Sándor Szabó & Kevin Kastning — Returning
(Greydisc GDR-3506, 2010, CD)
by Jon Davis, Published 2011-06-01
For readers who have memorized every review this magazine has published, I won't have to remind you that we've covered the two previous releases by this duo of unusual guitarists. For the rest of our readers, I will clarify that when I say "unusual guitarists" I actually mean they play unusual guitars, not that they themselves are unusual (which may or may not be the case and would be irrelevant anyway). Szabó plays 12-string baritone guitar; Kastning is listed with three different instruments, one of which is a 12-string extended baritone guitar, a custom instrument built in the baritone guitar range (almost as low as a bass) but will all six primary strings doubled (usually at the octave, though he's been known to use all sorts of other tunings). All of which should indicate to you that this is an instrument with rich sonic possibilities. The music is among the most pleasant improvisation I've heard, with delicacy and subtlety ruling, not intensity and angst. Unlike the previous releases from the duo, the cover doesn't clearly specify that all the pieces were improvised, and they are credited as joint compositions. The tones of the guitars are so rich that even dissonances sound beautiful. This CD serves as a gentle reminder that there's more to the guitar than the aggressive, heavily-amplified wankery generally associated with "heroes."
Roswell Rudd RIP – Jazz trombonist Roswell Rudd, one of the distinctive players of his instrument in many strains of music, has died at the age of 82. With a career stretching back to the early 60s and over a hundred recordings featuring his playing, he leaves behind a substantial legacy. He was diagnosed with cancer in 2013. » Read more
Celebrate 10 Years of Fruits de Mer – As a special celebration for a decade of cool vinyl releases, our friends at Fruits de Mer records have prepared a limited edition reissue of an album by the first band ever to appear on the label: Schizo Fun Addict. The band is known for unusual release strag » Read more
Mega Dodo Presents New Charity Album – Our friends at Mega Dodo have put together a lovely compilation of their artists performing new arrangements of nursery rhymes, and all the profits from sales of the album will benefit Save the Children. It features a number of artists we've covered. » Read more
Phil Miller RIP – Sad word reaches us today of the passing of another of the great musicians of the Canterbury Scene — guitarist Phil Miller. His distinctive sound added greatly to Matching Mole, Hatfield and the North, and National Health, and he also contributed to albums by Caravan, Dave Stewart & Barbara Gaskin, and many others. He was 68. » Read more