As promised, modern guitarist legend Bill Frisell and I discuss his new Record “Valentine,” Covid brain, and playing live with no audience. We also compare Jazzmasters.
When I moved back to New York City from San Francisco in the late 90s, David Tronzo was playing often and, more likely than not, I was there. I watched with my jaw dropped as he played blistering, jazz-inflected lines on his vintage Silvertone—with a slide! Check out some of the videos here; it has to be seen to be believed. Then watch my interview with him where he explains his tuning, odd choices for slides, and how the end of The Marshall Plan has affected touring opportunities in Europe for American acts, and much more.
Normally I would just post this on the Guitar Moderne Facebook page, but it is so, well, fanasticos! that I had to give it a real post. Modern sounds and looping with a CRT screen based guitar? WTF! From the Japan based Electronicos Fantasticos! website: “Electronicos Fantasticos! (aka: Nikos), led by artist/musician Ei Wada, revives electrical appliances that have finished their roles into new ‘electromagnetic musical instruments’ while involving everyone. This project gradually shapes the orchestra.”
I first saw Brandon Ross with Cassandra Wilson back in the Nineties. His application of a jazz sensibility to Wilson’s Sarah Vaughn meets Joni Mitchell stylings was revelatory. I later learned about the amazing Harriet Tubman, his band with drummer J.T. Lewis and bassist Melvin Gibbs, but am sorry to say it was at a time when I was not ready for them. Delving into Ross’ work for this interview, I discovered that he embodies everything Guitar Moderne is about: personal style, adventurous playing, disregard for genre, and experiments with electronics. Our conversation ranged wide and very long. I tried to include the best bits here.