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July/August 2000

Michel Wintsch and Road Movie
Michel Wintsch and Road Movie
Between The Lines

This emotionally and stylistically wide-ranging 12-part suite befits the title: pianist-composer Michel Wintsch's Road Movie project seems to define, and/or evoke, a vaguely cinematic place where atmosphere and musical intent happily meet. More to the point, Wintsch's score for a chamberesque tentet, recorded live in Frankfurt in 1998 for the new German Between the Lines label, finds itself at the free-floating juncture of jazz, classical, a distinctive ilk of post-prog rock and new music more commonly explored in Europe than in the States these days. Wintsch draws on a varied timbral palette, from strings and horns (though no reeds), to occasional vocal colors by flutist Franziska Baumann to suggest a diversity of influences without ever landing firmly in any particular camp. He has a strong pulse-sensing and pulse-generating ally in drummer Gerry Hemingway, who, along with drummer Lucas Niggli, helps define the alternating rhythmic freedom and stringency of the music. Generally, the musical landscape is a shifting one, open to interpretation and resistant to easy categorization. For that, more power to it.

Originally published in July/August 2000
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