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Review of the Media Event CD
CADENCE Magazine
by Larry Nai

(Chris Jentsch is a) very promising guitarist in the early stage of his recorded career. All kinds of cool noises come out of Christopher Jentsch's guitar on Media Event. Opening with the kind of amped-up yawp that Henry Vestine used to announce Canned Heat's "Refried Hockey Boogie," Jentsch adopts a Jack Johnson era John Mclaughlin attack for his title track, a dreamy Brandon Ross-in-space feel for "Summer grasses…," and Frisell-ish volume swells for "Baby, Take Your Cleats Off." Jentsch has played with Harvie Swartz, Maria Schneider, and John Cage, among others, and if you think that spells eclectic, you're right.

 
  "Jazz is a pretty big word for having so few letters," Jentsch said recently, and there's a broad range of music to be found on Media Event. "Giant Steps" is recast in a thoughtful, brush-driven mid-tempo groove, while Strayhorn's "A Flower is a Lovesome Thing" and "I Hear a Rhapsody" are respectful, clean-toned versions that nonetheless bear Jentsch's personal stamp. (He has an interesting way of letting the guitar take him where it will, rather than trying to control each note, possibly a by-product of his work with Cage.) "Martin Carthy" adds Chandler Webber's deeply-felt alto sax for a grand homage to the British singer/guitarist, and "Exploring the Planet" has bassist Feiszli bowing the melody, then soloing pizzicato before Jentsch fires up his electric for a snaky, delay-decorated solo. "There's a way to make disparate songs sound similar," Jentsch told me recently, and he's succeeded in crafting a disc that is all over the place, yet comes from one central nervous system.  
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