Bad Alchemy Magazine 
Rigobert Dittmann 

JENTSCH GROUP NO NET Topics in American History (Blue Schist CD004) 

With a B.A. in American History and as a Doctor of Musical Arts Chris Jentsch is well qualified for what he describes as a composer, electric guitarist & bandleader. When he came to NYC in 1999, having grown up in a suburb of Philadelphia, he had a jazz trio recording with Media Event (1998) and Miami Suite (1999) for large jazz ensemble. At home in the Windsor Terrace neighborhood of Brooklyn, he made a name for himself with his Brooklyn Suite (2007) and Cycles Suite (2009) for jazz orchestra, but most recently realized Fractured Pop (2017) with a jazz quartet. Of these, the bassist Jim Whitney is also on hand to travel to the year “1491” in the No Net which employs flute, clarinet, saxophone, trumpet, trombone, piano, drums and Jentsch's electric guitar, the last flute-peaceful and brass-cuddly Caribbean season before the invasion of the Americas. Their “Manifest Destiny” found a temporary limit only when they had reached the Pacific Ocean. Lively as a dance of trumpet and trombone, the “Lincoln-Douglas Debates” on slavery in 1858 helped earn the defeated Republican Lincoln the reputation of Honest Abe. “Tempest-Tost" employs bass clarinet melancholy and agitated guitar to the 20th Century (1903), when the invitation was attached to the Statue of Liberty: “Give me your tired, your poor, / Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, / The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.” With the questionable 'burbs idyll of “Suburban Diaspora” and the sophisticated swing of “Domino”, Jentsch questions the mentality of the Baby Boomer, whose youth was influenced by the Cold War and McCarthy's plague to the Red Danger, and last brings to light the execution of the Rosenbergs (1953) and then Mary Surratt (1865) as co-conspirator for the assassination of Lincoln with the distinguished funeral march “Meeting at Surratt’s”...the common denominator being hysteria. Jentsch's flute-brass-guitar jazz makes you feel good in the company of Mark Harvey and the Aardvark Jazz Orchestra, Darrell Katz or Carla Bley's Looking for America, but I find it increasingly difficult to see jazz and America on a common denominator (as well as Brazil and Bossa Nova). [BA 101 rbd]