Show #211: 6 Gems for 6 Strings

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This week, we spotlight six talented guitar players. Unlike the piano, which requires the coordinated movements of 22 individual components before a single sound can be made, the guitar showcases the true immediacy of an artist’s touch. It’s a delicate and much more personal instrument.

We begin with Bill Frisell, who has been working with Charles Lloyd as of late. This time around, Frisell pairs with super-bassist Thomas Morgan at the legendary jazz mecca, The Village Vanguard. We’ll listen to their performance of Lee Konitz’s Subconscious Lee off their new album, Small Town. Next, Ralph Towner presents “I’ll Sing to You,” an original composition from his first solo album in years. He has got quite a catalogue with ECM that dates all the way back to the early 1980s.

Dominic Miller has worked as a session guitarist and toured with many top artists, so it’s a rare treat to see an album released under his own name. His new ECM cd, Silent Light, received 5 stars from the audiophile rag Stereophile for both Miller’s performance and sonics.

It just so happens that our fourth cut also comes to us by way of ECM, this time from Hungarian guitarist Zsófia Boros. Local Objects is Boros’ second release for the label. I just love her touch and her selection of repertoire. This song, “Celebraçao de Nupcias,” is an old one by Brazilian guitarist and pianist Egberto Gismonti. The song title translates to mean “bridal shower.”

We conclude with two fabulous Brazilian guitarists: Marco Pereira and the late Baden Powell. Pereira is an outstanding composer and technician, while Baden Powell ranks in my book as a guitar god. The latter’s 1975 performance in Frankfurt, Germany, is a tour-de-force worth hearing. Here he is, playing Luiz Gonzaga’s classic “Asa Branca” (White Wing).

I hope you enjoy this sextet of guitar greats.

Rhythm Planet Playlist for 5/19/17

  1. Bill Frisell & Thomas Morgan / “Subconcious Lee”Small Town / ECM
  2. Ralph Towner / “I’ll Sing to You”My Foolish Heart / ECM
  3. Dominic Miller / “En Passant”Silent Light  / ECM
  4. Zsófia Boros / “Celebraçao De Núpcias”Local Objects / ECM
  5. Marco Pereira / “Lamento do Morro”O Samba Da Minha Terra / Solu Brasil
  6. Baden Powell / “Asa Branca” / Mestres da MPB / Warner Bros. Brasil
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