Jazz of the Week: "East Coast Love Affair"

You don’t really see many jazz guitarists become as popular as Kurt Rosenwinkel has today.

Kurt Rosenwinkel’s “East Coast Love Affair.”

Jazz of the Week will be resuming with its weekly posts starting with this one.

"East Coast Love Affair” was the very first composition of Kurt Rosenwinkel that I ever heard. I think I Google’d something like “Incredible Jazz Guitarists” and one of the first results to return was a list of such guitarists with Mr. Rosenwinkel at the top.

Ever since, I can’t get enough of his music. Not only is his playing other-worldly, but how he creates guitar tone through his semi-hollow body is incredible. Driving home from a gig I had tonight in Easton, PA, I turned on a local jazz station and was immediately able to recognize that Rosenwinkel was playing guitar on the track I was hearing solely because of his guitar tone.

“East Coast Love Affair” is an example of technical proficiency within the jazz genre, utilizing borrowed chords, key modulation, changing time signatures, chord arpeggios, chromatic passing tones, and more.

Rosenwinkel can be classified as a sort of modern virtuoso of style. I think his compositions that center more around traditional jazz song structure and composition are accessible to the lay person, yet still enjoyable to the theorist.

And his live performances are stellar. I haven’t seen one in person, but from what I can gather from research, the dude just knows what he’s doing.

Since the release of this composition, which I believe was the song that germinated the notoriety he has today, Rosenwinkel’s ability has grown immensely. There are noticeable differences in his playing when you compare this track with one of his more recent contributions, “Zhivago.”

Give the song a listen and drop your thoughts below.