Over at One Mans’ Guitar you will find our latest guitar review, the Martin OMC-44K LJ
Laurence Juber recorded his album “Under an Indigo Sky” entirely with the most recent version of his C.F. Martin signature model, the OMC-44K LJ. It has been a rare occurrence when this singular master musician likes a single guitar so much he uses it exclusively when making one of his many dozens of records. But then, it is no ordinary guitar…
Jazz at Lincoln Center with Phil Woods and Tony Kadleck
In his 81st season, Woods was still a force to be reckoned with. I can get chills just thinking of his solo on the recording of Dr. Wu, but I am sure he would rather be remembered for the work he did with Dizzy, and Gil, and Monk, and his own European Rhythm Machine. But I never got to see those cats. So it was quite a thrill to see some Lincoln Center Jazz and be close enough to hear him slipping words of encouragement to his young collaborators while they raised the roof on the place.
A “late-night” record of fingerstyle artistry, Juber’s Under an Indigo Sky is …
Languid, lovely, evocative… a melt into a sumptuous sofa, and the sonic equivalent of isolated pools of low light playing off facets of cut crystal and opulent aperitif, close sensuous voices, soft laughter bittersweet with memory at the end of an evening. A warm, layered and very human scene painted entirely with one acoustic guitar drenched with resonant chords, clear and unhurried melody lines, and shadowy blue bass notes that rise or fall in pitch or pace like a melancholy pulse. An exquisite piece of music played on an exquisite guitar, exquisitely.
And that is just the first track on Juber’s Under an Indigo Sky, the latest CD from the two-time Grammy winner.
It was mixed by Al Schmitt, who has won 19 Grammy Awards, including the Lifetime Achievement Award in 2006.
As impressive as the vibrant playing is, it is the more languid performances, such as Cry Me A River with its sustained chords and un-struck string glides that truly show off the mastery of the engineer and the exceptional qualities of the guitar. While both the mellow and the vigorous selections reveal the mastery and exceptional qualities of the guitarist.
Over at One Man’s Guitar, a break from the norm – George Barnes
Our profile of the first electric guitarist, and an influence on just about every American guitarist who came after
… Then, I heard the duets of George Barnes and Bucky Pizzarelli. I was enthralled with the musicality of the tunes, the breathtaking licks, the slower passages of glistening, liquid tone. For some reason I assumed the suave, James Bond looking guy with the colorful name must have been doing all the exquisite lead playing. Only later did I realize it was the squat, cigar-chomping George Barnes who was tripping the light fandango in such a transcendent manner.
In a time when more and more people are working harder and longer for less benefit to anyone but their billionaire overlords, it is fitting to take the time appreciate those who work hardest to feed their families, and do their part and whose labor helps make our society a decent place to live.
For those in civilized nations that actually give their workers May Day off for rest, relaxation and remembrance, I hope you have as lovely a day weather-wise as it is here in New York City.
And for those who enjoy music and good spirits, I hope you find time for both, even if you had to work today.