In the four years since we spotlighted Mike Baggetta he has been a busy man. He has relocated from New York City to Knoxville, Tennessee; played on David Torn’s Sun of Goldfinger record; gigged with Nels Cline playing lap steel (Cline on steel, not Baggetta), and released Wall of Flowers [Big Ego Records]. The last features a true supergroup power trio, ala a modern day Cream, as Baggetta, Mike Watt, and session legend, Jim Keltner join forces. Knoxville being relatively close to Nashville, Baggetta has been playing here quite a bit and took time before a gig at Rudy’s Jazz Club to come over and talk about Wall of Flowers and the joys of looping with a TimeFactor.
On my first trip back to New York in two years, I lucked out in the modern guitar department. First I was able to meet with Ralph Gibson the fabulous photographer/musician at his studio for a wide-ranging discussion of photography, music, and life. Then, a random Facebook post revealed that Mike Baggetta was playing in Brooklyn with Jerome Harris, Billy Mintz— and Nels Cline on lap steel!
No Nels but this will give you an idea of the music.
In contrast to the increased size of Winter NAMM 2018, this year’s Summer NAMM in Nashville seemed a bit smaller than last year’s event with fewer big product unveilings. The fare skewed traditional rather than cutting edge, even more so than usual. That said there were some cool new offerings worthy of mention.
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.
I have wanted to get Elliot Sharp in the magazine for years. With a musical history spanning over thirty years, he practically qualifies as a pioneer in the world of modern guitar. A new record Rub Out The Word [Infrequent Seams] features the guitarist providing electronic soundscapes that interact with Steve Buscemi reading the words of William Burroughs. This perfect pairing made it the ideal time to present E# in Guitar Moderne.
Photo: Peter Gannushkin