Tim Motzer from Instant Takemitsu and bassist Jonathan Levy join drummer Ari Hoenig in a master class demo of how to make a one chord vamp interesting and exciting for a quarter hour. The secret? Take deep roots in blues, funk, and jazz; add looping and Whammy pedal; throw in massive amounts of soul, taste, joy, and deep listening—and there you go.
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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
Let’s face it, we are in the era of the iApp. IK Multimedia has just released a wireless Bluetooth method of controlling your iApps: the iRig Blueboard. Check it out.
If you think falsetto vocals somewhere between Antony Hegarty and Kenny Rankin, guitar playing that somehow reconciles Rankin, Derek Bailey, and Robert Fripp, combined with drones that recall Norwegian fiddle music, you might be able to conjure up the sound of Toronto’s Eric Chenaux. But don’t bother—just check out some of these videos [there are multiple videos of the same tune to show his improvisatory nature]. Or, better yet, buy his latest record Guitar & Voice so you can experience his unique talent for creating gorgeous lyricism tempered with willful dissonance. Chenaux offers Guitar Moderne readers a glimpse of how he arrived at his singular style.