Janek Gwizdala, The Space in Between [janekgwizdala.com]

The word virtuoso gets thrown around a lot, but Janek Gwizdala is one of those guys who really earns it.
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The word virtuoso gets thrown around a lot, but Janek Gwizdala is one of those guys who really earns it. His combination of inhuman chops and human soulfulness leaves him in the rare position to be able to do anything he wants on the instrument … which makes it all the more remarkable how much he holds back and simply grooves on this aptly named disc. Even his sparse, hyperfluid, melodic solo in the jazzy slo-jam opener “To Begin” is misdirection, as he settles in for six more tunes of hypnotic, earth-shaking, slow-to-midtempo grooves with hardly a solo to be found. His line in the R&B/world-beat funk shuffle “Twice” achieves downright Meshell-osity in its slow, smoky goodness, and the title track is just four chords, over and over and over again, a study in serving a simple harmonic structure. The discipline involved is stunning, like driving a Maserati to the store every day and never exceeding the speed limit, not even once. But listen closely and you can hear the horses under the hood, idling and available at an appropriate moment’s notice.

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