Free Jazz review by Stef Gissels

CFG 006Various – I Never Meta Guitar Too (solo guitars for the XXI Century) (CFG 006)

If you’re looking for a great starting place for understanding what a guitar is, then I’ve got an just the album for you. Actually two. Clean Feed’s ‘I Never Meta Guitar’ and now  ‘I Never Meta Guitar Too’  is an aptly titled clever play on words.

It’s not an instructional CD/DVD, nor is it a text book, but it kind of is actually both those things. Imagine hearing everything a guitar is, in the hands of musicians who really have dedicated their careers to redefining where the instrument begins and ends…

… like Ava Mendoza whose fuzzed out shards of sound pile up over a solid little baseline loop on ‘Mandible Moonwalk’. Or Ben Tyree who sonorous acoustic guitar moves sumptuously in an accessibly beautiful arc on ‘The Gatekeeper’. And then there is Yasuhiro Usui gives us a head scratcher on ‘Headland’, moving between forays into noise, chaotic fretting, spacey textures and melodic snippets.

Each piece is different, exploring and pushing the boundaries of the instrument. Joel Harrison creates a whole world of sound and acoustic textures on ‘Loon,’ while Zach Layton lays down an evocative and slowly expanding soundscape with his electric guitar and looping tools on ‘Thus Gone,’ creating a sonic temple of reverb.

I Never Meta Guitar Too is a continuation of curator Elliot Sharp’s work to bring both known and emerging artists work together. The pieces are all created by the artists and reflect a huge swath of what is possible with a single guitar (though not necessarily a single voice).

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