The Squid's Ear Magazine

Orcutt, Bill: Jump On It [VINYL] (Palilalia)

Ten years having passed since his last solo acoustic guitar album, Bill Orcutt's new release focuses on a more lyrical, relaxed and reflective side to his playing, in ten succinct pieces recorded in the spring and summer of 2002 at San Francisco's community focal point for and member of Intersection for The Arts, The Living Room.

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product information:

UPC: 843563161524

Label: Palilalia
Catalog ID: PAL 073LP
Squidco Product Code: 33035

Format: LP
Condition: New
Released: 2023
Country: USA
Packaging: LP
Recorded in The Livingroom, in San Francisco, California, during Spring and Summer, 2022.


Bill Orcutt-acoustic guitar

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Descriptions, Reviews, &c.

"It's been ten years since Bill Orcutt released A History of Every One, a compendium of hacksaw renditions of American standards on acoustic guitar - and since ten years is a blink of an eye, you are forgiven for not immediately realizing that we've gone an entire decade waiting for Jump On It, the next Orcutt solo acoustic record. As those of us of "a certain age" will tell you (ad nauseam), a decade is a blink of an eye containing an infinity of experiential moments, and if this record is any gauge, the weight of those experiences have squashed Orcutt's rough edges, feathered his stop-motion timing into a languid lyrical flow, and snapped the shackles tethering his instant compositional skills to the imperative to deconstruct guitar history. In short, Jump On It is a collection of canonical, mature acoustic guitar soli to contrast against the fractured downtown conceits of previous acoustic releases. For those paying attention to the arc of Orcutt's electric records, which chart a course from Quine's choppiness to Thompsonian / Verlaine-ian flow, it should be no surprise that the ten year gap between acoustic records should expose a similar underlying journey.

But what's maybe more surprising is that Jump On It, with its living-room aesthetics and big reverb, packs a disarming intimacy absent from the formal starkness of Orcutt's earlier acoustic outings. Although you might sense the looming human in the audible breath whispering intermittently between chords (a physical flourish reminiscent of the late Jack Rose), such documentarian signposts are the exception rather than the rule. Not quite refuting (yet not quite embracing) the polish of revered watershed records by Bert Jansch, John Renbourn, or Bola Sete, Jump On It treads a path between the raw and the refined, exemplified in tracks such as "The Life of Jesus" and "In a Column of Air" that alternate swaying chords with Orcutt's trademark angular quicksilver runs (cut brick-wall short). While you won't mistake Jump On It for incidental music, at least not if taken at full strength, stray passages radiate a conversational beauty that would please the most dissonance-adverse listener.

Strangely, some of the melted lockstep grooves found in Jump On It evoke nothing other than Music for Four Guitars. While many of the linear runs are clearly improvised, and the phrasing distinctly slurred, intuitive and non-mechanical, the strummed chords hint at a cellular construction similar to Jump On It's electric predecessor. (Orcutt states that he prefers to keep his strategies obscure - but that implies there is in fact a strategy).

Whatever the case, I also hear Satie in Music for Four Guitars, and I hear him here too, hidden within Jump On It's lilting repetition, which I easily imagine stretching to an infinitely-distant horizon. Like each of Satie's three Gymnopedies, each facet of Jump On It is a tiny miniature bound in a slim volume, an earworm you might savor again and again upon awakening or before drifting off. Each track is a key to a memory, a building block in a shining anamnesis leading to the recollection that hey, we're all humans in a shared cosmos, and music is one way we might make that universe go down easy. And who wouldn't jump on that?"-Tom Carter

Also available on CD.

Artist Biographies

"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 (

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Track Listing:


1. What Do You Do With Memory 3:01

2. The Life Of Jesus 2:42

3. Some Hidden Purpose 2:37

4. A Natural Death 3:06

5. The Ocean Will Find Its Shore 3:32


1. New Germs 3:43

2. In A Column of Air 3:27

3. Jump On It 2:59

4. Music That Fights Back 2:30

5. Before I Go 2:21

Related Categories of Interest:

Rock and Related
Improvised Rock
Improvised Music
Guitarists, &c.
Solo Artist Recordings
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