I am trying desperately to catch up with all the terrific music being brought to my attention. Here is a wide spectrum of interesting modern guitar, including a pair of solo recordings from Bill Frisell: one new and one you may have overlooked—I had.
Andy Sheppard Romaria [ECM]
Tenor and soprano saxophonist Sheppard reunites with Eivind Aarset, guitar, Michel Benita, double bass, and Sebastian Rochford, drums for another atmosphere-drenched—courtesy of Aarset—outing.
Matteo Liberatore Solos [Innova Recordings]
Solos is the first, er, solo guitar recording by this Brooklyn based guitarist and composer. Entirely played on acoustic guitar, mostly improvised and with no overdubs, Matteo attacks the instrument with items like metal springs, alligator clips, a bass bow, and a kick drum beater. Solos reveals that the electronics of his previous work were just the icing on the cake of his musicality.
Minor Empire Uproot [World Trip Records]
This Canadian band blends traditional Traditional Turkish sounds and rhythms with modern guitar effects and funky grooves into a unique musical experience.
Henry Kaiser Friends & Heroes: Guitar Duets [Fractal Music]
Henry in duo with Derek Bailey, Fred Frith, Nels Cline, Elliott Sharp, Bill Frisell, and a host of others. Nuff said.
Double Naught Spy Car & Friends MOOF [Foot Pole Records]
This Los Angeles guitar instrumental band invites the likes of Nels Cline, Joe Gore, Sara Ardizzoni, and others to contribute to their twenty-first century surf sound.
Jon Durant Parting Is [Alchemy Records]
…such sweet sorrow,” goes the quote and Durant’s solo project, after a couple of records with Porcupine Tree bassist Colin Edwin as Burnt Belief, is an elegiac affair in which Durant employs his “cloud guitar” to evocative effect.
Gregory Lewis Organ Work Blue [Self-released]
Marc Ribot got his start playing in typical organ trios, but here is nothing typical about organist Lewis’s Monk tribute, thanks to his own idiosyncratic style and Ribot’s modern approach.
Bill Frisell Music Is [OKeh/Sony]
A new solo outing by one of modern guitar’s greatest. If there is anyone reading Guitar Moderne who is unfamiliar with his work, this is a good place to start.
Finally, not a new Frisell release but oddly one I missed when it came out five years ago. I am ashamed to say that in my pursuit of new experimental guitarists I had begun to take one of my heroes for granted. As one release after another came out (the guy has over 80 recordings), I stopped following each new one as closely as I might have. It was only in preparing for a new Guitar Player interview that I discovered this 2013 release.
Bill Frisell Silent Comedy [Tsadik]
John Zorn encouraged this exercise in sound sculpting improvisation and Bill rose to the occasion, using the Electro-Harmonix Freeze pedal, along with other effects to demonstrate why he is a pioneer and still master of modern guitar.
Record Picks is a periodic offering from Guitar Moderne: a listing of recordings brought to my attention that I feel are worthy of being brought to yours. These are not reviews. Feel free to submit recordings, but they must be purchasable worldwide, reflective of modern guitar (subjective to be sure, 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 already sent me a recording, feel free to remind me.