I am heartened by how it gets harder and harder to pick the best of the year. It means that there are more and more great records of modern guitar being issued all the time. This year was made a little easier by the fact that veteran masters like David Torn, Henry Kaiser, Bill Frisell, Nels Cline, and Eivind Aarset all appeared on one or more records. The list is rounded out by younger players like Julian Lage, Max Kutner, and Anthony Pirog, as well as the introduction of new faces: Justus West, Rafiq Bhatia, and Igor Osypov.
Long considered a “Father of Electronic Music in France,” Richard Pinhas is sans doubt a pioneer in the art of mixing guitar with electronics to push the instrument’s envelope. You can get a detailed bio at his website. I took the opportunity to talk to him when he made a rare tour stop in Nashville. He candidly filled in some of the blanks in the official story, and discussed two recent releases: Process And Reality, featuring Pinhas, Tatsuya Yoshida and Masami Akita, and Mu, a project with guitarist, producer, and former Guitar Player Magazine editor Barry Cleveland.