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Kaiser, Henry

Friends & Heroes: Guitar Duets

Kaiser, Henry : Friends & Heroes: Guitar Duets (Fractal Music)

Drawn from decades of work, guitarist Henry Kaiser collects an astonishingly diverse set of recordings of duos with fellow guitarists Derek Bailey, Debashish Bhattacharaya, Fred Frith, Knut Reiersrud, Sandy Ewen, Chris Muir, Ian Brighton, Nels Cline, Jim O'Rourke, Elliott Sharp, Eugene Chadbourne, Davey Williams, Roberto Zorzi, Bill Frisell, and John Russell.
 

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product information:


UPC: 888295602785

Label: Fractal Music
Catalog ID: 2017-63
Squidco Product Code: 25653

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2018
Country: Canada
Packaging: Cardboard sleeve, sealed
Recorded between 1979 and 2017.


Personnel:

Henry Kaiser-guitar

Derek Bailey-guitar

Fred Frith-guitar

Knut Reiersrud-guitar

Sandy Ewen-guitar

Chris Muir-guitar

Ian Brighton-guitar

Nels Cline-guitar

Jim O'Rourke-guitar

Elliott Sharp-guitar

Eugene Chadbourne-guitar

Davey Williams-guitar

Roberto Zorzi-guitar

Bill Frisell-guitar

John Russell-guitar

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track listing:


1. Chrysanthemums 1:38

2. The Distant Thunder 6:00

3. Three Languages 9:32

4. A Mighty Fire 4:21

5. Mokele-Mbembe 5:03

6. Overlapping Dialogue 3:56

7. Infinitum Ad-Infinitum 4:04

8. Harmony Jam 3:50

9. All Aboard For Futuresville 7:24

10. The Trouble With Hoichi 3:07

11. Skipper Sedley 4:10

12. Wheels - Right Left 3:07

13. Limpaziente Inglese 3:25

14. The Very Last Of The Very Few 11:29

15. Split The Difference 8:43
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Improvised Music
Electro-Acoustic
Electro-Acoustic Improv
Guitarists, &c.
Duo Recordings
West Coast/Pacific US Jazz
European Improv, Free Jazz & Related
London & UK Improv & Related Scenes
NY Downtown & Jazz/Improv
Frith, Fred
New in Improvised Music
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descriptions, reviews, &c.

"There a real Smörgåsbord of pieces on Henry Kaiser's Friends & Heroes: Guitar Duets. They are stylistically varied improvisational vignettes ranging from the eccentric "Three Languages" with Fred Frith to the heavy electric blues of "A Mighty Fire" with Knut Reiersrud. There's also prog(-ish) rock on "Harmony Jam" with Nels Cline and there's a kind of electronic serialism on "All Aboard For Futureseville" with Jim O'Rourke. For sheer sublimity though, "The Distant Thunder" would be hard to beat, Debashish Bhattacharaya on classical Hindustani slide guitar, which, to some extent, emulates the sound of the sitar.

But it's the opening track "Chrysanthemums" with the late Derek Bailey that's probably the key to the whole thing, Kaiser revealing that the great guitar improvising innovator was, in his words, "the primary reason that I started to play guitar in the first place" and this very short duet with Bailey is surprisingly congruent. Other of Kaiser's heroes include Bill Frisell and they are both heard duetting on "The Very Last Of The Very Few" which is presented as an electronic soundscape. British improv guitarist Ian Brighton, another early disciple of Bailey's is heard to great effect on "Infinitum Ad-Infinitum" as is fellow British improviser John Russell, again one of Bailey's renowned acolyte's, who features on the final track "Split The Difference" which works well. On "Skipper Sedley," a duet with Eugene Chadbourne the distinction between the two guitarists is unclear but the listener could hazard a guess that Chadbourne is playing the improvised tune whilst Kaiser offers chordal accompaniment, but the reverse could be true!

Kaiser himself is something of a polymath for apart from being an experimental guitarist of note, he is a deep sea diver for the U.S. Antarctic programme and an accomplished film maker. One of his solid electric guitars, shown on the front cover of the CD depicts a Telecaster of sorts, heavily decorated with marine images reflecting his aquatic pursuits. This compilation CD, which, necessarily, weighs-in at the full 79 minutes, is studded with a panoply of tonal and harmonic nuggets whilst employing a prodigious variety of styles and performances. So there's truly something for everyone here. "-Roger Farbey, allaboutjazz.com


Get additional information at All About Jazz

Artist Biographies:

"Henry Kaiser (born September 19, 1952) is an American guitarist and composer, known as an idiosyncratic soloist, a sideman, an ethnomusicologist, and a film score composer. Recording and performing prolifically in many styles of music, Kaiser is a fixture on the San Francisco Bay Area music scene. He is considered a member of the "second generation" of American free improvisers. He is married to Canadian artist Brandy Gale.

In 1977, Kaiser founded Metalanguage Records with Larry Ochs (Rova Saxophone Quartet) and Greg Goodman. In 1979 he recorded With Friends Like These with Fred Frith, a collaboration that lasted for over 20 years. In 1983 they recorded Who Needs Enemies, and in 1987 the compilation album With Enemies Like These, Who Needs Friends? They joined with fellow experimental musicians John French, and English folk-rocker Richard Thompson to form French Frith Kaiser Thompson for two eclectic albums, Live, Love, Larf & Loaf (1987) and Invisible Means (1990). In 1999 Frith and Kaiser released Friends and Enemies, a compilation of their two Metalanguage albums along with additional material from 1984 and 1999.

In 1991, Kaiser went to Madagascar with guitarist David Lindley. They recorded roots music with Malagasy musicians and discovered music that, he says, "changed us radically and permanently". Three volumes of this music were released by Shanachie under the title A World Out of Time. In 1994 he made a similar trip to Norway, again with Lindley, recording music that was released as Sweet Sunny North (2 volumes, 1994 and 1996).

Since 1998, Kaiser has been collaborating with trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith in the "Yo Miles!" project, releasing a series of tributes to Miles Davis's 1970s electric music. This shifting aggregation has included musicians from the worlds of rock (guitarists Nels Cline, Mike Keneally and Chris Muir, drummer Steve Smith), jazz (saxophonists Greg Osby and John Tchicai), avant-garde (keyboardist John Medeski, guitarist Elliott Sharp), and Indian classical music (tabla player Zakir Hussain).

Kaiser has appeared on more than 250 albums and scored dozens of TV shows and films, including Werner Herzog's Encounters at the End of the World (2007). He was given a Grammy Award for his work on the Beautiful Dreamer tribute to Stephen Foster.

In 2001, Kaiser spent two and a half months in Antarctica on a National Science Foundation Antarctic Artists and Writers Program grant. He has subsequently returned for nine more visits to work as a research diver. His underwater camera work was featured in two Herzog films, The Wild Blue Yonder (2005) and Encounters at the End of the World (2007), which he also produced, and for which he and Lindley composed the score. Kaiser served as music producer for Herzog's Grizzly Man (2005). He was nominated for an Academy Award for his work as a producer on Encounters at the End of the World."

-Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Kaiser_(musician))
7/16/2018

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"Derek Bailey (29 January 1930 - 25 December 2005) was an English avant-garde guitarist and leading figure in the free improvisation movement.

Bailey was born in Sheffield, England. A third-generation musician, he began playing the guitar at the age of ten, initially studying music with his teacher and Sheffield City organist C. H. C. Biltcliffe, an experience that he did not enjoy, and guitar with his uncle George Wing and John Duarte. As an adult he worked as a guitarist and session musician in clubs, radio, dance hall bands, and so on, playing with many performers including Morecambe and Wise, Gracie Fields, Bob Monkhouse and Kathy Kirby, and on television programs such as Opportunity Knocks. Bailey's earliest foray into 'what could be called free improvised music' was in 1953 with two other guitarists in their shared flat in Glasgow. He was also part of a Sheffield-based trio founded in 1963 with Tony Oxley and Gavin Bryars called "Joseph Holbrooke" (named after the composer, whose work they never actually played). Although originally performing relatively "conventional" modal, harmonic jazz this group became increasingly free in direction.

Bailey moved to London in 1966, frequenting the Little Theatre Club run by drummer John Stevens. Here he met many other like-minded musicians, such as saxophonist Evan Parker, trumpet player Kenny Wheeler and double bass player Dave Holland. These players often collaborated under the umbrella name of the Spontaneous Music Ensemble, recording the seminal album Karyobin for Island Records in 1968. In this year Bailey also formed the Music Improvisation Company with Parker, percussionist Jamie Muir and Hugh Davies on homemade electronics, a project that continued until 1971. He was also a member of the Jazz Composer's Orchestra and Iskra 1903, a trio with double-bass player Barry Guy and tromboneist Paul Rutherford that was named after a newspaper published by the Russian revolutionary Vladimir Lenin.

In 1970, Bailey founded the record label Incus with Tony Oxley, Evan Parker and Michael Walters. It proved influential as the first musician-owned independent label in the UK. Oxley and Walters left early on; Parker and Bailey continued as co-directors until the mid-1980s, when friction between the men led to Parker's departure. Bailey continued the label with his partner Karen Brookman until his death in 2005[citation needed].

Along with a number of other musicians, Bailey was a co-founder of Musics magazine in 1975. This was described as "an impromental experivisation arts magazine" and circulated through a network of like-minded record shops, arguably becoming one of the most significant jazz publications of the second half of the 1970s, and instrumental in the foundation of the London Musicians Collective.

1976 saw Bailey instigate Company, an ever-changing collection of like-minded improvisors, which at various times has included Anthony Braxton, Tristan Honsinger, Misha Mengelberg, Lol Coxhill, Fred Frith, Steve Beresford, Steve Lacy, Johnny Dyani, Leo Smith, Han Bennink, Eugene Chadbourne, Henry Kaiser, John Zorn, Buckethead and many others. Company Week, an annual week-long free improvisational festival organised by Bailey, ran until 1994.

In 1980, he wrote the book Improvisation: Its Nature and Practice. This was adapted by UK's Channel 4 into a four-part TV series in the early '90s, edited and narrated by Bailey.

Bailey died in London on Christmas Day, 2005. He had been suffering from motor neurone disease."

-Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Derek_Bailey_(guitarist))
7/16/2018

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"Though the point of reference for many remains the iconic band Henry Cow, which he co-founded in 1968 and which broke up more than 30 years ago, Fred Frith has never really stood still for an instant.

In bands such as Art Bears, Massacre, Skeleton Crew, Keep the Dog, Tense Serenity, the Fred Frith Guitar Quartet, Eye to Ear, and most recently Cosa Brava, he has always held true to his roots in rock and folk music, while exploring influences that range from the literary works of Eduardo Galeano to the art installations of Cornelia Parker.

The release of the seminal Guitar Solos in 1974 enabled him to simultaneously carve out a place for himself in the international improvised music scene, not only as an acclaimed solo performer but in the company of artists as diverse as Han Bennink, Chris Cutler, Jean-Pierre Drouet, Evelyn Glennie, Ikue Mori, Louis Sclavis, Stevie Wishart, Wu Fei, Camel Zekri, John Zorn, and scores of others.

He has also developed a personal compositional language in works written for Arditti Quartet, Asko Ensemble, Bang on a Can All-Stars, Ensemble Modern, Concerto Köln, and ROVA Sax Quartet, for example. Fred has been active as a composer for dance since the early 1980s, working with choreographers Bebe Miller, François Verret, and especially long-time collaborator and friend Amanda Miller, with whom he has created a compelling body of work over the last twenty years.

His film soundtracks (for award-winning films like Thomas Riedelsheimer's Rivers and Tides and Touch the Sound, Peter Mettler's Gambling, Gods, and LSD, and Deborah Kaufman and Alan Snitow's Thirst, to name a few) won him a lifetime achievement award from Prague's "Music on Film, Film on Music" Festival (MOFFOM) in 2007. The following year he received Italy's Demetrio Stratos Prize (previously given to Diamanda Galas and Meredith Monk) for his life's work in experimental music, and in 2010 was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Huddersfield in his home county of Yorkshire.

Fred currently teaches in the Music Department at Mills College in Oakland, California (renowned for over fifty years as the epicenter of the American experimental tradition), and in the Musik Akademie in Basel, Switzerland."

-Fred Frith Website (http://www.fredfrith.com/biography.html)
7/16/2018

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"Knut Reiersrud (born 12 February 1961 in Oslo, Norway) is a Norwegian blues guitarist. His work also incorporates elements of Norwegian traditional music and African music. He lives in Oslo. He has collaborated extensively with the Norwegian organist Iver Kleive. He is lead guitarist and one of the original members of Cloudberry Cream.

Reiersrud also plays the harmonica, mandolin, langeleik, oud, and Turkish saz, he has composed music for four Norwegian movies, and together with Iver Kleive, took part in the opening ceremony of the '94 Olympic Winter Games.

In 2008 Reiersrud established his own festival "Trestock" at Nesodden, where a superteam of Norwegian musicians contributed. Among the artists can be mentioned Odd Nordstoga, Valkyrien Allstars and Reiersrud with his own K. R. Band, and in collaboration with organist Iver Kleive. Upcoming artists, exciting for the younger audience, include Jarle Bernhoft (ex "Span") with his new project; the band "Lester", composed of Nikolai Eilertsen (ex BigBang) and David Wallumrød; and the indie band "Maika". Other names include The Grand; Amund Maarud's rock band, Spellemannprisen nominated Hemisfair (no); the girls who play lively frantic noise in Katzenjammer; the Rockabilly girls in Lucky Lips; the country artist Ivar Thomas; the Nesodden heroes "Foggy Boys" and "Midnight Special"; the traditional music trio "Vrang"; and "Drøbak Bluesband".

Reiersrud has for many years been host of the NRK radio program, Blues Asylet, together with Knut Borge. The program is meant to be a playground and a respite for blues and blues-friends of all shades. In 2004, Krissy Matthews undertook a radio session with Reiersrud for Blues Asylet on NRK P2."

-Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Knut_Reiersrud)
7/16/2018

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"Sandy Ewen was born in Toronto, Canada in 1985, Sandy Ewen received a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Texas at Austin in 2008. Since then she has resided in Houston, TX where she pursues musical and visual projects and her architecture license. Ewen has released several albums, including a duo with guitarist Tom Carter, a trio with bassist Damon Smith & drummer Weasel Walter, and a rock album with Austin's Weird Weeds. Ewen's visual work is closely tied to her work in sound; she uses both mediums to explore texture, composition and materials.

Ewen's microcollages, enlarged through projection and digital printing, are an exploration of material and technique. Using a unique process pioneered by the artist, natural materials and polymers are torn, liquefied, scorched, melted, cut, and fused. When enlarged, the microscopic nuances of these manipulations are manifested in exquisite detail. Ewen has presented prints of her work at 14 Pews (2012), Spacetaker/Fresh Arts (2012), Khon's (2013) & Galeria Regina (2014).

As an improviser in both art and music, Ewen sees herself as guiding materials and space rather than executing a preconceived composition. "I like to explore mediums and materials and tease out their essence," says Ewen. "Working with slide projections has focused my eye on the subtitles of natural processes of decay and transformation. Through my work, I am asking questions of the materials rather than dictating answers." "

-Sandy Ewen Website (http://www.sandyewen.com/about/)
7/16/2018

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"Chris Muir (born August 12, 1983) is an American musician, songwriter, and artist manager based in New York City. Chris played bass guitar and sang backing vocals for Nat & Alex Wolff, the stars of Nickelodeon's The Naked Brothers Band. Chris also plays in the New York rock band Character Nine, as well as a various other acts."

-Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chris_Muir_(musician))
7/16/2018

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Ian Brighton is a free improvising guitarist, known for the bands Balance, Spontaneous Music Ensemble, and Spontaneous Music Orchestra.

-Squidco 7/16/2018

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"Nels Courtney Cline (born January 4, 1956 in Los Angeles) is an American guitarist and composer. He has been the guitarist for the band Wilco since 2004.

He first came to prominence in the 1980s playing jazz, often in collaboration with his twin brother Alex Cline, a drummer. Since then, he has worked with a wide range of musicians in punk and alternative rock, notably Mike Watt and Thurston Moore. He also leads the groups the Nels Cline Singers and Nels Cline Trio.

Cline was named the 82nd greatest guitarist of all time by Rolling Stone magazine in November 2011."

-Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nels_Cline)
7/16/2018

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"O'Rourke was born on January 18, 1969 in Chicago, Illinois. He is an alumnus of DePaul University. He has released albums of jazz, noise, glitchy electronica and rock music. O'Rourke has collaborated with Thurston Moore, Lee Ranaldo, Derek Bailey, Mats Gustafsson, Mayo Thompson, Brigitte Fontaine, Loren Mazzacane Connors, Merzbow, Nurse with Wound, Phill Niblock, Fennesz, Organum, Phew, Henry Kaiser, Flying Saucer Attack, and in 2006 mixed Joanna Newsom's album Ys. In 2009, he also mixed several tracks on Newsom's follow up Have One On Me.

He has produced albums by artists such as Sonic Youth, Wilco, Stereolab, Superchunk, Kahimi Karie, Quruli, John Fahey, Smog, Faust, Tony Conrad, The Red Krayola, Bobby Conn, Beth Orton, Joanna Newsom and U.S. Maple. He mixed Wilco's Yankee Hotel Foxtrot album and produced their 2004 album, A Ghost Is Born, for which he won a Grammy Award for "Best Alternative Album". During the recording of Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, O'Rourke collaborated with Wilco member Jeff Tweedy and pre-Wilco Glenn Kotche under the name Loose Fur. Their self-titled debut was released in 2003 with a follow-up in 2006 entitled Born Again in the USA. He also mixed the unfinished recordings that made up a planned third album by the late American singer-songwriter Judee Sill, recorded in 1974 and mixed by O'Rourke for a 2005 release.

O'Rourke was once a member of Illusion of Safety, Gastr Del Sol (with David Grubbs) and Sonic Youth. Beginning in 1999 he played bass guitar, guitar and synthesizer with Sonic Youth, in addition to recording and mixing duties with the group. He withdrew as a full member in late 2005, but continued to play with them in some of their side projects. In the early 1993, O'Rourke formed an avant-rock group with Darin Gray and Dylan Posa called Brise-Glace. The band released one studio album, When in Vanitas..., in 1994. They also released a 7" in the same year titled In Sisters All and Felony/Angels on Installment Plan.

O'Rourke has also released many albums under his own name on a variety of labels exploring a range of electronic and avant-garde styles. His most well-known works may be his series of releases on Drag City, which focus on more traditional songcraft: Bad Timing (1997), Eureka (1999), Insignificance (2001), The Visitor (2009) and Simple Songs (2015). The titles of the first four albums all refer to films by the British director Nicolas Roeg; the first three by direct reference to film titles, the fourth being titled after a fictional album within Roeg's film The Man Who Fell To Earth. With music director Takehisa Kosugi, he played for the Merce Cunningham dance company for four years. O'Rourke received a 2001 Foundation for Contemporary Arts Grants to Artists Award."

-Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jim_O'Rourke_(musician))
7/16/2018

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"Elliott Sharp is an American multi-instrumentalist, composer, and performer.

A central figure in the avant-garde and experimental music scene in New York City for over 30 years, Elliott Sharp has released over eighty-five recordings ranging from orchestral music to blues, jazz, noise, no wave rock, and techno music. He leads the projects Carbon and Orchestra Carbon, Tectonics, and Terraplane and has pioneered ways of applying fractal geometry, chaos theory, and genetic metaphors to musical composition and interaction.

His collaborators have included Radio-Sinfonie Frankfurt; pop singer Debbie Harry; Ensemble Modern; Qawwali singer Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan; Kronos String Quartet; Ensemble Resonanz; cello innovator Frances Marie Uitti; blues legends Hubert Sumlin and Pops Staples; pipa virtuoso Min-Xiao Feng; jazz greats Jack deJohnette, Oliver Lake, and Sonny Sharrock; multimedia artists Christian Marclay and Pierre Huyghe; and Bachir Attar, leader of the Master Musicians Of Jajouka.

Sharp is a 2014 Guggenheim Fellow, and a 2014 Fellow at Parson's Center for Transformative Media. He received the 2015 Berlin Prize in Musical Composition from the American Academy in Berlin. He has composed scores for feature films and documentaries; created sound-design for interstitials on The Sundance Channel, MTV and Bravo networks; and has presented numerous sound installations in art galleries and museums. He is the subject of a new documentary "Doing The Don't" by filmmaker Bert Shapiro."-Elliott Sharp

-Elliott Sharp website (http://www.elliottsharp.com/bio.html)
7/16/2018

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"A seemingly endless -- and endlessly eclectic -- series of releases made the innovative guitarist Eugene Chadbourne one of the underground community's most well-known and well-regarded eccentrics. Born January 4, 1954 in Mount Vernon, NY, Chadbourne was raised in Boulder, CO, by his mother, a refugee of the Nazi death camps. At the age of 11, the Beatles inspired him to learn guitar; later exposure to Jimi Hendrix prompted him to begin experimenting with distortion pedals and fuzzboxes. Ultimately, however, he became dissatisfied with the conventions of rock and pop, and traded in his electric guitar for an acoustic one, on which he began to learn to play bottleneck blues.

Perhaps Chadbourne's most significant formative discovery was jazz; initially drawn to John Coltrane and Roland Kirk, he later became an acolyte of the avant excursions of Derek Bailey and Anthony Braxton. Despite the huge influence music exerted over his life, however, Chadbourne first studied to become a journalist, but his career was derailed when he fled to Canada rather than fight in Vietnam; only President Jimmy Carter's declaration of amnesty for conscientious objectors allowed the vociferously left-wing Chadbourne to return to the U.S. in 1976, at which time he plunged headlong into the New York downtown music scene. After releasing his 1976 debut, Solo Acoustic Guitar, he began collaborating on purely improvisational music with the visionary saxophonist John Zorn and the acclaimed guitarist Henry Kaiser.

Quickly, Chadbourne carved out a singular style, comprised of equal parts protest music, free improvisation, and avant-garde jazz, topped off with his absurd, squeaky vocals. A complete list of Chadbourne's countless subsequent collaborations and genre workouts is far too lengthy and detailed to exhaustively document, although in the early '80s he garnered some of his first significant attention as the frontman of Shockabilly, a demented rockabilly revisionist outfit which also featured the well-known producer Kramer. Following the group's breakup, Chadbourne turned to his own idiosyncratic brand of country and folk, accurately dubbed LSD C&W on a 1987 release, the same year he joined the members of Camper Van Beethoven for a one-off covers project. In addition, he recorded with artists ranging from Fred Frith and Elliott Sharp to Evan Johns and Jimmy Carl Black, the original drummer in the Mothers of Invention; in between, he continued exploring unique styles inspired by music from the four corners of the globe, all the while issuing a seemingly innumerable string of records, most of them on his own Parachute label."

-All Music (http://www.allmusic.com/artist/eugene-chadbourne-mn0000172925/biography)
7/16/2018

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"Davey Williams (born 1952) is an American free improvisation and avant-garde music guitarist. In addition to his solo work, he has been noted for his membership in Curlew and his collaborations with LaDonna Smith.

Williams began on guitar at age 12. He played in rock bands in high school, and studied with blues musician Johnny Shines from the late 1960s until 1971. Early in the 1970s Williams played in the University of Alabama B Jazz Ensemble and the Salt & Pepper Soul Band. He also started working with LaDonna Smith around this time, and founded a musical ensemble/recording project called Transmuseq. He toured the U.S. and Europe in 1978. Early in the 1980s he worked in a blues band called Trains in Trouble, then joined Curlew in 1986, who released several albums on Cuneiform Records through the 1990s.

In the 1980s he also worked with Col. Bruce Hampton and OK, Nurse, and in the early 1990s played in a punk rock band called Fuzzy Sons. Concomitantly with Fuzzy Sons, Williams played in an improvisational three-piece called Say What?, and worked with Jim Staley and Ikue Mori. Williams has appeared live at some 1,500 concerts worldwide.

Williams co-founded The Improviser, a journal of experimental music, in 1981. He has also worked as a music critic for the Birmingham News and published freelance criticism elsewhere."

-Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Davey_Williams_(musician))
7/16/2018

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"Roberto Zorzi is to be considered a highly unique character on the Italian music scene: in part because, as far as I know, there are no other guitarists named Zorzi (although there are plenty of Roberto's, but we won't go into that). What matters most is how he plays his guitar, where he chooses to play, the musical acquaintances he has and the number of excellent restaurants he has taken me to.

Well, enough of the idle banter, let's get down to the more serious stuff. Roberto, born and raised in Verona and a passionate lover of improvised music (to such an extent that he took part in the organisation of the Verona Jazz Festival) is in the fourth decade of his life (and is often heard to say that he would like to remain there for a very long time) and can boast having collaborated with a very worthy set of musicians who play music without frontiers. In recent years he has involved high calibre people such as Tim Berne, Bobby Previte, Elliot Sharp, Fred Frith, Ernst Rejiseger, Trilok Gurtu, Franco D'Andrea in unimaginable projects, where the love for spontaneous creation and for electronic music has often been coupled with reminiscences of the formative years, unpredictably influenced by the ecumenical rock of King Crimson, the blues rock of Cream and Led Zeppelin, of Pink Floyd: visionaries of Ummagumma.

The unison of these great musicians of the British music scene was extremely influential thanks also to the long lived love affair with Ornette Coleman. Other sources of inspiration have become Golden Palominos, Massacre, Henry Kaiser (with the help of whom Roberto Zorzi has deepened his knowledge of the creative use of digital effects with the guitar). As a member of the band NAD Niù Abdominaux Dangereux, Zorzi has participated in the recording of the album Ghosts. The album already showed mature signs of his poetry, which is in tune with the other members of the band and is emphasised by such guests as Sharp, Frith, Kaiser and Denardo Coleman. Zorzi has brought to the recording studio a very varied group of artists such as Franco D'Andrea, Albert Mangelsdorff, Trilok Gurtu, Ernst Rejiseger, Paolo Damiani and Roberto Ottaviano: The result being the album Similado. "Similado". "The Bang" dates back to 1990. This CD was recorded live during the festival held at Roccella Jonica by a group of artists including Berne, Previte, Mark Feldman, Herb Robertson, Percy Jones and Matteo Ederle. Despite the spontaneity of the event, one can appreciate the effort involved in reproducing the style of progressive rock reminiscent of the sixties: comparing this style with the style influenced by some of the best artists of the New York Music scene.

Following this, we come across the experiences with LA1919, Chris Cutler, Charles Hayward and, once again and with much emphasis, Elliot Sharp. Having widely visited, not only the present but the future of the electric guitar, Roberto has had the excellent idea to take a look at the past too: he has rediscovered the pleasure of acoustics and the sublime roughness of the Delta Blues. All this without excluding from his acquaintances the likes of Paul Lovens, Steve Jansen (ex Japan), Chianura Bros, Gabbiani e Musci, the theatrical actress Elisabetta Fadini, Mike Cooper etc .. Roberto's most recent work finds him with his bosom buddy Henry Kaiser: they are half way between the city and the countryside in a sort of imaginary city outskirts. The landscape is no longer urban but not yet rural, both feelings are nevertheless represented and reprocessed with a very personal touch. What comes next? Up until now his itinerary has been so irregular and varied that it impossible to predict where we will next turn up. It's no use waiting for him or trying to hunt him down: when the time comes, he will track us down and surprise us..."

-Niccosmo.Org (http://www.niccosmo.org/zorzi/bioeng.html)
7/16/2018

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"Born in Baltimore, Bill Frisell played clarinet throughout his childhood in Denver, Colorado. His interest in guitar began with his exposure to pop music on the radio. Soon, the Chicago Blues became a passion through the work of Otis Rush, B.B. King, Paul Butterfield and Buddy Guy. In high school, he played in bands covering pop and soul classics, James Brown and other dance material. Later, Bill studied music at the University of Northern Colorado before attending Berklee College of Music in Boston where he studied with John Damian, Herb Pomeroy and Michael Gibbs. In 1978, Frisell moved for a year to Belgium where he concentrated on writing music. In this period, he toured with Michael Gibbs and first recorded with German bassist Eberhard Weber. Bill moved to the New York City area in 1979 and stayed until 1989. He now lives in Seattle.

"When I was 16, I was listening to a lot of surfing music, a lot of English rock. Then I saw Wes Montgomery and somehow that kind of turned me around. Later, Jim Hall made a big impression on me and I took some lessons with him. I suppose I play the kind of harmonic things Jim would play but with a sound that comes from Jimi Hendrix", Frisell told Wire. Bill also lists Paul Motian, Thelonious Monk, Aaron Copland, Bob Dylan, Miles Davis and his teacher, Dale Bruning, as musical influences.

Bill recorded his first two albums as a leader on ECM, both produced by Manfred Eicher. Subdued and lyrical in nature, In Line, the first of the ECM recordings, employed both electric and acoustic guitars in a series of solos (including some overdubbing) and duets with bassist Arild Andersen. Second was Rambler, featuring Kenny Wheeler, Bob Stewart, Jerome Harris and Paul Motian. About Rambler, Fanfare said: "Bill Frisell has built a little masterpiece here - not just a showcase for his own instrumental creativity (of which there is much in evidence), but a clever and poetic whole."

Frisell's third album and last for ECM, Lookout For Hope, marked the recording debut of The Bill Frisell Band featuring Hank Roberts, Kermit Driscoll and Joey Baron. Produced by Lee Townsend, the album's diverse material - ranging from country swing to reggae, quasi-heavy metal and backbeat rock with a twist to Monk's "Hackensack" - nevertheless possessed the cohesive and unmistakable personality of a working band on to a sound of its own. High Fidelity called it "the fullest showing of Frisell's ability to date, especially his compositional range." The Chicago Tribune said, "Lookout For Hope offers one of the most hopeful signs that contemporary jazz can evolve with dignity, wit and charm."

Before We Were Born, Frisell's debut recording for Nonesuch, featured three musical settings: Peter Scherer and Arto Lindsay produced, co-arranged and performed on three Frisell compositions. "Some Song and Dance", produced by Lee Townsend, is a suite of four pieces performed by Frisell's Band with a saxophone section featuring Julius Hemphill, Billy Drewes and Doug Wieselman. Frisell's "Hard Plains Drifter" is an extended work shaped, produced and arranged by John Zorn and played by the Frisell Band. The New York Times observed: "By following through on the implications of his unfettered sounds, Mr. Frisell has made his best album."

Frisell's second Nonesuch album, Is That You?, features nine original Frisell compositions, one by producer Wayne Horvitz and two cover tunes - "Chain of Fools" and "Days of Wine and Roses". With Frisell playing guitars, bass, banjo, ukulele and even clarinet, Is That You? demonstrated with great clarity his pan-stylistic, yet strangely unified musical world. Musician called the album "a very personal vision, tearing down stylistic barriers with delicacy and sudden bursts of emotion."

Frisell's third album for Nonesuch, Where in the World?, also produced by Wayne Horvitz, was the band's final recording with cellist Hank Roberts. The Philadelphia Inquirer said: "There is nothing standard about Where in the World?...Frisell is not only a master of an unusual guitar-based sonic tapestry, he's one of the few composers capable of writing for an interactive ensemble."

Have a Little Faith, Frisell's 1992 Nonesuch recording, was something of a tribute album. Here, he interpreted the music of a number of American composers whose music had inspired him - Aaron Copland, Muddy Waters, Bob Dylan, John Hiatt, Sonny Rollins, Stephen Foster, Charles Ives, Victor Young, Madonna and John Philip Sousa. The extent to which Bill has made this music his own demonstrates the completeness of its link to his own compositional approach. For this recording Frisell's Band was augmented by Don Byron (clarinet, bass clarinet) and Guy Klucevsek (accordion) and produced by Wayne Horvitz. The San Francisco Bay Guardian said, "Frisell treats each piece with typical earnestness and lyricism, breaking into wrenching distortion and stormy group improv only after breathing the original full of a softly glowing life."

This Land, Frisell's fifth Nonesuch recording, consists of all original material with the band and a horn section of Don Byron (clarinets), Billy Drewes (alto saxophone) and Curtis Fowlkes (trombone). Produced by Lee Townsend, the album readily displays the connection between Frisell's own writing and the composers' work to whom he pays tribute on his previous Have a Little Faith. From the standpoint of synthesizing his celebrated composing and arranging talents with exuberant improvising and spirited band interaction, it is a landmark recording, which prompted this description in Rolling Stone: "Strange meetings of the mysterious and the earthy, the melancholy and the giddy, make perfect sense by Frisell's deliciously warped way of thinking. The warpage is catching on and not a moment too soon."

In 1994, Frisell recorded a pair of recordings of music that he composed for three silent Buster Keaton films - The High Sign, One Week and Go West. The band premiered this music along with the films to a spirited and sold-out audience at St. Ann's in Brooklyn in May '93. The pairing displayed a natural affinity between work of both artists. Their works together possess an undeniable sense of adventure and penchant for the unexpected that only enhances the warmth and humanity of both the musical elements and the films themselves. It has proven to be the rare case where the whole truly transcends the sum of its parts. Of the "Go West" recording , Billboard noted: "With this set of music for the classic Buster Keaton film, "Go West," Bill Frisell has crafted one of his finest, most evocative albums. Evincing his best qualities as both guitarist and composer, he harvests melancholy Americana from deceptively modest, episodic themes. Coloring the scenes with acoustic as well as his trademark electric, Frisell produces strangely cinematic motifs on guitar, and his rhythm cohorts - longtime bassist Kermit Driscoll and drummer Joey Baron - provide abundant narrative drive." Both albums were produced by Lee Townsend.

Frisell's success with the Keaton films has led him to other film-related projects. He scored the music for Gary Larson's "Tales From the Far Side" animated television special and Daniele Luchetti's Italian feature film, "La Scuola." Some of the music from these projects has been adapted and recorded by Frisell on Quartet, Frisell's Nonesuch recording released in April '96.

The formation of the Quartet, with Ron Miles (trumpet), Eyvind Kang (violin) and Curtis Fowlkes (trombone), was a new working band for Frisell, who had worked with the telepathic rhythm combination of Kermit Driscoll and Joey Baron for nearly ten years. Frisell told Down Beat: "It's so different from the traditional guitar-bass-drum thing, even though Joey Baron, Kermit Driscoll and I never played like a typical jazz trio. This group, with violin and brass, can play an orchestral range of sounds. It's gigantic. It's given me a chance to write and arrange in an even bigger way." Quartet, was quickly hailed by critics. The New York Times declared: "Quartet may be his masterpiece."

Nonesuch released Nashville in April of 1997. Recorded in Nashville and produced by Wayne Horvitz with members of Allison Krauss' Union Station band - mandolin player Adam Steffey and banjo player Ron Block - the project also features her brother and Lyle Lovett's bass player Viktor Krauss, dobro great Jerry Douglas, vocalist Robin Holcomb and Pat Bergeson on harmonica. "Comprising acoustic instrumental folk tunes with unpredictable stylistic accents, Nashville boasts a dreamy, seductive grandeur. The backing mandolin/dobro/bass interplay simmers - Frisell himself picks and strings and most of all floats, laying out liquid tones that settle over the melodies like heat haze on a swampy, swimmerless lake." wrote the LA Weekly. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution summed it up simply as, "Frisell's nod to Nashville is Americana at its best."

In January of 1998 Frisell's next project Gone, Just Like A Train came out. On this exceptionally melodic and rhythmically vital instrumental collection of original compositions, Frisell is joined by Viktor Krauss and by Jim Keltner, all star drummer of choice for Bob Dylan, Ry Cooder, T-Bone Burnett, George Harrison, John Lennon and The Traveling Wilburys. The Rocket in Seattle wrote that "Frisell has managed to pull together an ad hoc super trio of musicians from drastically different pasts, and they manage to assemble a machine of colossal proportions: part skewered jazz, part roadside folk blues, part gritty rock..Gone presents Frisell at a creative apex. He's integrated a thoroughly unique understanding of so much American Music. And it's all gift-wrapped in a lean, unimposing trio framework that conveys sheer genius in a million directions. It flies with shining power." Produced by Lee Townsend, the album proved to be one of Frisell's most celebrated and popular to date.

Good Dog, Happy Man, brims full of Frisell's shimmering original compositions. Here he is reunited with the Gone Just Like a Train rhythm section of Viktor Krauss on bass and Jim Keltner on drums and joined by Wayne Horvitz on Hammond B3 organ, multi-instrumentalist/slide guitarist Greg Leisz (known for his work with Joni Mitchell, K.D. Lang, Emmy Lou Harris, Beck and Jimmie Dale Gilmore, among others) plus special guest Ry Cooder on the traditional folk song "Shenendoah". Produced by Lee Townsend, Good Dog, Happy Man celebrates Frisell's emergence as a composer who has created a genre unto himself. The Philadelphia Inquirer wrote: "The 12 breathtakingly beautiful originals on Good Dog, Happy Man resist every obvious classification. Frisell's been doing the undefinable for years - creating revelatory music from threadbare accompaniment; finding vital contexts for jazz improvisation that are worlds away from bebop; burying shiny nuggets of melody beneath a gauzy lace-like surface. Frisell manages to evoke big worlds with stark single notes and foreboding sustained tones, conjuring a richly textured atmosphere that is both understated and undeniable. No matter what you call it." "

-Bill Frisell Website (https://www.billfrisell.com/bio)
7/16/2018

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"John Russell got his first guitar in 1965 while living in Kent and began to play in and around London from 1971 onwards. An early involvement with the emerging free improvisation scene (from 1972) followed, seeing him play in such places as The Little Theatre Club, Ronnie Scott's, The Institute of Contemporary Arts, The Musicians' Co-Op and the London Musicians' Collective. From 1974 his work extended into teaching, broadcasts (radio and television) and touring in the United Kingdom and, ever extensively, in other countries around the world . He has played with many of the world's leading improvisers and his work can be heard on over 50 CDs and albums. In 1981, he founded QUAQUA, a large bank of improvisers put together in different combinations for specific projects and, in 1991, he started MOPOMOSO which has become the UK's longest running concert series featuring mainly improvised music."

-John Russell Website (http://www.john-russell.co.uk/biography/)
7/16/2018

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

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