Guitarist Bill Orcutt's self-titled solo album brings a mix of standards and original compositions, starting with Ornette Coleman's "Lonely Woman" and eclectically running us to "The Star Spangled Banner", each song unfolding as he delivers in an unhurried way with rich sustain and reverb on a 4-string Telecaster, performing at The Living Room in San Francisco.
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Catalog ID: PAL 048LP
Squidco Product Code: 24206
Recorded at The Living Room, San Francisco, California, January, 2017. Mastered by James Plotkin.
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1. Lonely Woman 3:52
2. When You Wish Upon A Star 4:34
3. Ol Man River 3:13
4. Nearer My God To Thee 2:57
5. The World Without Me 4:02
1. White Christmas 2:00
2. O Platitudes! 4:27
3. Christmas On Earth 4:26
4. Over The Rainbow 3:03
5. Star Spangled Banner 2:36
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"For those not following Bill Orcutt's drift into increasingly ear-friendly orbits in his recent live sets, Bill Orcutt-his first solo electric studio LP-shocks with its space and sensitivity. On this eponymous record, Orcutt mines the expansiveness and sustain possible on the electric guitar, letting notes spin out and decay at the edge of feedback. His pachinko-parlor pacing, marked by unraveling clockspring accelerandos crashing into unexpectedly suspended tones, is still in evidence. But here, his developing melodicism maps a near-contemplative mental realm, orbiting St. Joan-era Loren Connors more than the cascading treble clatter of his duo LPs with Chris Corsano and others. From the first notes of Ornette Coleman's "Lonely Woman," there's a lucidity and slow-burning lyricism that make Orcutt's plunges into barbed-wire fingerpicking all the more striking. While no one's about to mistake Orcutt for Jim Hall, you could probably play this for your jazzbo friends (should you be unlucky enough to have them) without raising any eyebrows.
Orcutt's track selection mirrors his obsession with American popular song in its most banal manifestations, as radically reimagined via acoustic guitar on a variety of releases, including 2013's exhaustive Twenty Five Songs 7" box set, and the Mego LP A History of Every One. Many of the songs from those two releases are here-but stretched into new arrangements that explore the upper regions of the guitar neck (hitherto unexplorable on his shakily-intonated acoustic Kay), and lighting up new corners of each arrangement with a sensitivity born from years of reinterpretation. The result is a languid, freeform drift through Orcutt's internal cosmos into galaxies unknown to their original interpreters-and occasionally, Orcutt himself. Most striking is "White Christmas," its careening low-register melodies crashing into complex chords that transcend Orcutt's primitive four-string fretboard.
Orcutt's original compositions are equally striking. One of them-"The World Without Me"-is unique to this LP, and notable for its trebly flurry of Clapton-esque 12th-fret drizzle. "O Platitudes!" by contrast, spins ever-faster in the cadence of a hand-cranked music box, before grinding to a near halt, its higher-key electricity standing in for the moaning vocalizations on Orcutt's acoustic rendition as heard on his 2014 VDSQ LP.
With its deep-space beauty, harmonic complexity, and dark dissonance, Bill Orcutt is a stunning landmark in Orcutt's form-destroying trajectory."-PalilaliaAlso available on CD.
• Show Bio for Bill Orcutt
"Bill Orcutt (born February 2, 1962) is an American guitarist and composer whose work combines elements of blues, punk, and free improvisation. Inspired by seeing Muddy Waters in The Last Waltz, Orcutt began playing the guitar as a teenager in Miami. In 1992, he formed the band Harry Pussy with his wife, Cuban/American drummer and vocalist Adris Hoyos. The group recorded three LPs and toured the US frequently, often in support of indie bands like Sonic Youth and Sebadoh. Their music, which drew from American no wave, hardcore punk and free jazz was influential and "served as a progenitor for the Noise movement." In 1997 the band dissolved and the couple divorced. Orcutt moved to San Francisco and took a long hiatus from music, returning in 2009, with an LP of solo guitar entitled A New Way To Pay Old Debts which was well received, ranking 3rd of 2009 in the The Wire magazine's annual "Rewind" list. His follow-up release How The Thing Sings was similarly praised, reaching number 3 on NPR's The Best Outer Sound Albums Of 2011. Since 2009, Orcutt has toured often appearing at festivals in the US and Europe, including Hopscotch, Incubate, Le Nouveau Festival du Centre Pompidou, Hardly Strictly Bluegrass, Donau and Big Ears. Typically a solo performer, Orcutt has also recorded or performed with Loren Mazzacane Connors, Chris Corsano, Peter Brotzmann and Alan & Richard Bishop."-Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_Orcutt)
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