Wednesday was modern guitar pioneer Terje Rypdal’s 70th birthday. To celebrate, Henry Kaiser assembled a who’s who of modern guitarists: David Torn, Bill Frisell, Nels Cline, Hedvig Mollestad, Jim O’Rourke, Hans Magnus Ryan, Raoul Björkenheim, Even H. Hermansen, Reine Fiske, along with long time Rypdal keyboardist Ståle Storløkken, bassist Ingebrigt Håker Flaten, and drummer Gard Nilssen (Dungen). There is a Volume 2 that is a vinyl only release of side-long outtakes that were too good to leave on the shelf.
Kaiser also played and his production is more than up to the task of presenting multiple distorted guitars with clarity and cohesion. This tribute is a must-own for anyone interested in modern guitar playing at its best.
Summer is shaping up to be a bonanza time of year for new records featuring modern guitarists.
First we have a teaser for a record being released in August. For Terje Rypdal’s birthday, August 23rd, Rune Grammofon is releasing Sky Music: A Tribute to Terje Rypdal featuring – Nels Cline, Hedvig Mollestad, Bill Frisell, Jim O’Rourke, David Torn, Raoul Bjørkenheim, Henry Kaiser, and more. Produced by Henry Kaiser, who does an amazing job on the producing and playing front, this is shaping up to be THE modern guitar record of the year.
I first spotted Hedvig Mollestad on YouTube in 2011, playing grooving rhythm guitar and singing in Jarle Bernhoft’s funk band. With her platinum hair and limited edition white 335 she was hard to miss. At first I didn’t make the connection when her 2013 trio record, All of Them Witches, came across my desk—the mix of metal, jazz, and Scandinavian ambience was a far cry from Bernhoft’s blue-eyed soul, but in videos of the band that hair and guitar was unmistakable. Two releases later, on Black Stabat Mater [Rune Grammofon], Mollestad’s trio music has coalesced into a harder-edged sound that still leaves room for atmospherics. I have been trying to get an interview since that first record and am happy to announce it is here.
Thanks to Nasjonal jazzscene we have a couple of amazing sets for this version of the Guitar Moderne Festival. One, a new set from the amazing duo of Stian Westerhus and Sidsel Endresen, and a second from the Hedvig Mollestad Trio. Add full concerts from from Ava Mendoza, Marc Ribot and Fred Frith and you have a great way to end the summer.