Blue Line

Blue Line

Blue Line

Kurt Rosenwinkel’s Heartcore is an album unlike any other I’ve heard.  It blends a top-tier jazz band with the layering of textures and rhythms common to electronic music.  On most songs you’ll find Kurt overdubbing himself on various instruments to create shifting timbres and moods within the piece.  To me, though, the album’s highlight isn’t Kurt’s unique melodic and harmonic sense; it’s the exciting polyrhythms created by multiple drum tracks, both real and synthetic, sometimes complementing each other, sometimes at odds.

This track is a great example.  While the high hat keeps time in 4/4, the keys and bass are usually playing in groups of 3 or 5, all while Kurt and Jeff Ballard both play busy drum beats underneath.  The wash of brushes and cymbals made it hard for me to pick up some of the chord voicings used, but this chart should give a basic idea of what’s happening harmonically.

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