Step Tempest

Guitarist/composer Travis Reuter is based in New York City where he has studied with Ben Monder, Jane Ira Bloom, Adam Rogers, and Steve Lehman. He also spent time studying composition on principal with Jason Eckardt and electronic music with Douglas Geers as well as classical guitar with Dennis Azabagic and Frederic Hand. His debut CD, “Rotational Templates” (New Focus Recordings), is hard-edged music, pieces filled with rhythmic complexities, fiery solos and creative interpley. Reuter, joined by Bobby Avey (Rhodes), Jeremy Viner (tenor sax), Chris Tordini (bass) and Jason Nazary (drums), composed works that show the influence of Miles Davis “Bitches Brew”-era (“Residency at 20, Part 1” especially) yet leavens his sound with the more contemporary (and angular) influences of Steve Coleman and the afore-mentioned Steve Lehman.  His solos combine sonic textures and variations in dynamics to keep listener off-guard. Avey, whose 2010 solo debut “A New Face” is quite impressive (read more here), is a hardy foil for the guitarist, often acting as the counterpoint on the theme or playing the melody in unison.  His solos are fiery, raucous, clusters of sounds and chords that push against the active drumming of Nazary – the tension created by the rough-and-tumble percussion and Viner’s staccato tenor on “Singular Arrays” is palpable.  Tordini is the “rock” on these tracks, holding the bottom together while Nazary and Avey spar with the guitar and saxophone or create their own worlds within the music.

Travis Reuter has created a debut that is both confrontational and spell-binding, music that pulls in the listener and takes him or her on quite a ride.  And, this is music that should be played loud so that the sound hits you in the chest while it enters your brain.

–Richard B Kamins, Step Tempest

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