Wayne Krantz

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Wayne Krantz

Throughout his decades-long career, New York-based guitarist and composer Wayne Krantz has never rested on his laurels. From his early sideman days with artists such as Billy Cobham, Michael Brecker, Steely Dan and others, through his numerous live and studio solo recordings, Krantz has consistently pushed his stylistic roots in rock, jazz, fusion and blues beyond their boundaries.

A world-renowned improviser, Krantz’s singular approach to his instrument combines rhythm-centric phrasing with a dynamic attack in a style that is distinctly his own. His cutting-edge status has been further established through his use of unique harmonic vocabularies (which Krantz details in his highly-regarded 2004 instructional book An Improviser’s OS), and a strong focus on bold group improvisation. All of these elements combined equal a genre-defying artist who is firmly positioned at the vanguard of his craft.

Wayne Krantz

Throughout his solo career, Krantz has predominantly worked in a trio setting (with stellar musicians as Keith Carlock, Tim Lefebvre, Cliff Almond, Anthony Jackson, Lincoln Goines, Zach Danziger and others), and has documented his steady evolution with nearly every type of trio album imaginable, ranging from the heavily composed to the primarily improvised, both live and in the studio. In 2009, Krantz released Krantz Carlock Lefebvre (Abstract Logix); a strikingly original album that was the first studio recording to showcase the group improv dynamic of one of his most enduring bands.

Known globally for his uncompromising musical vision, staggering virtuosity and deep reserves of soul, Wayne Krantz is one of very few modern guitarists to venture beyond the instrument’s limitations and create an identifiably original style and sound. Good Piranha/Bad Piranha is his full-throttle double-take on four contemporary pop and hip-hop songs, from which he plunders the textural, rhythmic and harmonic intrigue that has come to define each of his unique projects.

Following 2012’s critically acclaimed Howie 61—a record packed with cleverly arranged, hard-hitting original songs and a small army of masterful sidemen—Krantz has scaled back the setting and material for his tenth outing as a leader. Good Piranha/Bad Piranha finds his trio in the studio revisiting a selection of cover tunes they performed during legendary recent appearances at the 55 Bar in Greenwich Village.

Presenting two distinct versions each of Pendulum’s “Comprachicos,” M.C. Hammer’s “U Can’t Touch This,” Ice Cube’s “My Skin is My Sin” and Radiohead vocalist Thom Yorke’s “Black Swan,” Krantz extracts and serves up a surprising range of nuance by switching up musicians and applying his inimitable instrumental inventiveness. Each song’s multiple takes allow the group(s) to reimagine the material from unexpected angles, making use of subtle rhythmic and melodic shifts to frame a dazzling display of the guitarist’s revered melodic and chordal innovations; he intertwines his stark, elastic tones with the familiar tunes’ snaky rhythmic skeletons and insistent basslines to create wholly new works.

Joining Krantz on Good Piranha/Bad Piranha are his longtime trio mates Keith Carlock (Steely Dan, Sting) on drums and Tim Lefebvre (Tedeschi Trucks Band) on bass. Recent cohort Nate Wood (Kneebody) reprises his chameleonic role in Krantz’ touring band, appearing here on bass for the first versions of the four tunes and then on drums for the second. The material is delicately enhanced by occasional vocal interjections courtesy Gabriela Anders.

Since the late ’80s Wayne Krantz has been revered as one of the world’s great guitarists, working alongside such rock legends as Steely Dan (both as a bandmember and later on solo projects by Donald Fagen), jazz saxophonists Michael Brecker, Chris Potter and David Binney, composer Carla Bley and drum icon Billy Cobham. In addition to his influential studio albums as a leader, Krantz has released several recordings of his celebrated live trio performances, which have become major concert draws worldwide for fans of powerfully adventurous improvised music.

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Most Eclectic Set List to Date
“Undercover Pop Tour” Respectfully Re-Imagines
Prince, NIN, Talking Heads, Bob Dylan, Sonic Youth and More….

Cambridge, New York, Nashville, Chicago, Asheville, Phoenix and Seattle Among Tour Stops

Two Touring Bands feature Zach Danziger, Nate Wood, Kevin Scott

(Los Angeles, CA – August 19, 2016) Wayne Krantz, the innovative and improvisational guitarist, announces his FALL 2016 US “Undercover Pop Tour.” This time out Krantz brings his unique sensibilities to the works of a wide cross-section of musicians: Sonic Youth, Talib Kweli & Mos Def, Paul McCartney, Ryuichi Nakamoto, Jethro Tull and others. Taking two different bands on the road for this tour, Krantz will perform October 4 – 9 and October 25 – November 2 with 2x Salvation, with Star Truck playing the October 12-23 leg.

This fall the tour begins on October 4th in Sellersville, PA before hitting Krantz’s home town of New York City on October 7th. The tour continues on throughout the month of October. After the East Coast run, Krantz will head out West, beginning with Seattle for a show at El Corazon and then on to Oakland’s famed Yoshi’s, before heading south to Santa Cruz and then on to Asia and Europe. Krantz will be joined by Zach Danziger on drums throughout, Kevin Scott on Bass with 2x Salvation, and Nate Wood on bass for Star Truck.

Krantz’s most recent album was 2014’s Good Piranha/Bad Piranha, which featured Krantz performing four different tracks with two different interpretations of each – a striking collection of engaging group improvisation and creative compositional approaches.

Reviews of Wayne Krantz and his recordings:

An electric guitarist with a smart, slashing approach and a taste for all manner of twisted fusions, Wayne Krantz … showcases his distinctive voice as a bandleader. – The New York Times

Krantz has developed an entirely individual and instantly recognizable sound…an extremely broad blend of melodic, harmonic and rhythmic information simultaneously, in a manner that is both seamlessly
effortless and completely organic. – Guitar World

…a striking album that melds his group improvisation and compositional approaches. – Guitar Player Magazine

“4star review” Krantz’s trio, with bassist Nate Wood and drummer Keith Carlock, display a relish for ferociously loose covers of leftfield pop. It’s all uncompromisingly raw, and maybe something of a guitar buff’s set, but it never stops rocking. – The Guardian , UK

With bassist Tim LeFebvre and drummer Keith Carlock, Krantz developed an approach to improvisation that united the nuance of contemporary jazz with the f**k-you attitude of rock’n’roll. — The Irish Echo

Tour Dates 2016

Wayne Krantz Tour Dates

Good Piranha / Bad Piranha


Record Label

Abstract Logix
Tel. 919-342-5700 | Fax 866-224-6829

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