The Austrian guitarist Wolfgang Muthspiel has put together quite a support team for his latest album, Where the River Goes. The all-star quintet includes the pianist Brad Mehldau, the trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire, the bassist Larry Grenadier and the drummer Eric Harland. With a grouping like this a Muthspiel would be hard pressed to turn in anything less than an exceptional recording, and Where the River Goes doesn’t disappoint.
Muthspiel, who is fully matured as a player, fits in perfectly with these first class musicians; the band itself jells as if it had been together for a long time. The weave of guitar and horn bursts with character, Mehldau, one of the most celebrated pianists of his generation is always accommodating, and the Grenadier-Harland hookup is a dream. And while Muthspiel is best known as a distinctive electric guitarist, he dots this captivating album with examples of his equally fine acoustic playing.
Wolfgang Muthspiel, Where The River Goes (ECM)