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Wolfgang Muthspiel Trio Bright Side Review

Album. Released 2006.  

BBC Review

Latest from Austrian guitar virtuoso.

Peter Marsh 2006

Austrian guitarist Muthspiel is what you might call a 'talent deserving of wider recognition'; though he's been around a while, he's still a fringe figure compared to the likes of Scofield, Metheny, Abercrombie etc.

This album showcases his current trio with the rhythm section of Mathias and Andreas Pichler (bass and drums respectively); they're a formidable, responsive unit. Muthspiel'seclectic post-bopmusings embrace classically derived arpeggiations, sophisticated chordal solos and slightly rockist grooves, while the Pichlers offer precise, tasteful support. The bassist's high register work is particularly tasty (especially on the appropriately languid "Sleep").

More than once I was reminded of early Pat Metheny (particularly Bright Size Life), though Muthspiel's phrasing is gutsier and more pushy. I'd like to have heard more of his (extremely subtle) effects work; maybe next time. Recommended for any fans of modern jazz guitar.

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