Leaves Will Speak, Brian Katz, Solo Guitar,
Original works & improvisations
This diverse collection of original compositions and improvisations is informed mainly by modern jazz, classical/new music, folk, and a number of world music streams I’ve very much embraced over the years, particularly those stemming from the Eastern-European, Middle-Eastern, Latin American and East Indian zones. I like to think of my composing and improvising as places where I often bring aspects of my various musical loves together into a coherent whole. Leaves Will Speak includes some refreshed versions of past works and those especially written for the project. There are also six completely improvised works, or perhaps better referred to as “comprivisations,” since my tendencies as an improviser are very compositional. Indeed, the inextricable relationship between composition and improvisation continues to be a central thread in my work, and is perhaps most pronounced on this recording. What also continues is lyrical, evocative, writing, lush guitar sounds… and, of course, musical surprise!
Upcoming projects include finishing up some songs (songwriting is an old love) and imagining a recording of them, as well as one of jazz standards (funny enough, though I’ve been a player of jazz standards for many years, I’ve never released a recording of them); let’s see what comes first, and knowing my life, something else will likely come first. (In fact, there’s one project on the burner that, I’m sorry, I can’t speak about just yet…but it’s juicy!).
Recent Recording: I recently collaborated with the lovely Czech-Canadian classical/impressionistic pianist, Zita Petrak, and am featured on 3 tracks on her Oct. 2017 release, “Streets I Knew.” Czech it out! (2,3,12, iTunes)
And here’s some of what the critics said about Leaves Will Speak:
(excerpts, see “Reviews” for full reviews)
“ Upon first hearing, one is attracted by the freshness and purity of these musical statements, which succeed in capturing our attention by drawing from a diverse range of sources to form a beautifully coherent program”. Thierry Giard, Culture Jazz, France
“I admit that some of these pieces literally moved me to tears, because they give wordless expression to such intensely felt, absolute, unguarded openness, because the playing is so unobtrusively urgent, so inescapably close…if you want music that speaks — here it is” Alexander Schmitz, Jazz Podium, Germany.
“The whole vibe is Brian’s own blend of classical, medieval, Spanish, Jazz, Blues, finger-picking Folk, Greek, Middle Eastern and Klezmer— you can hear all those threads in the weave of this album’s harmonic fabric. You can enjoy the play of musical intelligence on this album, and dig into a rich horde of experience gathered along the way of Brian’s 30 year international career” Stanley Fefferman, Opus One Review, Canada
“The sensitive poet with a flawless classical sound has a special sense of what happens between the notes; a sense from which he develops introspectively lyrical lines and gives the music what it needs: space and time” Jens Hausmann, Akustik Gitarre, Germany
“You never feel like you’re being overwhelmed by technique as much as by being won over by a convincing discussion.” George W. Harris, Jazz Weekly, USA
“I think this album offers the most beautiful and, for me personally, touching acoustic solo guitar playing I have ever heard during the 35+ years I’ve been writing (books, articles, reviews, interviews) about the guitar. Thank you so very much for so much beauty!” Alexander Schmitz, noted European jazz journalist, author (personal email)
Leaves Will Speak is available in Toronto at the following locations and at www.cdbaby.com:
Remenyi House of Music
210 Bloor St W Toronto
572 College, Toronto