Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Wayne Krantz at Ronnie Scott's

Last tuesday I saw Wayne Krantz, a guitarist who has played with Steely Dan (also involved with Donald Fagen's 'Morph the Cat') , John Zorn, Tal Wilkenfeld, Michael Brecker, and Billy Cobham. Naturally I was rather excited. His current trio includes Keith Carlock on drums and Tim Lefebvre (French for "Smith") on electric bass and weird noises. For this outing however, it was Gary Novak on drums. Originally I was a bit disappointed that it was not Keith having a whack, but Gary was totally on it.

The tunes involved switching between half-time and double-time grooves, and at some points it left me guessing where the first beat of the bar was. The drums provided the groovy fusion base and the guitar (a strat shaped beauty going through some analogue effects into a Fender Deluxe Reverb and a Marshall half-stack) added loads of different rhythms and textures. Then out of nowhere comes the bassline! Tim Lefebvre uses a beautiful sounding Fender P-Bass, with outrageous effects on it including an octaver and a ring modulator. He looked like a caveman. I was loving it for and hour and a half.

Every bit of improvisation was like a composition. Krantz himself has said that he doesn't consider himself a stylist, and that he has not really been influenced by many other players. Initially I was skeptical, I thought no-one could make more noises on a strat than Jimi Hendrix, but I'm glad to say that I was wrong.

Incidentally Wayne Krantz is one of Danny Fisher's favourite guitarists. I could immediately tell from his chord voicings and crazy melody lines that this was the case. He even looked and spoke like him.

It sounded really tight and there was a great atmosphere at Ronnie's but the sound guy was a bit of a loser with his announcements. Also he could have turned the guitar up a bit. Otherwise it was amazing and one of the best guitar gigs I've ever been to.


  1. Scruffy-looking lot! Lord Digby-Jones would not approve.


  2. BTW, Phil, Keith Carlock was absent because he's touring with John Mayer. Obviously a better paid gig. They're in Japan at the moment; Wembley Arena on 26/27 May.