Monthly Archives: August 2013

Miolin Debussy

Claude Debussy arranged for ten stringed guitar and performed by Anders Miolin, (BIS).

Any guitarist who’s interested in the music of Claude Debussy should check out this album by classical guitarist Anders Miolin. I was beginning to be fascinated by Debussy’s colorful harmony and it made sense to look for transcriptions of his music. The piano music is where I really connect with Debussy, transparent chords floating in the air, water trickling across my ears. The expanded range of the ten string classical guitar is perfect to handle the masters dreamy music.

Ten selections from Preludes book I & II plus Deux Arabesques and others.

Also of interest:

Anders Miolin – Maurice Ravel, arranged for Ten-Stringed Guitar & Alto Guitar (BIS)
Anders Miolin – Erik Satie, arranged for Alto Guitar (BIS)
Anders Miolin – The Lion in the Lute, British Guitar Music: Berkeley, Britten, Rawsthorne, Tippett, Walton (BIS)

and also:

Paul Galbraith – French Impressions, Debussy Ravel (Delos)

Paul is another classical guitarist who has arranged the music of Debussy and Ravel. Gailbraith plays an eight string guitar that he holds like a cello, using an end pin to support the instrument.

edit: I didn’t know it at the time, but apparently Galbraith also rests the instrument on a resonating box to make the instrument louder.

logoThere’s another batch of Black Saint/Soul Note boxes being released, seems like they missed the opportunity for a Jimmy Lyons box again, maybe next time! I’m a big fan of this series, a lot of music in each collection at a reasonable price, even though they use only miniature reproductions of the original sleeves. No liner note booklets, presumably to keep costs down. They should make those historical program notes available on a web site.

Art Farmer
Paul Bley
Andrew Cyrille
Oliver Lake
David Murray

No release dates now, but like the previous releases, they are on the CamJazz label.






nudibranch5Tim Berne and Snakeoil – Shadow Man (ECM)

Last years Snakeoil was on everybody’s best of list and I really enjoyed hearing them play at the Greenwich House of Music, so I’m really looking forward to this album. Oscar Noreiga’s clarinet gives the band a nice chamber music vibe, but it’s really the compositions that go places. October 2013.

Matt Mitchell – Fiction (Pi)

Matt is the pianist in Snakeoil and this is his new duet album with drummer Ches Smith. Matt has been getting increasingly visible and the jazz world should know more of his piano playing. October 2013.

Dave Holland – Prisim  (Dare2 Records)

Legendary bassist Dave Holland’s new group with Kevin Eubanks on guitar, Craig Taborn on piano and Fender Rhodes and Eric Harland on drums. September 2013.

John Abercrombie – 39 Steps (ECM)

Prolific guitarist John Abercrombie’s latest group features pianist Marc Copland, bassist Drew Gress, and drummer Joey Baron. October 2013.

John Abercrombie – Abercrombie Quartet box (ECM)

After years of waiting for CD reissues of  these albums, ECM is finally giving us Arcade, M and Abercrombie Quartet from this very late ’70s group. Some are hoping there’s an additional disk of material like a radio broadcast included, more will be reveled as the release date approaches.

Ralph Towner –  Travel Guide (ECM)

Ralph Towner introduces a new guitar trio with Wolfgang Muthspiel and Slava Grigoryan. October 2013.

Harold Budd – Perhaps (Root Strata)

“Recorded live December 8, 2006 at a memorial event for James Tenney at California Institute of the Arts, Perhaps is Harold Budd sublimely distilled. Striking in its restraint & simplicity yet profoundly resonant in its depth & message, it is both eulogy to a departed friend and defining statement from an artist at the apotheosis of his career.

Originally available only digitally (and only from SamadhiSound’s website), Perhaps sees its first ever and much deserved physical release in double LP and CD formats, mastered and cut at D&M in Berlin.” September 2013.


This is the music of gradual change. A piano piece that runs for nearly six hours. Pensive. Music that sweeps the listener along into an elegiac exploration of gentle tonal and rhythmic shifts. This is November by Dennis Johnson, a piece he notated partially in 1959, and recorded informally in 1962. Very few people ever heard the piece, but Johnson’s friend La Monte Young was one who did, and November influenced Young’s composition The Well-Tuned Piano, and set the stage for Minimalism, one of the most pervasive and persuasive of today’s musical styles.

Several years ago La Monte Young gave composer and writer Kyle Gann a wobbly cassette transfer of Johnson’s 1962 performance of a portion of November. Gann realized that the history of Minimalism needed to be rewritten to acknowledge November as one of its starting points. Gann joins David Garland to tell how his fascination for and curiosity about November led him to transcribe the old cassette, get in touch with Johnson, and create a full realization of the piece, which has now been recorded by pianist R. Andrew Lee. We hear about the piece, and hear excerpts from this multi-hour quiet explosion of ideas.

Listen to Spinning on Air.

albumcoverJeffBeck-BlowByBlowWhen I was a teenager, an album named Blow by Blow was released by Jeff Beck. I’d heard about him, but didn’t hear his music on the radio. This album was a BIG DEAL and very popular. The last tune on the album, Diamond Dust was written by “Holland” and later, I had a friend (Dancing Bob) who was convinced for YEARS that this MUST be Dave Holland, the jazz bassist. This beautiful composition was, in fact, written by Bernie Holland (Hummingbird).

By the mid-80s, I’d figured out who really wrote the tune, it didn’t really sound like a Dave Holland song anyway.

Mystery finally solved at the Jazz Guitar Forum.


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