NAMM 2018 was even bigger than last year, yet much more manageable. The brand new ACC (Anaheim Convention Center) North building housed most of the high tech and pro audio stuff, allowing guitars and related products to be centralized in one area on the main floor of the original building. NAMM further reduced the spread by offering the new boutique manufacturers—previously relegated to downstairs Hall E—smaller, more affordable booths in the main guitar product ghetto. Thus, I was able to cover the show in two relaxed, rather than three grueling, days.
It is hard to separate my review of this movie from my relationship with Bill Frisell. I first saw him play when I went to see Percy Jones’ Stone Tiger at the Bitter End in NYC. I loved Jones’ unique bass work with Brand X and was curious to see what he was up to. The great Dougie Bowne (Lounge Lizards, Iggy Pop) was on drums. The guitarist was some guy with an early Roland GR-300 synth guitar whose playing, both on synth and standard guitar, was like nothing I had ever heard. Alternately lyrical and jagged, his Thelonious Monk-like flights of invention were like Monk only in that they were completely personal and otherworldly. Not since seeing Jimi Hendrix and Jeff Beck in the Sixties had I witnessed someone who seemed to totally reinvent the instrument in their own image.
Happy New Year to all the readers, subscribers and sponsors of Guitar Moderne. I hope to expand the reach of the magazine in 2018 by bringing more guitarists, products and techniques to anyone interested in the future of guitar. Here’s hoping we all have a happy and healthy year in 2018.
I saw this at a NAMM recently and it looked interesting but was vaporware at the time. Also, it required wearing an unwieldy contraption on your foot. Since then the folks at Chroma Coda have made some changes to the Poly Expressive concept that makes it more attractive (getting rid of the footwear, for starters). They have also launched a Kickstarter campaign. What do we think?