Show #76: Guitar Summit

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Today’s show is about guitars; not all guitars, no blues, no country-western or western swing, etc. There are several styles featured, however, including Indian slide, surf guitar Cuban tres, French manouche (gypsy jazz), and an amazing live version of the Brazilian classic “Asa Branca”.

We begin with the new album by Bill Frisell. It contains mostly surf guitar classics from the 1960s. Then a stupendous version of Hendrix’ “Little Wing”, which I heard was actually just a rehearsal that Stevie Ray Vaughan didn’t know was being recorded. Cuba’s great Arsenio Rodriguez plays tres guitar. Tres guitar is a 3 double string guitar, which sounds different than a six string.

Django Reinhardt plays “Blues for Ike”, part of this last recording in 1953, a song he wrote for the then-sitting U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower, who lead allied forces helping France drive out the Germans in World War II. Then, a truly beautiful new album of Indian slide guitarist Debashish Bhattacharya, recorded in Calcutta.

LA-based guitarist David Pritchard creates a guitar tapestry on his new album Among the Missing, after which we hear another new album of Charlie Haden and Jim Hall, recorded at the Montreal Jazz Festival in 1990.

Brazilian guitarists Ricardo Silveira and Baden Powell are next; Powell’s song “Asa Branca” is a tour de force, recorded at the Frankfurt Opera House in 1975.

Another live album, this time done at Los Angeles jazz club Donté’s in 1984 by Lenny Breau, a great if under-recognized artist. Finally, another duet album featuring a Greek guitarist I’ve never heard of, Spiros Exaras, working with Cuban pianist Elio Villafranca on an old Cuban song, a habanera from the 1880s.

Eleven cuts, over an hour of music celebrating the guitar. I hope you like it.


Rhythm Planet Playlist: 10/10/14

  1. Bill Frisell / “Pipeline” / Guitar In The Space Age! / Okeh
  2. Stevie Ray Vaughan / “Little Wing” / Greatest Hits/ Epic
  3. Sabu Martinez / “Rhapsodia Del Maravilloso” Feat. Arsenio Rodriguez / Palo Congo / Blue Note
  4. Django Reinhardt / “Blues For Ike” / The Last Studio Sessions / Essential Jazz Classics
  5. Debashish Bhattacharya / “Rasika” / Calcutta Chronicles: Indian Slide Guitar Odyssey / Riverboat
  6. David Pritchard / “Among The Missing” / Among The Missing / Morphic Resonance Music
  7. Charlie Haden & Jim Hall / “Turnaround” / Charlie Haden – Jim Hall / Impulse
  8. Ricado Silveira / “Cochise” / Ricardo Silverira Organ Trio / Adventure Music
  9. Baden Powell / “Asa Branca” / Mestres Da MPB (Rec. Frankfurt Germany) / Warner Music Brasil
  10. Lenny Breau / “I Love You” / LA Beootleg 1984 (Rec. Live @ Donte’s) / Guitar Archives
  11. The Spiros Exaras Elio Villafranca Project / “Habanera Tu” / Old Waters New River / Harbinger Records

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Here is a Cuban musician playing the tres, the 3 double string guitar, on the Buena Vista Social Club classic “Chan Chan”.

Here is the immortal Baden Powell, look how he holds his cigarette while playing “Manha da Carnaval”–a Baden Powell trademark!