Catching up on a plethora of performances released last year, some of which are shoo-ins for my “best of” list coming later in January.
This month our Picks runneth over. Covid has been unable to stifle those who were born to create. Solo projects and remote collaborations abound, but group projects are finding their way into the mix as well. We start off with Sonar’s Stephen Thelen and all-star guests.
I am heartened by how it gets harder and harder to pick the best of the year. It means that there are more and more great records of modern guitar being issued all the time. This year was made a little easier by the fact that veteran masters like David Torn, Henry Kaiser, Bill Frisell, Nels Cline, and Eivind Aarset all appeared on one or more records. The list is rounded out by younger players like Julian Lage, Max Kutner, and Anthony Pirog, as well as the introduction of new faces: Justus West, Rafiq Bhatia, and Igor Osypov.