As We Know It is the third release from 8 string guitar virtuoso Jack West and his ensemble Curvature. West has once again created a completely original and compelling work. This album marks the first recording of West on his custom fan-fret 8 string acoustic guitar as well as the first recorded meeting of West and master guitarist Dean Magraw (recipient of the NAIRD Best Acoustic Instrumental Album of 1994).
The music on As We Know It is a unique and modern acoustic sound that is characterized by unusual rhythms, odd time sinatures, playful melodies, and intense improvisation. While the music is complex and difficult to play, it is also very palatable and welcoming to listeners of all levels. Recorded live in the studio, the record truly captures the live ensemble sound of Dean Magraw with Curvature regulars Joel Davel on marimba and Peter Valsamis on drums.
More than anything else, the compositions are the distinguishing feature of this recording. Well respected in both the jazz and folk communities for his innovative approach to writing tunes, West definitely showcases his set of tunes to date on this recording. He has an uncanny ability to write instrumental compositions that are musically complex, strikingly original, and totally accessible-all at the same time. While it is clear that these tunes draw from general influences like jazz, folk, funk, and blues, the end result is absolutely not a simple collage of standardized stylistic elements: it is a unique and completely original new style.
"Jack West snaps & slides out mellow, woody jazz compositions that are both technically improbable and sonically impressive...his unorthodox approach always breathes deep with originality." - Creative Loafing, Atlanta