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Kissinger in Space

by John Ettinger

Released 2006
Ettinger Music
Released 2006
Ettinger Music
2006 release with Tony Malaby on tenor sax, Devin Hoff (Nels Cline, Good For Cows) on upright bass, and Scott Amendola (Madeline Peyroux, Nels Cline, Charlie Hunter) on drums.
Recent press for Kissinger in Space:

Cadence Magazine:

"This 4tet makes a great sound...If you are looking for
Jazz that is new and different, but totally
approachable, this is a great find."
-Phillip McNally, Cadence Magazine, February, 2007

DownBeat Magazine:

"Free improvisation and modern composition are among the hallmarks of
Kissinger In Space, John Ettinger's fine sophomore release."
-Eric Fine, DownBeat Magazine, March 2007, 3 1/2 stars.

Some of the writers at have been very kind to
Kissinger in Space by including it on their best of 2006 lists:

Paul Olsen: Best of 2006
Nils Jacobson: Best of 2006
Chris May: Best of 2006
Michael Ricci, publisher: Publishers Picks: 2006 Top Picks

****Review by Scott Yanow, All Music Guide:

"John Ettinger, a versatile violinist based in the San Francisco Bay area, has in the past played with rock and avant-garde groups so he has a very open style. On Kissinger In Space, he mixes together
lyrical melodies with free playing while emphasizing catchy yet
unpredictable rhythms, close interplay with tenor-saxophonist Tony
Malaby, group improvising and quirky themes that take their time to
develop....the music is fairly accessible and concise if full of
constant surprises. It takes a few listens to fully appreciate this
diverse and colorful music for it follows its own intriguing logic.
Recommended". -Scott Yanow,

Signal To Noise Magazine:

"...As Ettinger and Malaby spiral around one another you can hear each
instrument borrowing qualities from its counterpart: it's particularly
intriguing to hear Malaby shifting towards a light sound and edgeless,
long-lined lyricism rarely heard in his work elsewhere. The shorter
pieces are beautifully pared-down: a track like "The Observer" emerges
as a single unbroken utterance that takes the track's entire length to
make its point. The best pieces, though, are the longest and most
unpredictable ones. the freeboppish "Quaint" is one of the album's
most exciting tracks, though it keeps circling back to a hushed,
secretive core; the sadder-but-wiser lyricism of "Harper Lee" twists
between dark and light, eliciting some of Ettinger's most rapt,
flowing violin; while the rock and roll thrash of the title cut turns
into a mysterious plunge into the cosmos."
-Nate Dorward, Signal To Noise Magazine

All About Jazz:

"By turns joyous and autumnal, pensive and funked up, lyrical and beat-driven, on the page and off it, all sometimes within the course of the same tune, Ettinger's music blends precisely arranged through-composition with unfettered collective improvisation. It's utterly distinctive stuff, and amongst its chief joys is the remarkable symbiosis between Ettinger and Malaby, whose close sonic fit and dual-drive improvised lines are the disc's dominant presence. Amendola's subtly groovalicious drums are another source of delight.
Most of the tracks (there are nine, averaging about six minutes each) are composed of mini-movements: the eight-minute title track, for instance, moves through five distinct sections, from tender to tribal...
An auspicious release and a new benchmark for creative jazz violin.
-Chris May,


Upcoming shows

  • January 26, 2020
    Drake's Barrel House, San Leandro, CA