Barry Cleveland's April 2013 Faves

March 25, 2013

Eivind Aarset
On his ECM debut as a leader, the innovative and creatively restless Norwegian guitarist opts for sparse, gradually unfolding soundscapes that emphasize the meditative component of his work. Wooden, metallic, and airy sounds intertwine with nearly subliminal bass gestures, mysterious electronic textures, and rarified guitar timbres, resulting in singular and at times hallucinogenic musical spaces that obliquely reference Asian, African, Middle Eastern, Fourth World, and other tonalities. ECM.


Marbin’s third album delivers track after track of spirited performances that distill hard rock, jazz-rock fusion, progressive rock, global fusion (particularly Spanish and Eastern European melodic motifs and ornamentation), and even neo-classical forms, into a robust and heady brew. Guitarist Dani Rabin and sax man Danny Markovitch (who began the group as an ambient-improvisational duo) drive the music forward with a whirlwind of virtuosic yet soulful soloing and intriguing harmonic interactions. Guests include Paul Wertico and Steve Rodby of Pat Metheny Group fame. Moonjune.


Jussi Reijonen
Finnish fretted/fretless guitarist and oud player Reijonen brings a pan-global perspective to the extraordinary music on this disc. Backed by a distinguished ensemble comprising Turkish, Swedish, Palestinian, and Spanish musicians, his playing is deep and profoundly nuanced throughout. Reijonen’s oud work is superb, but it is the ways in which he has applied oud techniques and sensibilities to guitar—particularly fretless—that are most likely to blow GP readers’ minds. A spiritual atmosphere permeates this music, so its not surprising that the album’s sole cover is a haunting reimagining of Coltrane’s “Naima.”

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