What does Nigel Tufnel have to do with modern guitar? Well, other than the fact that Spinal Tap is a movie any professional musician can relate to, he was the inspiration for Scott Fields’ Eleven Project. Guitarists are invited to follow the link for instructions on how to contribute an 11 second recording of their instrument through an amp turned up to 11. The compilation will be released next November on 11/11.
It looks like many of us will be stuck inside for a while and many of these artists will be losing income due to cancelled shows because—virus. It would be a good time to buy some of these new recordings from Eivind Aarset, Nels Cline, David Torn, Eliot Sharp, and others so they have some money coming in and you have something to do while self-quarantining.
Despite an increasing number of great recordings coming over my transom, three guitarists, Anthony Pirog, David Torn, and Mike Baggetta, dominated this year’s picks with two records each. In addition to being brilliant players who have produced stellar examples of their work on these albums, all the guitarists featured here are out in the trenches preforming live on a regular basis. In no particular order.
I have noticed a recent trend toward a resurgence of headless guitar designs being favored by modern guitarists. Rick Toone builds beautiful examples of this style guitar (as well as “headed versions”). He had the idea to ask some clients, Chris Buono, Todd Haug, Killick Hinds, Ken Kinter, Gabriel Levi, Steve Sjuggerud, and Ede Wright, to record an album of music featuring his instruments. The result is a terrific compilation of modern guitar improvisation.
With the Xmas season fast approaching, this Swiss label could provide one-stop shopping for all the modern guitar records you need to please fellow fans or yourself. This small label offers over 250 recordings, many of which feature pioneers (Fred Frith, Elliot Sharp) and current stars (Mary Halvorson, Kurt Rosenwinkel) of modern guitar. It is also a great place to discover new players from Europe (Dominic Landolt, Vojko Huter).