It looks like things are opening up. But if you are like me—not quite ready to hang out around hundreds or thousands of people who may or may not have been vaccinated—you might prefer to stick with the Guitar Moderne virtual festival. Watch some newly available videos by legends Terje Rypdal and Bill Frisell, as well as great performances by A-team modern guitarists Mike Baggetta, Marc Ribot, and Eliot Sharp in the comfort of your disease-free home.
Many of this year’s picks were recorded before 2020, for obvious reasons. Works by veterans (Sharp, Alcorn, Björkenheim) joined some newer voices (Naylor, Yalvaç, Gargaud) in offering us quality distractions from a nightmarish year. If you hear anything you like, please purchase something from the artist. With touring off the table, times are tougher than usual for experimental artists.
I believe BibiAudiofil2 was gone from YouTube for a while but now is back. He is a Romanian music fan who has somehow amassed the most amazing collection of modern music videos I I have ever seen. For modern guitar fans, this includes vintage live footage of players like Bill Frisell, Terje Rypdal (a bonanza of videos), Marc Ribot, Pat Metheny, David Torn (with Don Cherry in 1979!), John McLaughlin, and Ralph Towner. Get over to the site while you have time and before he gets taken down.
Here is Eivind Aarset with the band that started the Guitar Moderne journey for me.
On Terje Rypdal’s 73th birthday, I wanted to let you know about an amazing 6 CD boxed set from 10 years ago. I consider myself a big fan of the Norwegian guitarist, yet until recently was unaware of this collection of live trio performances (with the occasional guest), Very Much Alive. Perhaps because it was released as a Paolo Vinaccia project on Jazzland , rather than ECM.
Summer festival season will be here before you know it. Hopefully we will be virus-free by then and you can enjoy the outdoors in the company of like-minded music fans. Either way, you can count on Guitar Moderne to supply virtual festivals like this to enjoy in the air-conditioned, Portapotty and germ-free comfort of your home.
We start the proceedings with this amazing Terje Rypdal trio concert from a decade ago that I seem to have missed, with Miroslav Vitous triggering orchestral samples.