by Glenn Astarita
A testimonial from guitar legend Kenny Burrell in the album notes emphasizes that young guitarist Brent Canter’s ability to infuse strong melodies, the element of surprise, and outstanding technical faculties into his musicality becomes clearly evident on his debut album. In effect, Canter offers a many-sided view, featuring sympathetic support from venerable saxophonist Seamus Blake with organists Adam Klipple and Pat Bianchi alternating duties throughout the program.
Fans of current guitar hero Kurt Rosenwinkel may take notice, and there are some parallels, largely due to Canter’s refined use of distortion and penchant for erecting climactically oriented solos. With a touch of flash and a strong predilection for the dynamic, the artist’s lyrically rich phrasings and fluent storylines culminate on the opening piece, “Dialogue.” Here, Canter’s medium-toned licks and opening ostinato motif ride above variable rhythmic structures and Blake’s singing sax notes. With dips, spikes and an understated, yet memorable primary theme, the musicians work within a controlled-firepower venue, offset by gusty unison choruses and linear progressions.
“Urgency of Now” is a pedigree offering, with nods to the core jazz organ combo format, although this album primarily resides within a progressive jazz outlook, and not routinely embedded in the traditional shuffle-groove stylizations. Indeed, a standout presentation from a talented performer who imparts a clear-sighted trajectory into the future via a spirited alliance of like-minded musicians. – Glenn Astarita
Brent Canter: guitar; Seamus Blake: tenor saxophone; Adam Klipple: organ (1, 4-7); Pat Bianchi: organ (2, 3, 8); Jordan Perlson: drums.