More Cycles Suite reviews and quotes...
“…an early 70s period Carla Bley style work about the circle of life. With a top shelf crew of downtown pals in tow, Chris Jentsch is up for the task in this hyperscopic work that covers all the bases you can with 75 minutes of music. Solid listening…”
“(Jentsch’s) guitar work and writing are both impressive, and the tones that conductor Darcy James Argue creates have moments of grandeur and celebration. Fans of avant-garde will enjoy this…”
- George W. Harris (JazzWeekly.com)
"Jentsch Group Large feat. Mike Kaupa - CYCLES SUITE: Our first listening experience with Chris's music was in issue 79, and we were fully engaged by what he had to offer there... this CD takes what we heard there and expands it to the 'nth degree, no doubt. It is hard to attach any 'label' to the music, because they span across (essentially) all genres... definitely some heavy jazz sections, snatches of contemporary R&R, even a bit of classical... to get a taste, go here. Guest trumpeter Mike Kaupa adds an entirely new dimension to Jentsch's music, especially on tunes like "Movement IV: Old Folks Song", which opens with a very improvisational sketch, then melds into an absolutely solid expression of what life feels like in 'the Last Lane'... it's full of emotional impressions that reach right down to the deepest parts of the listeners' soul. My favorite on the album, though, was "Movement V: Route 666"... clocking in at 18:31, it features some very penetrating guitar solo sections, yet ensures that all the players are out in front at one point or another... excellent horns, superb recording & a very modern feel... you haven't heard 'modern big band' until you listen to this track - just splendid! Jentsch is a composer/player you need to keep your ears on, as I anticipate he will be a BIG factor on jazz charts for some years to come. I give this outing a MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED."
- Rotcod Zzaj (Dick Metcalf)
"Cycles Suite pretty much kicks ass. Geeky Chris Jentsch is actually a pretty mean musician, as he roams between grooving, large band textures and full-on space bits, then launches into some rock guitar riffs. I would say the overall tone is pastoral, with the more out textures evoking birds and open fields (Jentsch writes how the free sections are actually intended to signify pre-birth/after-death, dream states and hallucinations. I still like the field animals and birds interpretation though) while the band textures are mostly impressionistic, with one tune even taking a bit from Tristan and Isolde as a starting point. Of course, as with all large jazz ensembles, the band matters very much, Mike McGinnis' excellent clarinet solo in movement II is remarkable, and also the justly featured Mike Kaupa's mellophone and trumpet. Jentsch's guitar playing feels like a direct descendant of Abercrombie, and he tends to de-emphasize his own instrument throughout the piece. But then again, it's his writing that is the real star here. The composer has a broad reach and an excellent touch. Maybe in the end that doesn't matter after all."
- Tom Chandler - JazzReview.com