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2006 Detroit Music Award for Outstanding Jazz Recording. Jazz Violin is comprised of original and straight-ahead/modern jazz tunes with John Nam, piano; Dann Friedman, tenor sax; Andrew Kratzat, bass; and Chad Hochberg, drums.
“The disc features six tracks by Kittel and other band members as well as standards by Wayne Shorter, John Coltrane, Bud Powell and Emily Remler. Ear-catchers include Kittel’s own “Jujette” and “Night Muse,” as well as Shorter’s “Yes or No.” On the whole, “Jazz Violin” goes from swinging to sentimental, all of it orchestrated expertly by a young man who’s clearly double trouble in the violin world.” Roger LeLievre, Ann Arbor News
“His excellence at interpreting and extending the Celtic fiddle tradition are exceeded only by his startling inventiveness and poise on jazz violin. Listen for him.” Darol Anger
“Kittel seems destined to be a world-class talent, and “Jazz Violin” – which he characterizes as “my first steps on a new path” – is the ear-catching debut of a formidable jazzer. Unlike the shiny, violinistic Euro- sound of Stephane Grappelly or Mark O’Connor, and equally unlike the rough-at-the-edges stridency of Stuff Smith or Regina Carter, Kittel has almost miraculously found an original, signature sound: dark, preternaturally lean and hornlike, a perfect instrumental voice for jazz and not really like anyone else’s.” Lansing State Journal
“There is remarkable maturity here, both in the playing and the writing.” Current magazine