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Jack West

Make no mistake, Jack West is on the path less taken. It's not only that he plays the eight-string acoustic guitar, a unique instrument that he had specially constructed while searching for the sounds he had been hearing in his mind. West is a musician dedicated to exploring uncharted territory, mapping stunning, minutely detailed soundscapes that feel uncannily familiar and yet completely fresh. If the title of his record, Big Ideas, suggests that this is heady music, there is a rigorous sense of structure to many of West's tunes. But in the fine-grained textures he creates with his quartet, there's also an intuitive sense of interplay and generosity of spirit found in the finest jazz ensembles. “My main goal as a writer has always been to try and create music that sounds like something I haven't heard,” says the Bay Area-based guitarist. “For me, song writing is usually a process of following. I never sit down to intentionally write a tune—I just start to play, then as new ideas happen, I try to follow the ones that surprise me...the ones that don't sound like anything I've ever heard before.”

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”[Big Ideas is] a remarkable outing of cool curves, gently sloping musical parabolas, and wondorous bends in compositional structure. With rhythm at the fore West offers unusual sound colors, fluid slide work, and percussive attack” - Down Beat

“Stunning...one of the more interesting releases of the new year” - JazzWest

“Jack West is not only a fine musician, but he has an original approach and sounds like no one else. To my mind, that is one of the most important qualities that a musician can possess.” - Lee Townsend

“brilliant original compositions” (Contra Costa Times)

“sounds like something never heard before” (Oakland Tribune)

“astounding rhythmic dexterity and unorthodox technique” (SJ Mercury News

“immediately accessible, owing to West's beguiling melodic sensibility and his absorbing percussive attack” (SF Bay Guardian)

“tight arrangements, musical use of odd-time signatures and polyrhythms, and engaging, intricate melodies” (Electronic Musician)

“A whole new sub-genre of jazz” - National Public Radio, Perspectives in Jazz

“Hauntingly beautiful” - East Bay Express

“The interplay [between West and marimbist Joel Davel] is the kind of thing that makes listeners go gaga!” - SF Weekly

“Curvature explores an original, rhythmically astute amalgam of blues, jazz, funk, and folk

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Albums

Around About Now
Around About Now
Ahead Behind Music
2003
buy
Big Ideas
Big Ideas
Ahead Behind Music
2000
buy
As We Know It
As We Know It
Ahead Behind Music
1999
buy
Big Comet Headed for Earth
Big Comet Headed for...
Ahead Behind Music
1998
buy
Continuum
Continuum
Ahead Behind Music
1996
buy
Sound Pulling Curves in Time
Sound Pulling Curves...
Ahead Behind Music
1994
buy

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Ben Makinen Ben Makinen
drums

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