Guitar is but a small part of Paul Steven Ray’s creative palette. Percussion, composing for various aggregations including operas, and video also provide outlets for his restless inventiveness. His latest recording MAPS, by Paul Steve Ray’s BlueBlack Dream (one of his many projects), includes guitar, both played and attacked, samples, Theremin, sung and spoken vocals. It is a work of texture and mystery inspired by a wide range of musical influences thoroughly absorbed.
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.
There have been short clips of this available in the past of this group, with Palle Mikkelborg, Håkon Graf, Sveinung “Thunder Thumb” Hovensjø and Jon Christensen doing a TV special for NRK in 1978, but this is the first time I have seen the full concert. Thanks to Lasse Postmyr for uploading it to YouTube and Peter Freeman for posting on Facebook.
I started Guitar Moderne, in part, because I was spending an inordinate amount of time on the Internet searching out videos of modern guitar players. I thought the time could be put to good use if I shared them with like-minded guitar fans. Recently, a raft of videos has surfaced featuring Terje Rypdal with his various historic bands. I offer them to Guitar Moderne readers as a holiday gift, with the thought that many of you are off work or out of school for the week and might have time to watch them. Enjoy.
Terje Rypdal Odyssey, Live at Molde Jazz Festival, Norway, 29 July 1975
Henry Kaiser recently sent me a beautifully shot, great sounding video of Terje Rypdal playing with Elephant9. The video is not available on YouTube and is more Elephant9 than Rypdal (though he has a stellar moment here and there). In searching for available videos of him with that band, I found most were low quality, but I also found this video of Rypdal live in Oslo in 2015. This is essentially the same band I saw in New York in 2012 minus the trumpet. Ståle Storløkken Hammond on organ electric piano, synthesizer is from Elephant9. Paolo Vinaccia plays drums and hilarious samples. Terje Rypdal had his 69th birthday last month and so a belated Happy Birthday.