Jonathan Badger — Verse
(Cuneiform Rune 394, 2014, CD)
by Henry Schneider, Published 2014-12-16In 1974 Manuel Göttsching released the ground-breaking Inventions for Electric Guitar where he meticulously multi-tracked different sequences and riffs without the aid of samplers, sequencers, or other tools of the trade that are available to the modern composer. Jonathan Badger, a US guitarist and composer, who has studied under Robert Fripp, has extended Manuel’s approach, combined it with Fripp’s compositional methods, and used modern technology to create an amazing album of 10 relatively short tracks. He shows restraint in that each song is just long enough to explore an idea without becoming tedious. Basically what Badger does is send two signals out of his guitar, one is the standard analog guitar signal and the other is a digital feed that triggers samples from his broad array of orchestral instruments. One odd thing I noticed is that in the final 30 seconds of many of the tracks there is an abrupt shift to amorphous electronics. Jonathan is quite an accomplished guitarist, causing comparisons to Alain Markusfeld’s Le Desert Noir, especially on “Nimbus.” Overall, he has an introspective approach to music. It takes a lot of concentration to produce something of this caliber. Tracks that stood out for me are “Nimbus,” “Limbec,” and the final track, “Sickle’s Compass Come.” If you enjoy adventurous music that is also quite melodic and beautiful, then Verse is something you should investigate.
Jon Christensen RIP – Word reaches us today of the passing of Norwegian drummer Jon Christensen, a musician whose sensitive playing did much to help define the atmospheric sound of ECM jazz recordings. His work with Jan Garbarek, Bobo Stenson, Terje Rypdal, and many more was sensitive and varied, adapting to a wide variety of styles while maintaining a distinct identity of its own. Christensen was 76. » Read more
Gong Announces UK Tour for 2020 – Having spent the last few years touring the world, including dates in Japan with psych legend Steve Hillage, multiple headline European tours and festivals, America’s Cruise to the Edge festival, a South America headline tour, and a headline performance at Tomorrow Festival in China, the band have won the hearts of both traditional and modern Gong fanbases. During this live journey, Gong has delved further into the truly psychedelic, exploratory, and mind-expanding side of the music. » Read more
Wolfgang Dauner RIP – Pianist Wolfgang Dauner, one of the pioneers of both European free jazz and jazz rock, has died at the age of 84. With his own groups and with the United Jazz+Rock Ensemble, his playing and compositions were a prominent presence in European jazz from the mid-60s until just recently. » Read more
Michael Allison RIP – Michael Allison, who since 1997 has been recording as Darshan Ambient, passed away on January 9th after a long and brave battle with cancer. He has been at at the forefront of the new ambient/electronic music scene, with over eighteen releases to his credit. » Read more