Magazine article Guitar Player

Jaiman Crunk: Goes All out on His Jazzy Debut

Magazine article Guitar Player

Jaiman Crunk: Goes All out on His Jazzy Debut

Article excerpt

ALTHOUGH SEATTLE-based Jaiman Crunk has been playing for decades, the middle-aged guitarist and composer released his first album only a few months ago--and he didn't cut any corners while realizing his dream. Not only does Encounters [Origin] showcase a host of legendary players such as saxophonist Ernie Warts, bassists Ron Carter and Buster Williams, trumpeters Wallace Roney and Randy Brecker, and drummer Will Calhoun, three pieces feature a chamber orchestra of musicians from the Seattle Symphony. "I came to the point where I said to myself, 'You've worked with a lot of great musicians, playing other people's music, but who are you and what are you all about?'" explains Crunk. "So, I decided that I would record an album to express what I had to say both from a guitar and from a compositional standpoint."

The eight harmonically sophisticated, sonically rich, and typically swinging compositions on Encounters have a decidedly old-school jazz feel, as do most of Crunk's guitar tones and his engaging but relatively linear and straight-ahead approach to soloing though the back-story is more nuanced. "I was born in Oakland and grew tip in the San Francisco Bay Area, playing a lot of blues and R&B and even gospel, so you hear that in everything that I do," he says. "And I also lived in Europe, where I was exposed to classical music performed by the Berlin Philharmonic, and some of the arrangements on the album reflect that--though every note of the music on Encounters, including the parts for instruments such as bassoon and violin, was conceived on the guitar, which is like a mini orchestra unto itself. …

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