When I interviewed Nick Reinhart in 2015, he was thinking that his collaboration with Nels Cline, Mike Watt, and Greg Saunier would be out shortly. Over two and a half years later we are finally able to buy the modern guitar superstar extravaganza that is Big Walnuts Yonder. Nick and Mike Watt talk about the process and delay here. Nick has been called “Nels Cline’s younger punk rock brother,” and they work together here like musical brothers of different mothers. A must have for their interaction on Cline’s “Flare Star Phantom” alone.
Wednesday was modern guitar pioneer Terje Rypdal’s 70th birthday. To celebrate, Henry Kaiser assembled a who’s who of modern guitarists: David Torn, Bill Frisell, Nels Cline, Hedvig Mollestad, Jim O’Rourke, Hans Magnus Ryan, Raoul Björkenheim, Even H. Hermansen, Reine Fiske, along with long time Rypdal keyboardist Ståle Storløkken, bassist Ingebrigt Håker Flaten, and drummer Gard Nilssen (Dungen). There is a Volume 2 that is a vinyl only release of side-long outtakes that were too good to leave on the shelf.
Kaiser also played and his production is more than up to the task of presenting multiple distorted guitars with clarity and cohesion. This tribute is a must-own for anyone interested in modern guitar playing at its best.
Summer is shaping up to be a bonanza time of year for new records featuring modern guitarists.
First we have a teaser for a record being released in August. For Terje Rypdal’s birthday, August 23rd, Rune Grammofon is releasing Sky Music: A Tribute to Terje Rypdal featuring – Nels Cline, Hedvig Mollestad, Bill Frisell, Jim O’Rourke, David Torn, Raoul Bjørkenheim, Henry Kaiser, and more. Produced by Henry Kaiser, who does an amazing job on the producing and playing front, this is shaping up to be THE modern guitar record of the year.
If there is one record store that epitomizes the spirit of Guitar Moderne, it is Downtown Music Gallery. When I lived in New York, I discovered a wealth of new music there and saw some great shows. Here is a video that gives some of the store’s history and shows the kind of guitarists and other instrumentalists who played there. If you are looking for recordings by your favorite artist and can’t find it at your local record store (assuming you have one), these guys will take care of you.
A pair of great new recordings featuring Bill Frisell have dropped.
Bill Frisell & Thomas Morgan Small Town [ECM] pairs the pioneer with the young bass phenom, Morgan, in a live duo set that recalls the classic Jim Hall/Ron Carter duet records. (Release date May 26th)