Catching up on a bunch of new releases. The variety and personality of modern guitarists continues to astound me, from Mary Halvorson’s angular smears to Xander Taylor’s Indian excursions. Ambitious well executed all. Stay safe and VOTE!
Mary Halvorson’s Code Girl Artlessly Falling [Firehouse]
Robert Wyatt, Amira Kidambi, Maria Grand, Adam O’Farrill, Michael Formanek , and Tomas Fujiwara join Halvorson. Wyatt’s voice and the compositions sometimes recall some experiments of 70s, but Halvorson’s smeary guitar style is never less than unique and right now.
Guillaume Gargaud Strange Memories [Chant/Setola]
French guitarist Gargaud expands on the Derek Bailey approach with a beautiful acoustic tone and intense musicality.
Thomas Bergsten Solo Guitar Instrumentals 1 + 2 [Quack Sound]
“It’s all about the squeezing and the letting go,” a friend of mine once said about music. Bergsten’s instrumentals (released as separate purchases on Bandcamp https://thomasbergsten.bandcamp.com/album/solo-guitar-instrumentals) evidence the perfect balance between tension and release, noise and notes.
Charlie Rauh The Bluebell [Destiny Records]
Rauh releases another record of exquisite miniatures,. This time it is acoustic classical style compositions only one of which breaks the two-minute mark, and that one not by much.
Davey Williams and Joel Nelson Allies [Transmuseq]
We lost Davey Williams last year. This posthumous release finds him collaborating with guitarist Nelson in a series of sympatico improvisations.
Xander Naylor Continuum [Chant Records]
NYC guitarist Naylor represents the new breed of modern guitarists who have incorporated a randomized search engine’s variety of music into their style. In Naylor’s case that would include avant jazz, post-rock, and Indian classical music. The trick is to integrate these styles into more than a pastiche, a trick that this musician pulls off handily. The fun funky trio videos on YouTub, however, belie the epic expansiveness of this record.
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, please feel free to remind me.