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Adam Rudolph / Go: Organic Orchestra — Resonant Bodies
(Bandcamp Meta Records, 2021, CD / DL)

by Jon Davis, Published 2022-05-25

Resonant Bodies Cover art

Adam Rudolph’s previous excursion with the guitar-centric version of his Go: Organic Orchestra was Turning towards the Light back in 2015, and this new installment finds essentially the same participants on board. They are arranged left to right in the audio spectrum: Liberty Ellman, Nels Cline, Joel Harrison, Jerome Harris, Miles Okazaki, Damon Banks, Marco Cappelli, David Gilmore, and Kenny Wessel. Banks plays bass exclusively, and Cappelli plays acoustic, but all the others are on electric guitars. In addition, Harrison contributes National steel guitar and Harris handles some lap steel and bass; Rudolph adds a bit of hand percussion on one track. As before, the music is unexpectedly sparse for such a large ensemble, not at all the big sound that might be anticipated when that many six-string players are in the room, especially not when they’re players of this caliber. Each one of the musicians contributes a small part to the whole, as directed by the composer in the moment using hand signals. Sometimes it seems as if only two or three are playing, but even when the scope expands, you’ll hear some providing ambient washes of sound, some repeating small motifs, and other interjecting odd effects. Everything is quite scattered and a bit random-sounding most of the time, so when “Dolidze” comes along with a catchy bass line that’s doubled on one of the guitars, it’s a bit of a surprise. It’s still a long way from a standard composition of any genre, but it does remind the listener that there’s more to this music than improvisation. All in all, it’s a fascinating listen and a nice alternative to the majority of guitar music being produced.

Filed under: New releases, 2021 releases

Related artist(s): Nels Cline, Liberty Ellman, Joel Harrison, Adam Rudolph / Moving Pictures / Go: Organic Orchestra

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