Fighting Sameness and Disengagement – Wayne Krantz Trio - Festival Jazzkaar

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29/11/2016 Fighting Sameness and Disengagement – Wayne Krantz Trio

Reviews Joern Peeck

A great and friendly American vibe floating in the Russian cultural centre. Wayne Krantz welcomed the audience in Estonian, reading out from a prepared paper. You could witness from each of the trio’s members apparent gratefulness and sheer excitement to perform for their first time in Estonia.


The power trio brought a strong rock band-spirit on the stage: Krantz’s distinctive and eccentric guitar sounds soared through the concert hall – fuzzy, wah’ing, sometimes heavily modulated, but always deep and heartfelt. Occasionally he froze chords and looped ideas, leaving his band with lots of creative freedom. Danziger on drums embraced every move Krantz made with positively relentless drumming, feeding the audience with a constant stream of energy throughout the evening. Wood on electric bass seemed to enjoy the evening the most, adding gnarly grooves that were tastefully interwoven with the music. Even his struggle with technical issues with the bass amplifier, sporadically preventing him from playing during the first half of the concert, would not stop him from keeping the spirit up and engaging the audience with happily entertaining rock band moves.


Sticking mostly to 4/4 time and familiar song structures, the musicians augmented the interior architecture of pop songs with ridiculous ease. They worked with rhythmic virtuosity, abrupt tempo changes, little cells and barely recognizable fragments from sometimes more, sometimes lesser known hits. At some point the listener could identify Talking Heads’ ‘Once In A Lifetime’ and Hendrix’s ‘Manic Depression’, but generally Krantz tried to remain obscure about the selection of songs picked. The concert was more about the idiosyncratic creation process than paying tributes to pop heroes.


Altogether, it was a very refreshing and enjoyable experience to listen to a band that acted as a spectacular collective. They refrained from using too obvious and worn out solo situations. As Krantz explained in the workshop before the concert, it is his ambition to create a sound which can be recognized as a distinctive art form on its own: Take the spontaneous power of improvisation without sacrificing the addictive flow and energy of the groove and make smart use of the different layers each improviser can bring into the music. Krantz and the band had the great gift of achieving that this evening. They actively fought sameness and repetition and created a constantly self-renewing musical organism, which left the audience amazed.


Wayne Krantz Trio played on 28th of November at 7 pm in Russian Cultural Centre.


Wayne Krantz – guitar
Zach Danziger –drums
Nate Wood – bass


Check out the photos here.