Adam Levy and I go back decades and it was a pleasure to talk to him about how he developed his distinctive voice, what makes a modern guitarist, and more. For more about Adam’s history and great gear talk, click “more” to watch his interview with my friend Zac Childs.
One commenter on this video laments Oz Noy’s use of effects for this tune as self-indulgent. What they apparently fail to understand is that by pushing the sounds into the future, Oz is honoring another pioneer. Thelonious Monk was often misunderstood during his lifetime by people who wanted to keep hearing the basic swing of an Oscar Peterson or an Earl Hines. Many performers of Monk tunes over the years miss the spirit of his quirky style and merely play standard bebop and blues licks over the changes (Bill Frisell being a notable exception). Oz’s work here displays a mastery of modern effects, as well as blazing chops.
We live in a world of post Frisell-ian guitarists. A couple of generations have grown up influenced by this modern master’s use of space and effects. His influence shows more in some than others and, and, in fairness, his style is so idiosyncratic that it can be hard to find a unique identity under his musical spell. Still, British guitarist, Harry Christelis has managed that feat, learning all the right lessons while carving out a sound of his own through masterful, personal use of a different set of effects, and finding his own compositional and performing voice. We find out how, among other things, in our wide ranging interview.
Well, here they are: my ten faves from 2022; a little late (okay a lot late), but it would be a shame if you missed out on any of these terrific releases from the past twelve months. I urge you to go back through the Record Pick posts throughout the year to check out other fine recordings that didn’t make the cut. So, in no particular order.
Sorry I have fallen behind on posts. Big doings in the Guitar Moderne household. Great new recordings have been rushing in, so here is a long one to catch up. The usual suspects are here in unusual collaborations (Eivind Aarset, Bill Frisell), as well as undersung masters like Matt Stevens, Brandon Seabrook and others.