Rare Terje Rypdal Trio in 1973. Whatever happened to Sveinung Hovensgo? SIx-string Fender bass ala Jack Bruce, really cheap Seventies Gibson SG with an aftermarket Bigsby. Amazing stuff, even though the tuning goes south towards the end.
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Two videos, not the greatest sound, but they illustrate what made the idea of combining jazz technical facility, harmonic knowledge and rhythmic complexity with funk feels and rock tones, a good idea in the first place. Yes, Wynton, it is okay for jazz musicians to look like they are having fun on stage.
Three of the most prominent modern guitarists in the world got together on June 11, 2013 at Le Poisson Rouge in New York City. Fortunately someone captured it on video.
This phenomenal show was fortunately captured on high quality video and largely great sound. Stian & Company (Øystein Moen, keys; Erland Dahlen, drums, Susanna Wallumrød, guest vocals) offer up Wagnerian Sturm und Drang; crashing waves and violent winds, alternating with moments of heart wrenching beauty in Norway’s reverberant Nidarosdomen cathedral.
Looping has become a common tool in the artistic arsenal of many a modern guitarist. Often, a single loop is lathered with layers that, in the hands of a Dustin Wong, can become a riot of interlocking rhythm, recalling Phillip Glass. Alternately you have Noveller, whose mix of ambience and melody is as evocative as her hand stitched film work.
Then there is Bill Walker, whose rootsy loop work could easily be mistaken for an actual band performing. A mastery of the eight-track Looperlative LP-1—with its ability to record multiple loops and then subdivide, punch into, and reverse them—allows the California guitarist to avoid any hint of static repetition. Walker’s performances are marvels of spontaneous composition; though enhanced by seeing him construct them, their musical interest does not rely on it. The tunes speak for themselves, as is evident on his solo release, Sanctuary.
“Cass County Waltz” from Sanctuary
Confession: I was not a Mahavishnu Orchestra fan. There I said it. Oh, I recognized the technical excellence and the energy of the playing, and the groundbreaking new melding of jazz and rock. But, for me, as jazz it didn’t swing and as rock I couldn’t get past McLaughlin’s note-y style and what I considered an inferior guitar tone to legends like Clapton, Beck and Hendrix. In fact, I never really got into the British jazz legend and fusion pioneer until his Coltrane tribute album, After the Rain, with Elvin Jones and Joey DeFrancesco. I loved the sound of his full-bodied archtop through a chorus and his use of the Bigsby to make the end of notes fall off plaintively.
Eventide’s audio effects have been long been considered objects of desire by musicians, engineers, and producers. Going back to their first harmonizer, these units have been employed on dozens of classic recordings, as well as live—by the lucky few who could afford them. Their stompbox series, though still not cheap, made these effects accessible to a much wider range of sonic explorers. Avant-guitarists like Noveller, Eivind Aarset, and Stian Westerhus soon began exploring the tonal possibilities of the self-explanatory Pitch-, Mod-, and TimeFactor pedals, as well as the reverb-centric Space stomp. For me, the problem remained that, while each pedal has numerous incredible sounds, there are way more than I would be likely to use. To assemble the particular effects I want would require purchasing the entire set, an outlay of $2000—the same price that puts even their budget rack unit, the Eclipse, out of my range. Enter the H9…. There are plenty of great demos on YouTube, but here is one that concentrates on using the iOS control for experimental sounds. Continue reading
I am old enough to remember Gittler’s first time around, about thirty-five years ago. It heralded the first truly radical shift in guitar design since the lute morphed into the instrument we know today. The world wasn’t ready at the time, though the Museum of Modern Art in New York recognized it as a gorgeous piece.
Here’s hoping the guitar world has come far enough to support this amazing instrument this time around. If you want to get in on the ground floor, join their kickstarter campaign.