On his new album of original compositions, East-coast guitarist Ryan Blotnick mines a bittersweet melodic/harmonic vein balanced by an African-influenced rhythmic elan. Conceived as an antidote to the more aggressive forms of New York jazz, Kush offers freshly-minted waltzes, haunting ballads and more than a touch of Frisellian Americana, as well as a variety of grooves combining jazz and African feels. Ryan comments: “I think a lot of ‘modern’ cats look outside of themselves for direction and this music is more introspective even though it reaches out to the audience very directly.” New York saxophonist Michael Blake (with three releases on Songlines, most recently Fulfillment), a longtime Blotnick mentor and collaborator, is the perfect foil, contributing his own blend of lyricism, heat, and harmonic depth. Also integral to the record’s success is the buoyant yet laid-back rhythm team of Scott Colberg, bass (Calexico) and RJ Miller, drums. The album repays close attention for its subtle details while also rewarding listeners more attuned to moods than solos. 

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Physical CDs are available through Songlines and Bandcamp


"He's not afraid of starkness or silence, and he knows how to spin a good yarn. He’s a natural... [Solo, Volume I] gives the sense of an intensely thoughtful design...The sound, mixed and mastered by Marc Bartholomew, is pristine enough that you hear Mr. Blotnick’s fingertips lightly scudding across the strings. And the atmosphere is such that every liberty registers as both audacious and reasonable." -Nate Chinen, New York Times

"Man, this album is so good!" - Mike Gamble, The InBetweens 

"I am not ashamed to say it, I love this record."  -Rich DeCicco, music producer, Audio Dojo.com 

"Ryan Blotnick has an original and distinctive voice on the guitar. His Americana-tinged jazz has some of the opacity of indie rock, but not the peevishness, along with occasional detours toward the baroque. He’s all the more noteworthy for not wasting notes... a great late-night album and a goldmine of inspiration for guitarists in a wide range of styles."  -Lucid Culture

"It’s odd for a solo acoustic guitar album to be more varied, harmonically and sonically, than a lot of full-band efforts, but such is true of [Solo, Volume I] .... In just 34 minutes, Blotnick alights on a surprising number of aesthetic frameworks, from distorted haze to crisp arpeggiation, from rubato dream states to country-ish feels and strong melodies. Evocative and restrained, the album widens our conception of what a solo piece can be."  David R. Adler, AAJ

“Blotnick is a consummate artist. He compiles his well-honed skills in various forms of music to serve as a springboard from which to search constantly for new paths and forms of expression.” -Wilbur MacKensie, All About Jazz New York

”Young NY guitarist’s second release builds on his acclaimed debut with atmospheric compositions, deep improvising, and responsive group interaction. An acoustic trio and an edgier, more electric quartet provide complementary views of Ryan Blotnick’s distinctive ‘post-jazz’ approach, integrating rhythms, harmonies, and formal structures from rock, classical and world music… Ryan does a good job of creating different and often haunting moods....What is interesting about this disc is that there is nothing too forceful or very “out”. It deals more with somber, late night listening. It more about creating a certain vibe of suspense with the occasional ghost floating across the horizon.” – Bruce Lee Gallanter, Downtown Music Gallery

”Guitarist Ryan Blotnick is a forward-thinking jazz artist who has performed with a global array of musicians…This 2009 effort features an impressive band that takes its time developing ideas via slow to medium tempo backbeats and gradually climactic themes.” – Glenn Astarita, All About Jazz New York


“Ryan is a musician with great ideas, a full, rich sound, and a level of skill and maturity beyond his years.” — Ben Monder

“This new CD from Ryan Blotnick contains not only beautiful compositions, but really some deep, and honest improvising. I enjoyed it very much, and recommend it highly.” — John Abercrombie

“Blotnick plays with a warm tone, a relaxed cadence and a smart but unassuming air…On his engagingly pensive debut…there’s a sense of something natural unfolding as he and his band mates elaborate on his themes.” — Nate Chinen, New York Times

“…an authentic, compelling player.” — Jason Bivins, Cadence

“A record full of memorable melodies; gentle, reflective tunes [that] might actually have a shot at becoming 21st-century standards. Blotnick’s nods to moody rock and ethereal free jazz peg the 24-year-old bandleader as a vital contemporary voice.” — Hans Shteamer, Time Out NY

**** “…evocative, emotionally stirring compositions…Blotnick has absorbed lessons from everyone from Jimmy Giuffre to Ornette Coleman, and his music is cerebral without being cold.” — Joseph Taylor, Goodsound.com

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