Legendary guitarist and composer Kurt Rosenwinkel returns with Berlin Baritone, a series of eight completely improvised pieces on the baritone guitar, an instrument Rosenwinkel has never recorded an album with before. It also includes an improvisation on “Under it All”, a song that has appeared in different iterations over the course of Rosenwinkel’s career.
Composer, multi-instrumentalist, bandleader, and Heartcore Records founder Kurt Rosenwinkel is widely acclaimed as one of the most influential guitarists and composers of the last 30 years His latest release, Berlin Baritone, finds him exploring the new sonic possibilities of the baritone guitar through solo improvisations.
“When I was at NAMM in 2019 I was at the Collings booth and played their Baritone prototype,” Rosenwinkel says. “I fell into the sound and lost myself. When I looked up minutes later a crowd was around me.There was something magic about this guitar and I felt blissful playing it. I kept thinking about it and how I wanted to make an album of that feeling.”
Berlin Baritone is a uniquely intimate release, even in Rosenwinkel’s prolific discography, as listeners get to hear Rosenwinkel discover the timbral world of his new instrument with reverence and curiosity. In this stripped-down and intimate recording, you can hear just how deep and intuitive Rosenwinkel’s playing is. His taut harmonic inventiveness is still intact, as is the tenderness of his touch, and his improvisational instincts are so sharp they feel almost indistinguishable from composed pieces. It’s as close as many of us will get to hearing Rosenwinkel play for you in his home, unguarded and reveling in the joy of playing his guitar.
The album opens with “Peace Please”, a short and plaintive improvisation that showcases Rosenwinkel at his most delicate and minimalist. There’s “Mellow D”, a breathtaking meditation on counterpoint that owes as much to Bach as George Van Eps. But of course, as much as Rosenwinkel has studied the music of others, he is of course, at this point in his career, most like himself, and his own sensibilities shine bright in the dense otherworldly harmonies of “Zarathustra” and the pianistic chord clusters of “Life of a Flower”.
“When the instrument provides such a deep world of sound and beauty I find it is easy to lose myself in the music. I find the deeper range of the baritone to be more satisfying on its own than a normal guitar. It is a bit harder to play compared to a regular guitar. But that just leads to different musical things… I think the one who really inspires me on this instrument is definitely George Van Eps. He played a seven-string guitar with that deep bass sound.”
For more information, requests or to arrange an interview, contact:
Heartcore Records PR – Michaela Bóková