Summer NAMM 2015

Pedals were rampant at Summer NAMM 2015. Symbolic of this trend was the giant, fully functional Cusack Reverb pedal. Yes, you had to manhandle that huge footswitch to turn it on.

Big reverb

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J.A.Deane’s Guitar Choir

The GM spotlight was focused on sampling pioneer/lap steel dulcimer player, J.A. “Dino” Deane in the Instant Takemitsu post a few years ago. It seemed appropriate to spend more time with him on the eve of his new release Zen Noir, on which he directs the Out of Context Electric Guitar Choir, made up of six guitarists and two percussionists, using a method called Conduction.

Conduction, developed by the late cornetist/composer Lawrence D. “Butch” Morris, is a vocabulary of signs and gestures transmitted by a conductor to an orchestra, providing instantaneous possibilities for altering or initiating harmony, melody, rhythm, articulation, phrasing or form—a kind of middle path between notation and improvisation. Given that Conduction is all about gesture, it made sense to post my Skype interview with Deane, so he could demonstrate some of the signs employed. I urge you to check out this video where he explains how this new method of music performance works and expounds brilliantly on a variety of musical subjects. He was also kind enough to revisit the GM questionnaire and provide an update on his live performance gear.

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The Ultimate Reeves Gabrels Interview

They tell me those kinds of headlines attract web traffic, but I believe this actually may be the ultimate Reeves Gabrels interview. An occasional resident of Nashville, the former Bowie, current The Cure guitarist was able to sit down with me for two extensive sessions, during which he was courageously candid about his life, exquisitely detailed about his gear, and immensely interesting in his ideas about music and the art of making it. His new record, Reeves Gabrels & His Imaginary Friends, is a brilliant example of building on the classic blues roots of rock’s yesteryear to create music as modern as tomorrow.  So, without further ado: The Ultimate Reeves Gabrels Interview.

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Spotlight: Eyal Maoz

The latest project from the Israeli guitarist /composer Eyal Maoz is the band Hypercolor, with bassist James Ilgenfritz, and drummer Lukas Ligeti. Their self-titled record is on John Zorn’s Tzadik Records. Though the band is based in Manhattan and Brooklyn and has hints of American Avant-guitar pioneer Sonny Sharrock running throughout their music, they also evidence a Euro sensibility in their combination of discipline and freedom, as well as their willingness to  explore both melodic and dissonant textures.

In addition to his work with Hypercolor, Maoz leads the bands Edom (combining Jewish music with new wave, electronic music and disco), the acoustic Middle-Eastern band Dimyon, The Crazy Slavic Band, 9 Volt, and the Maoz-Sirkis Duet (with drummer Asaf Sirkis). He also performs the music of John Zorn with Cobra and Abraxas. Across all these projects, he demonstrates an enormous sonic vocabulary to go with his technical prowess.

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Spotlight: Jon Durant

Guitarist Jon Durant brings a unique sense of texture and melody to his instrument. His distinctive “cloud guitar” soundscapes and lead work have appeared on numerous recordings and film soundtracks. As executive producer of Alchemy Records, he has released recordings by other modern guitarists, such as Robbie Aceto, Wayne Krantz, and Leni Stern. His own latest release is Etymology by Burnt Belief, a project with Durant and Porcupine Tree bassist Colin Edwin.

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