It is still looking like summer festival season will be cancelled. But fear not; you can count on Guitar Moderne to continue to supply virtual, germ-free festivals like this. Pandemic is creating new paradigms for performance. Solo looping, already popular, ensures social distancing from band members. Those musicians brave (or foolhardy—you be the judge) enough to play together in an enclosed space are often doing so without an audience save for a skeleton camera crew.
With all due respect to Martha and the Vandellas, “Summer’s here and the time is right for watching in your seat.” That’s right, sit in a nice air conditioned space or take your device out in the yard—no over priced food and drinks, no bathroom lines, great sound, and the best modern guitar from all over the world. Hell, at a “real” festival you would probably be watching the action on the jumbo screen anyway while you stood there sweating for hours.
I had the good fortune to see these two modern guitar giants play in this band live in a tiny San Francisco nightclub, back in the day.
For the most part Europeans, and especially Scandinavians, are miles ahead of Americans when it comes to the seamless integration of jazz with sampling, beats, and electronics that is Nü-Jazz. Nils Petter Molvær brought out Khmer in 1995, while Bugge Wesseltoft, Jazzanova and St. Germain have been working this territory easily as long. Guitarists mining this particular type of fusion also seem to reside on the east side of the Atlantic: Eivind Aarset, Bram Stadhouders, Jeff Beck, Stian Westerhus, and Nguyên Lê have been long at home with the grooves of EDM and/or the sounds of experimental electronica.