Recommended: Jan Sturiale – “Two Roads”


jan-sturiale-two-roadsIt’s the way that guitarist Jan Sturiale skips along at his own casual pace while simultaneously jacking into the rhythms of his quintet that embodies the winning trait of Sturiale’s latest release, Two Roads.  That quintet, led out by trumpeter Audun Waage and pianist Marko Churnchetz and bolstered by the rhythm section of bassist Joe Sanders and drummer Ziv Ravitz, often chugs along at a different speed and draws melodic lines that don’t neatly parallel what Sturiale is envisioning at any one particular moment.  But Sturiale gives the impression of being constantly aware of potential points of synchronicity, so that no matter how much he might alter his cadence or send out crosscurrents of melody, there’s a perpetual sense of connectivity… even if the seams often threaten to come undone.  In fact, it’s the resultant tension from that effect that makes relatively restrained music come off as terribly thrilling at times.

But for all that phasing in and out of cohesion, this is, for all intents and purposes, a straight-ahead modern set.  The overall structure of group action interspersed by solos can be counted on from track to track.  A song like “Shades” does a mean folk-jazz-rock blend, with some spot-on infusions of tunefulness, complexity and salt-of-the-earth pragmatism, and “Cori” gets sufficiently hyperactive to where there’s some question whether the song was ever intended to hold form in the first place, but in the context of all the wonderful little things the quintet does to differentiate this music from the crowd, it still manages to keep to the center lane.  The album is stronger for it.

Your album personnel:  Jan Sturiale (guitar), Marko Churnchetz (piano, Fender Rhodes), Audun Waage (trumpet), Joe Sanders (bass) and Ziv Ravitz (drums)

The album is Self-Produced.

Listen to more of the album at the artist’s Bandcamp page.

Available at:  Bandcamp | Amazon | CDBaby