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Kurt Rosenwinkel Trio 

When: Thu., April 17, 8 & 10 p.m., Fri., April 18, 8 & 10 p.m., Sat., April 19, 8 & 10 p.m. and Sun., April 20, 4, 8 & 10 p.m. 2014
Price: $30, $45 for VIP
Perhaps the most influential jazz guitarist of his generation, Kurt Rosenwinkel has set new standards for melodic generosity and harmonic opulence—and on his most recent album, 2012’s two-disc set Star of Jupiter (Wommusic), he takes both qualities to new heights. Throughout its 12 songs, all originals, he revels in a sumptuous sound world that’s as sturdy as it is ornate; his playing is propelled firmly by bassist Eric Revis and drummer Jason Faulkner (a muscular rhythm section known for the combination of elasticity and imperturbable groove it brings to the Branford Marsalis Quartet) and given almost preternaturally intuitive shading by keyboardist Aaron Parks. As usual, Rosenwinkel doubles his expansive improvisations with wordless vocals, and on several songs he uses electronic effects that make it sound like he’s exploding his guitar lines into sprays of colors with a sonic prism. Certain pieces draw on the supersaturated arrangements and airless virtuosity of 70s fusion—including the slightly mawkish ballad “Welcome Home” and the hurtling, precise opening track, “Gamma Band”—but the band gives the music a humanity that transcends its fantastic technique, with refined interplay that sometimes allows rays of light to shine through the dense palette. Occasionally I find Rosenwinkel’s playing a bit fussy and his tone a bit slick, but he’s undeniably one of the few guitarists in contemporary jazz to develop an instantly recognizable sound, a la Bill Frisell or John Scofield. —Peter Margasak

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