For over three decades, a grounding in traditional electric guitar styles has informed Andreas Willers’ excursions into avant-garde guitar, from his first recordings on the FMP label, through years of playing with an array of modern masters like Jim Black, Paul Bley, Mark Dresser, Marc Ducret, Mark Feldman, Trilok Gurtu, Dave Liebman, David Murray, Glen Moore, Bobby Previte, Tom Rainey, Enrico Rava, Herb Robertson, Elliot Sharp, Ches Smith, and many more.
I am trying desperately to catch up with all the terrific music being brought to my attention. Here is a wide spectrum of interesting modern guitar, including a pair of solo recordings from Bill Frisell: one new and one you may have overlooked—I had.
If there is one record store that epitomizes the spirit of Guitar Moderne, it is Downtown Music Gallery. When I lived in New York, I discovered a wealth of new music there and saw some great shows. Here is a video that gives some of the store’s history and shows the kind of guitarists and other instrumentalists who played there. If you are looking for recordings by your favorite artist and can’t find it at your local record store (assuming you have one), these guys will take care of you.
Five years ago, I found myself scouring YouTube for videos of guitarists like Nels Cline, Derek Bailey, and Eivind Aarset. I was amazed at how much was available and how those videos led to others by strange and wonderful guitarists I didn’t know. I wanted to share this find—but where? I had many guitarist friends and “friends” on Facebook, but only a small percentage of those would be interested in the avant-garde excursions of the players I enjoyed.
The man who helped inspire guitarmoderne.com takes an awesome solo at 5:25
Few guitarists attempt to improvise for a full set using minimal if any effects or prepared guitar implements. Keeping the music interesting and, well, musical for a forty minute set with nothing but a guitar and your fingers is not easy. Ken Aldcroft manages to do it through a thorough background in jazz, extended finger techniques like tapping and pinch harmonics, and a rooted sound that comes from the blues.