Monday, January 19, 2009

from the sky to the lawn to the water

Nels Cline - Destroy All Nels Cline (lala) Nels Cline has his work cut out for him if the title is to be taken as a mission, for there are a lot of Nelses Cline - the ragged edge of the current application of Wilco, the introspective guitar composer and collaborator, and this one - the guy who puts his guitar in the cradle of the catapault and cuts the rope. As his guitar sails through the air, it encounters grumbling thuunder, billowing clouds, and a flock of unsuspecting geese (resulting in a tumult of feathers, blood, and angry squawking) It is good stuff that diligently, yet through secrective technique, explores the until now untold virtues of the instrument.
Bill Frisell - History, Mystery (lala) Duly broken down in the recent New Yorker by Gary Giddins, Bill Frisell is a guy I tend to respect more than I actively like - his spirit seems a little to contained in the ornate boxes his talent conjures. This recent effort, after a number of respectable jazz collaborations of late, finds Frisell in in good company with his muses, relaxed enough that he allows them to drag him away from the party to cavort on the lawn a little.
Steffen Basho-Junghans - Last Days of Dragons (lala) Junghans is a guitarist of a whole different order. Cline and Frisell are both means-to-an-end guys regarding their respective strategies, whereas Junghans is almost all means, with a slow trickle of distilled end pooling around it, and you, as the pieces unfold.
Jack Rose - Dr. Ragtime & Pals/Self-Titled (lala) Jack Rose's body of work encompasses all the above like floodwaters raging with a sudden consciousness that still water doesn't bother with, and you look out the window, and all you see is water staring back at you from all angles.
John Fahey - Days Have Gone by, Vol. 6 (lala) - and when that well runs dry, you go to the river
Jeff Buckley - Grace (lala) Of course, always be careful when you go too far into the river...

also, I know Jeff Buckley is among the beloved, but listening to it now, there is a marked American Idol quality to this record.

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