Despite the lockdown, modern guitar releases keep coming apace. Here is the latest bounty from Jessica Ackerley, Jo Jena, Nick Milevoi, Henry Kaiser, a couple of Tim Motzer records, and others. There is still time to get many of these releases on Bandcamp, where today all the proceeds go to the artists, but don’t let that stop you from buying them in subsequent days.
Jessica Ackerley Morning / mourning [Cacophonous Revival Recordings]
Creating a personal voice in any genre is hard, but the world of solo guitar improvisation brings its own hurdles. Jessica Ackerely’s technical facility helps her leap these hurdles with aplomb as she weaves a distinctive path between atonality and tonality, noise and notes, while bringing heart to a style that can often reside in the head.
Jo Jena Sechs Kleine Klavierstücke, op. 19 [Bandcamp]
These are arrangements for electric guitar of six short Schönberg piano pieces based on Eduard Steuermann’s Columbia recordings from 1957. Jena’s performance of these brief pieces makes for a delightful musical amuse bouche.
Zane Carney Alter Ego [Orenda Records]
Carney’s pop credentials (John Mayer, Spiderman stage show) belie his solid jazz background. Here his use of effects (he even names a tune after the EHX Pitchfork), as well as his quartet’s penchant for group improvisation, place him in the modern jazz guitar camp.
Olie Brice, Binker Golding, Henry Kaiser, N.O. Moore, Eddie Prévost The Secret Handshake with Danger Vol. One [577 Records]
Founding member of legendary AMM, drummer Eddie Prévost, joins Binker Golding on Saxophones, Henry Kaiser and N.O. Moore on Guitar, and Olie Brice on Double Bass for two spontaneous compositions influenced by Miles Davis’s On The Corner electro-jazz era. A second volume, recorded during the same session, is available as well.
Desertion Trio Numbers Maker [Cuneiform Records]
Guitarist (and fellow music journalist) Nick Milevoi joins with bassist Johnny DeBlase, and Jason Nazary on drums for a set of five explorations that will answer the question, “What might Sonny Sharrock have sounded like if he had some effects pedals, and a whammy bar?” The ferocious energy here recalls Sharrock, but Milevoi assuredly has his own sound and concept on the instrument.
Ansound/Martin Hoogeboom/Ulrich Langenbach/Paul Mimlitsch/Wodwo (Crackle)(Sniff)(Hiss) [Bandcamp
Dutch guitarist Martin Hoogeboom’s collaboration project with guitarists Ulrich Langenbach, Thomas Sander (Ansound), Paul Mimlitsch and Ray Robinson (Wodwo) is a noise guitar quintet outing where each player seems perfectly placed in the sonic spectrum. That, combined with deep listening to each other and an appreciation for space makes for very appealing music.
Beady Beast (Christy Doran and Franz Hellmueller) On The Go [Between the Lines]
These two Swiss guitarists have eschewed their usual electric instruments for an all acoustic duo record sure to appeal to fans of the genre. Beautifully recorded and performed.
Tim Motzer Dorset [1k Records]
The complete unedited TM set from the live stream concert presented by SoundCellar in Dorset, England on February 7, 2021.
Tim Motzer & Bernhard Wöstheinrich in the blur of a vast boulevard / radio rds live berlin 2017 [1k Records]
Motzer’s guitar and effects join with Wöstheinrich’s synthesizers, laptop, and live sequencing, in one long set that sees them morphing into a single multi-hued instrument
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.
Good to see Jo Jena included. He’s guitar playing is exceptional!