In the ’70s, every young guitarist on the planet was emulating Pat Metheny and his signature Lexicon reverb-soaked sound. In the ’80s, it was John Scofield. Today the role model of choice is Kurt Rosenwinkel. From the first few bars of the opening title track, the unmistakable influence of Rosenwinkel is readily apparent in the fluid, warm-toned delay lines of the Tokyo-born Abe, a recent graduate of the Berklee College of Music.
An accomplished player with a penchant for penning appealing melodies (as on “Go!” “An Answer,” “Machine” and the lovely waltz “I-Shi”), Abe’s in stellar company here with Greg Osby’s working rhythm section of bassist Matt Brewer and drummer Rodney Green, who also produced the session. Pianist Aaron Parks and tenor saxophonist Walter Smith (both from Terence Blanchard’s band) also make key contributions on this collection of Abe originals while vocalist Gretchen Parlato adds affecting vocals to the darkly delicate “Kura” and the melancholy ballad “Leaving.”Originally Published