Denin Slage-Koch | It Comes in Waves Review


Denin Slage-Koch | It Comes in Waves Review

by Darnell Jackson

Denin-Slage-Koch-5-Finger-Review-CDDenin Slage-Koch’s third album, It Comes in Waves, demonstrates his talent as a guitarist, composer, and ensemble leader. Featuring eight original compositions and an arrangement of a pop classic, this album reflects the breadth of his musical influences and the depth of his creative vision.

The title track, “It Comes in Waves,” sets the thematic tone for the album. Through its modern harmonic progression and fluid melody, the piece not only captures the ebb and flow of life’s emotional tides but also resonates with the listener’s own experiences. Slage-Koch’s solo, characterized by its clarity and expressive depth, flows seamlessly into Keberle’s patient and melodically rich improvisation, embodying the idea of waves in motion.

“Quiet Year (12/31/2020)” is a deeply reflective piece. Slage-Koch’s solo guitar work in the introduction is layered and balanced, creating an intimate atmosphere. As Lewis and Wiens join in, their delicate support enhances the composition’s introspective quality. This track encapsulates a moment of quiet contemplation, making it a poignant end to the album.

“Continue” showcases the dynamic interplay between the ensemble members. The up-tempo track features a livelyDenin-Slage-Koch-2 exchange between Slage-Koch and Keberle. The precision of Slage-Koch’s phrasing and Keberle’s building solo create a compelling dialogue.

“Signal Fires” blends jazz, rock, and blues with a contagious groove. Slage-Koch’s electric guitar adds a unique texture as he turns up the heat with his imaginative jazz rock guitar ideas, demonstrating his versatility. The cohesive vibe created by the ensemble highlights the seamless interplay between the musicians, making this track flow as an individual work and within the context of the flow of the album’s styles.

Slage-Koch’s arrangement of “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” by Tears for Fears is a thrilling testament to his ability to reinterpret well-known themes. The arrangement, with its many textures and twists, breathes new life into the familiar melody, maintaining its lyrical essence while adding a fresh, jazz-infused perspective. Pop’s emphasis on catchy melodies is carried over into the solo sections, with each soloist making a statement in a lyrical and catchy manner.

“One for Honey” showcases Slage-Koch’s talent for creating more traditional swing compositions. The warm tones of his guitar reflect a deep understanding of the jazz guitar lineage. The ensemble is synced and swinging on this track.

“The Philosopher (for Wayne Shorter)” pays homage to the late jazz legend with a composition that reflects Shorter’s influence on Slage-Koch and showcases his own musical voice. Endsley’s solo is excellent.

Denin-Slage-Koch-1It Comes in Waves is characterized by Slage-Koch’s thematic exploration, dynamic musical interplay, innovative arrangements, and respectful homage to jazz legends. Denin Slage-Koch’s album invites you to experience today’s jazz sounds, which are far-reaching, forever creative, and imbued with a deep sense of rhythm.


It Comes in Waves

Release Date: October 13, 2023

Label: Slage-Koch Records

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Darnell Jackson

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