SEBASTIAN NOELLE, KOAN

“Koan” (Fresh Sound New Talent) is the sophomore effort by German-born guitarist Sebastian Noelle, a musician firmly established on the New York jazz scene who’s also a member of Darcy James Argue’s Secret Society big band and a number of other distinguished NYC-based bands. A natural talent, Noelle drops eleven original tracks that are compelling and heartfelt with tunes firmly set within a modern, post-bop context, which gives Noelle a platform for enticing musical exploration. The guitarist brings together the remarkable saxophonist Loren Stillman, bassist Thomson Kneeland, drummer Tony Moreno and adds pianist George Colligan on four tunes. Colligan is the kind of heavy-hitter more players should add to their recordings. Witness his solos on “Wanderlust” and “Loophole” and you get a sense that he’s a VIP addition to any project.

Emboldened by his band and saxophonist Stillman in particular, Noelle excels at creating tight, synchronized conversations (the sweet natured “All I Need To Know”) and attractive melodies (“Lily’s Pirouettes”). There’s also something to be said for the energetic title tune, a noble track brimming with superb interplay and a groovy bass line along with Noelle’s slithery solo and Stillman’s evocative voicings. Noelle’s style combines the agile modernism of Kurt Rosenwinkel with the graceful flow of storytelling that Pat Metheny perfected, yet Noelle’s compositions soar on their own inner light and he acquits himself with poise and smart moves throughout “Koan.” (11 tracks; 60:21 minutes) www.sebastiannoelle.com

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JAZZ IN SPACE: SEBASTIAN NOELLE, KOAN

Thursday, August 2, 2012

SEBASTIAN NOELLE, KOAN

“Koan” (Fresh Sound New Talent) is the sophomore effort by German-born guitarist Sebastian Noelle, a musician firmly established on the New York jazz scene who’s also a member of Darcy James Argue’s Secret Society big band and a number of other distinguished NYC-based bands. A natural talent, Noelle drops eleven original tracks that are compelling and heartfelt with tunes firmly set within a modern, post-bop context, which gives Noelle a platform for enticing musical exploration. The guitarist brings together the remarkable saxophonist Loren Stillman, bassist Thomson Kneeland, drummer Tony Moreno and adds pianist George Colligan on four tunes. Colligan is the kind of heavy-hitter more players should add to their recordings. Witness his solos on “Wanderlust” and “Loophole” and you get a sense that he’s a VIP addition to any project.

Emboldened by his band and saxophonist Stillman in particular, Noelle excels at creating tight, synchronized conversations (the sweet natured “All I Need To Know”) and attractive melodies (“Lily’s Pirouettes”). There’s also something to be said for the energetic title tune, a noble track brimming with superb interplay and a groovy bass line along with Noelle’s slithery solo and Stillman’s evocative voicings. Noelle’s style combines the agile modernism of Kurt Rosenwinkel with the graceful flow of storytelling that Pat Metheny perfected, yet Noelle’s compositions soar on their own inner light and he acquits himself with poise and smart moves throughout “Koan.” (11 tracks; 60:21 minutes) www.sebastiannoelle.com

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