Some emotional vignettes, a bunch of Mary Halvorson, and, to start off, a set by Raoul Björkenheim eCsTaSy.
Raoul Björkenheim eCsTaSyDoors Of Perception [Cuneiform Records]
Björkenheim adds some new tones to his signature edgy yet vocal style, (like wave form distortion), yet his distinctive instrumental voice continues to shine through.
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.
It’s that time of year again: Trees being decorated, candles being lit, balls being dropped, and, of course, year-end top ten lists. You love ’em, you hate ’em but no publication worthy of the name is without them. So here is mine. There were many great records of modern guitar released this year (read about them in the various Record picks posts) but these are the ones that found their way most often to my virtual turntable.
I saw Mary Halvorson perform a number of times when I lived in NYC, once in duo with Elliot Sharp, and once in an ensemble with Marc Ribot. Surprisingly, I got to see her play in Nashville as well, in duo with bassist Stephan Crump. Halvorson is one of the most distinctive new guitar voices, with her angular style, acoustic meets electric sound, and unique pitch shifting effects using an expression pedal with a Line 6 DL-4. She is constantly releasing new music in situations that range from solo to large ensembles. I had been planning an interview, but Adam Perlmutter has done such a great one for Premier Guitar, I thought I would just send you on to it. I decided to flesh his work out with some great videos of Halvorson breaking down free improvisation and talking about how she creates exercises, as well some additional performance videos. Some performances feature Halvorson with her former teacher Joe Morris and with Tyondai Braxton, the son of another teacher, Anthony Braxton.
Mary Halvorson: Live @ the Ottobar, Baltimore, 7/17/2014, (Part 2 of the video featured in the Premier Guitar article)