JJ 07/91: Wayne Krantz – Signals

In the context of 1991 Mark Gilbert thought the slickly produced Signals bland. He's since changed his opinion. First published in Jazz Journal July 1991


According to Matt Resnicoff’s valiant sleevenote, Wayne Krantz thinks ‘the burn’ has become vastly overrated in modern music.

The result is this pallid set, which comes as an anti-climax after Krantz’s storming tour-de-force on Leni Stern’s Secrets album a year or two back. Notwithstand­ing Resnicoff’s encouragements and rationalisations, there’s noth­ing here half as exciting as that.

The record is dominated by Krantz’s liquid-toned Stratocaster, which comes to us via a little echo and flanging and is used in the main to express bland diatonic ideas with little blues feeling or chromatic spice. Four of the pieces are solos, three are quar­tets and the rest duos, and the pace rarely goes above medium slow or ballad.

When it does, on the rocking quartet Don’t Tell Me, the arrangement is cluttered and the dynamic all on one level, even though the rhythm crew is Beard, Chambers and Jackson.

Alliance; Faith In The Process; One Of Two; Don’t Tell Me; As Is; Signals; Sossity, You’re A Woman; Music Room; Two Of Two; For Susan (41.25)
Collective personnel: Krantz (g/elg); Don Alias (pc); Jim Beard (kyb); Hiram Bullock (elb/dprog); Dennis Chambers (d); Anthony Jackson (elb); Leni Stern (g/elg). NYC, May and June, 1990.
(Enja 6048 2)