I can’t believe it has been four years since I spoke to Eivind Aarset, the guitarist largely responsible for sending me on this Guitar Moderne journey. Now is the perfect time, as he is featured on four new records. We spoke about three of them, and surprise, surprise, his first new guitar in, well, forever.
Summer is shaping up to be a bonanza time of year for new records featuring modern guitarists.
First we have a teaser for a record being released in August. For Terje Rypdal’s birthday, August 23rd, Rune Grammofon is releasing Sky Music: A Tribute to Terje Rypdal featuring – Nels Cline, Hedvig Mollestad, Bill Frisell, Jim O’Rourke, David Torn, Raoul Bjørkenheim, Henry Kaiser, and more. Produced by Henry Kaiser, who does an amazing job on the producing and playing front, this is shaping up to be THE modern guitar record of the year.
I have discovered a disproportionate number of modern guitarists through their association with trumpet players. Maybe it is the direct inspiration of Miles Davis, with his relentless search for the new, but Arve Henriksen, Jon Hassell, Nils Petter Molvær, Cuong Vu, Steve Bernstein, Christian Scott, Michael White, Paolo Fresu, Paolo Raineri are just a small percentage of the trumpeters who have been involved in experimental music in the last few decades. Often working with forward thinking guitarists like Eivind Aarset, Stian Westerhus, as well as “Davids” Tronzo, Kollar, and Torn, these artists have made some of the most interesting, truly modern jazz around.
Now add to that list Los Angelino Daniel Rosenboom. His releases, Burning Ghosts and Book of Storms on his lable Orenda Records both feature avant/noise/death metal guitarist Jacob Vossler. Rosenboom has also released Vossler’s duo record with drummer Aaron MacLendon, Versus. Vossler gets so many great sounds and textures out of his instrument that it was a revelation to find out that he largely eschews effects and uses an amp that has inspired many an argument in the gearhead world.
You could say Eivind Aarset started this whole Guitar Moderne thing. It was discovering his work with trumpeter Nils Petter Molvær that started me searching YouTube for video of him playing live, long before I got to see him play in Montreal, New York, and London. Through that search, I discovered other players and the rest is history. It has been a while since his 2012 release Dream Logic, a solo project for ECM, and another YouTube discovery: a workshop he did in Istanbul revealed some new gear. I reached out and Eivind was kind enough to respond with some help in identifying the gear and some info as to what he has coming out.
It has been my dream to attend the Punkt Festival in Norway. There, some of the worlds most forward thinking musicians perform concerts that are recorded live, then remixed immediately after for another audience. In 2013 Eivind Aarset performed with his quartet, augmented by Jan Bang, and was subsequently remixed by Bang, Arve Henriksen and Eric Honore. I wasn’t there and probably neither were you, but fortunately for all of us both Aarset’s performance and the remix are presented here.