Kenny Wheeler “Den Wheeler, Den Kenny”), the players create a quietly expansive environment, like you’re listening to them play in your home. The solos warmly interweave and entwine, making music full of color, eloquence, and yes, rising grace. Something this troubled world needs a great deal of.

– Mike Jurkovic

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