Barry Cleveland's March Faves

March 13, 2013

Rudresh Mahanthappa
The celebrated alto saxophonist continues to evolve his trans-global musical vision on this mind-blowing disc, supported by an equally forward-thinking ensemble comprising guitarist Dave “Fuze” Fiuczynski (who also plays with Mahanthappa in Jack DeJohnette’s band), bassist Francois Moutin, and drummer Dan Weiss. Fuze’s concise rhythmic figures, slippery fretless lines, and artful arpeggios provide a perfect foil for Mahanthappa’s polyglottic melodicism. Act.

 Jonathan Eric Wilson
Wilson designs and builds Guitar Viols—hybrid bowed instruments tuned like guitars. They are the rage in Hollywood, being featured on major movie, television, and video game soundtracks. But Wilson also plays Guitar Viols and other instruments, and here he takes them on a musical fun ride that jumps from the Beatles to Vivaldi to Gregorian chant, along with originals spanning new age to metal—all with skill, enthusiasm, and aplomb. Lakeshore.

Harry Manx
Canadian “roots-raga” lap-slide guitarist Harry Manx’s ninth album presents his most fully realized work to date. His resplendently nuanced playing is joyous and poignant, earthy and empyrean in turns, complemented beautifully by his warm, emotive voice. The songs are accessible yet replete with exotic timbral twists courtesy of n’goni, nyckelharpa, didgeridoo, sarangi, and his signature 20-string Mohan Veena. A tasteful reimagining of Coltrane’s A Love Supreme emphasizing and expanding the vocals is just one of many highlights. Dog My Cat.

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