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Star of Jupiter
“What my music is about in general — and this album is no different — has to do with the relationship that we each have with the universe at large and how we use our intuition to listen to what it is telling us.”
It came to him in a dream. What guitarist and composer Kurt Rosenwinkel describes as an “understanding” of profound proportion, manifested as Star of Jupiter; the title of his tenth album as a leader, to be released November 6th on Wommusic. Not a literal entity but rather a philosophy, as it was revealed to him, “The ‘Star of Jupiter’ was given to me as a key to transcend the cycles of form, illusion and fear which exist on this earthly plane of existence. The dream was powerful and continued into real life. It became a tangible force in the making of this album.” A celestial collection of entirely original compositions, all but one previously unrecorded, Star of Jupiter transports listeners on a journey toward discovery, truth and ultimately peace.
On his first quartet album since the ground-breaking 2001 release The Next Step, he offers a variation of that ensemble make-up on Star of Jupiter, assembling a stellar band which includes pianist Aaron Parks, bassist Eric Revis, and the dynamic young drummer and fellow Philadelphia native, Justin Faulkner. Star of Jupiter is a departure from what has previously helped define Rosenwinkel’s prowess, yet is strikingly inclusive of the broad spectrum of his musical magnitude. Rosenwinkel’s brilliant use of space is paired with deeply affective melodies and sensual grooves that evolve slowly and steadily; a quality in the music Rosenwinkel fully identifies with and whole-heartedly embraces. “Being able to vamp on a simple progression for a long time…” he says, “I’ve never had a band that really wanted to do that and I really love the fact that that’s something we do… immerse into and experience that warmth of the groove. It’s something that we discovered as a band and definitely wanted to include on the record. That soulful groove feeling… it’s a quality the band naturally finds and brings out in the music, which makes me very happy because I feel it’s a true expression of who I am as an artist and a person; to be meditating on sensuality and transcendence even while things can be complex and intellectually demanding under the hood, ‘Under it All.’”
Rosenwinkel’s band came together as organically as their sound has.
He and Parks have been collaborating since 2006, playing each other’s compositions, and Parks joined on highly-anticipated live dates at the historical Village Vanguard in New York City. Revis, a longtime friend and one of the “spiritual foundations” of the group, who appeared on Rosenwinkel’s alluring 2009 trio album Reflections, recommended Faulkner to round out the band after working with him extensively in Branford Marsalis’ quartet. “It’s an exciting thing when all the chemistry works together,” reveals Rosenwinkel, “and you hit upon a magical combination where the sum is more than its parts.”