Some emotional vignettes, a bunch of Mary Halvorson, and, to start off, a set by Raoul Björkenheim eCsTaSy.
Raoul Björkenheim eCsTaSy Doors 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.
Charlie Rauh Viriditas [Destiny Records]
Two things in short supply in the modern guitar world are melody and brevity. Rauh’s solo performances of his original compositions here supply both, with many tunes running well under two minutes and melodies that will break your heart. There is an occasional feeling of musicus interruptus, but as they say in show business, “Always, leave ’em wanting more.” More, Charlie, more.
Larry Polansky freeHorn [Code Blue Music]
Giacomo Fiore’s iv american electric guitars was a pick in Record Picks II. He performs here with Larry Polansky and assorted others on two tracks that explore continuous modulation between three different harmonic series, weaving together the live interaction of acoustic instruments and computer software written by Polansky and Phil Burke. A third track is Polansky’s arrangement of Carl Ruggles’s 1921 work for muted brass, Angels for two electric guitars. As with all Code Blue recordings, the music is fascinating, and the sound is impeccable.
Xander Naylor Arc [Very Special Recordings]
Like Rauh’s record, Arc is a series of vignettes. Written in the wake of a father’s passing, it showcases Naylor’s prodigious technique in an abstract but emotional collection of solo acoustic and electric pieces.
Rhys Chatham, Knox Chandler, Bern Nix, Robert Poss, Ron Anderson, Hahn Rowe, Roberto Zorzi, Markus Reuker, et al. I Never Metaguitar Four [Clean Feed]
The fourth volume of these ongoing compilations organized by Elliott Sharp Every approach imaginable is covered, from Pythagorean alternative tunings by Rhys Chatham to the use of a resophonic acoustic guitar by Pete Matthiessen as well as delay, looping, and analog or digital sound processors.
New Mary Halvorson sightings:
Mary Halvorson Octet with Jon Irabagon, Ingrid Laubrock, Jonathan Finlayson, Jacob Garchik, Susan Alcorn, John Hebert, and Ches Smith Away with You [Firehouse]
Halvorson has taken her septet from 2013’s Illusionary Sea and added pedal steel guitarist Susan Alcorn.
Mary Halvorson Quartet with Miles Okazaki/Drew Gress/Tomas Fujiwara Paimon: The Book Of Angels Volume 32 [Tzadik]
This final installment of Zorn’s expansive Book of Angels project presents the last ten unrecorded compositions from Masada Book Two and the variety, drama and lyricism is just as strong as the very first volume.
Tomas Fujiwara Triple Double [Firehouse]
Featuring Mary Halvorson and Brandon Seabrook on guitars, Ralph Alessi on trumpet, Taylor Ho Bynum on cornet, Thomas Fujiwara on drums & compositions and Gerald Cleaver on drums.
Taylor Ho Bynum Enter the Plustet [Firehouse]
With Mary Halvorson and others, cornetist/composer Taylor Ho Bynum strikes a balance between free improvised and arranged music.
Ian Brighton and Henry Kaiser Together Apart [Fractal Music]
Featuring the increasingly prolific Henry Kaiser and Ian Brighton on guitars, with one solo track each and the rest as a duo.
Record Picks is a periodic offering from Guitar Moderne: a listing of recordings brought to my attention that I feel are momentous enough to bring to yours. These are not reviews. Feel free to submit recordings, but they must be purchasable worldwide, reflective of modern guitar (again subjective, 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 sent me a recording, feel free to remind me.