The new releases are coming thick and fast these days. In addition to recordings featuring veterans like Torn, Baggetta, Pirog,and Cline, there are terrific projects from numerous countries by a batch of names new to me.
David Torn Sun of Goldfinger [ECM]
This aggregation, with Tim Berne, and Ches Smith, first came together a decade ago and I saw them a few times in NYC. Ten years of playing together has helped them forge a group sound unlike any other. One of the three epic pieces here supplements the trio with two other terrific modern guitarists: Mike Baggetta and Ryan Ferriera, as well as Craig Taborn and a string quartet. Torn’s most ambitious project to date hits it out of the park.
Mike Baggetta/Mike Watt/Jim Keltner Wall of Flowers [Big Ego]
In addition to an appearance on the new Torn record, Baggetta has this record out. It speaks to his talent that he is able to enlist these two diverse giants to help him realize his vision. The full combo only appears on half the tunes, sounding so special it leaves you wanting more.
Johan Lundberg Assembly Flourish/Depart [Konkav Records]
Lundberg’s assembly comprises two saxes, keyboards, and drums, yet often sounds smaller or larger, a tribute to his composing and the sensitivity of the players. The music of Flourish/Depart could easily have been on ECM, but the sound here is more direct, less ambient and that is for the better.
James Brandon Lewis with Jaimie Branch, Anthony Pirog, Luke Stewart, Warren Trae Crudup III An UnRuly Manifesto [Relative Pitch]
Haven’t heard the record but this is the band minus Branch, and anything with Anthony Pirog involved is worth checking out.
Carla Diratz/Pascal Vaucel pRéCis.AiMaNt [Bandcamp]
Vocals are rare on modern guitar oriented records but Diratz’s husky accented tone redolent of sensual European decadence is a perfect match for Vaucel’s combination of notes and noise.
Gerald Cleaver/Nels Cline/Larry Ochs What is to Be Done [Clean Feed 500; Portugal]
It is always interesting to hear Nels Cline in a new context. Here he is as untethered as you are likely to year him.
Efe Demiral Inside Out [Vana Papa Records]
One of the most beautiful records to come into my ears recently. Turkish guitarist Demiral layers guitar and electronics into melodic and ambient bliss, where Frisell meets Satie. (Here is a more aggressive version of one of the tunes).
Paul Gilgunn Here We Are Now [Self Released]
Gilgunn imparts an Irish lilt to the “minimalist strumming of multiple guitars” genre pioneered by Glenn Branca and Rhys Chatham.
Record Picks is a periodic offering from Guitar Moderne: a listing of recordings brought to my attention that I feel are worthy of being brought to yours. These are not reviews. Feel free to submit recordings, but they must be purchasable worldwide, reflective of modern guitar (subjective to be sure, but no blues, classic rock, be-bop, country, etc.) and on a par with the ones above to rate a mention. Many of these are available from DMG in NYC. If you have already sent me a recording, feel free to remind me.