Wayne Krantz, Ronnie Scott’s, 20th and 21st of August 2012, Preview by Rod Fogg
Those in the know will have got their tickets already, so if you have yet to discover this one of a kind guitar player here’s why you should be thinking about joining them.
Long to Be Loose, from way back in 1992, was his first trio album; just guitar, bass and drums. It is relentlessly funky, complex and eccentric – from the weirdest track names ever to scratchy, squeaky, chunky or full on rock toned guitar, with drumming that gets everywhere without ever losing the groove and spectacular loping bass lines that convince you anything is possible.
Over the years Krantz has concentrated on live trio albums (no overdubs allowed), aiming to discard influences from other guitarists and seeking an open and risky form of improvisation without ever losing the groove that ties everything together. 2009’s studio album Krantz Carlock Lefebvre added a wealth of possibilities, with overdubs allowing more complex chord sequences and an even greater variety of guitar tones – and vocal tracks. Yes, vocals. See, I said he was eccentric. They are more spoken than sung, as if reciting poetry, or a kind of low-key rapping. This year’s Howie 61 adds even more lyrics, more tightly integrated and often shrewdly observed or with a wry sense of humour. It’s new, it’s different; not exactly song and not rap, but jazz, with words.
This latest album involves a supporting cast of top players too numerous to mention here, but for the gigs at Ronnie’s Krantz will be joined by Lefebvre and drummer Nate Wood, so it’s back to the trio format. The standout thing for me in the latest albums is how he has honed his attention to tone – the range of colours on display within each track leaves me in a state of wonder and I can’t wait to hear him do it live.