It has been fascinating to watch the expansion of electric guitar into the “classical” realm over the last 30 or 40 years. I have been privileged to have had interesting and enlightening discussions with two guitarist/composers working in this field: Tim Brady and James Moore. Israel has been exporting excellent guitarists for a while now: Gilad Hekselman, Oz Noy to name but two. Add to the list Yaron Deutsch. Working in the classical/new music realm he turns in an astonishing performance here, demonstrating a wealth of extended techniques, developed in the improvised music realm, which are showing up more and more in composed works.
I was pretty sure he would outlive me. He was only four years older and in better shape. I am having a hard time imagining a world without him.
He eschewed the “live fast, die young” credo held dear by so many of his rock star peers. He was about the work, when he deigned to work; often he preferred his hot rods. He was in that select club of musicians who grow, change, and experiment as they age: Jim Hall, Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Miles Davis, I run out of names pretty quickly. He was the one that got away; the only player I would have loved to interview, or even meet, but never got the chance. (I did get to hold one of his guitars in the Hard Rock Cafe vault in London).
Catching up on a plethora of performances released last year, some of which are shoo-ins for my “best of” list coming later in January.
Happy New Year. My interview with Markus Reuter is long overdue. He has been a major part of the modern guitar community for decades, from his brilliant work with The Stickmen and versions of King Crimson, to his recordings ranging from ambient to prog, to his terrific podcast featuring a number of modern guitarists. He has worked with Tim Motzer, Adrian Belew, Robert Fripp and Mark Wingfield among others. Our conversation ranges wide and long, covering many things of interest to the modern guitarist.
I interviewed Jonathan Crossley a year ago and described him as the poster boy for modern guitar, due to his experimentation with haptic control. He is now focusing on laptop software to create aleatoric loops with which he and his trio can improvise. I highly recommend his new record, Inhale and that you go back and watch the first interview here, along with the performance videos, either before or after. If you are interested in the possibilities of modern guitar you must check him out.