Mark Wingfield / Kevin Kastning — I Walked into the Silver Darkness
(Greydisc GDR 3508, 2011, CD)
by Jon Davis, Published 2013-08-14Kevin Kastning releases a new CD of collaborative music roughly every other weekend, but this is the first I've heard with an electric instrument featured prominently. It's a duo with English-American guitarist Mark Wingfield, who is credited with electric guitar and samples, while Kastning plays his usual assortment of custom guitar-like instruments (14-string contraguitar, 12-string extended baritone guitar, and so on). And while there's no shredding to be heard, Wingfield keeps a good balance between atmosphere and interest, and uses a variety of tones to avoid too much sameness. In the derby of making guitarist comparisons, I'm not sure where to put Wingfield. There are maybe touches of Terje Rypdal and Bill Frisell, and for a few seconds when he broke out the wah-wah pedal, I caught a glimpse of David Gilmour, though it only lasted a moment before moving on. The freedom of his playing reminds me of some of the improvisations I've heard from Dennis Rea, when he's not in the mood to get very noisy. The overall mood is on the meditative side (as is true with pretty much all of Kastning's work), more or less atonal without being dissonant. In some ways, this release might be a good introduction to Kastning's massive catalog for the uninitiated, given the way Wingfield's playing provides more up-front appeal for the world's legions of guitar-hungry listeners.
Larry Coryell RIP – One of the greats of jazz guitar has left us at the age of 73. Larry Coryell was one of the founding figures of jazz fusion, but produced a significant body of work the bridged many styles. His group Eleventh House provided a unique take on the combination of jazz and rock that was distinct from contemporaries such as Mahavishnu Orchestra, Return to Forever, and Weather Report. » Read more
John Wetton RIP – After a long battle with colon cancer, singer and bassist John Wetton has died at the age of 67. As an integral member of such bands as King Crimson, UK, and Asia, his was one of the distinctive voices in progressive rock, lending a human touch to often difficult music. » Read more
Seaprog Announces First Artists for 2017 – The organizers of the Seaprog Festival in Seattle have announced the first set of confirmed performers for the 2017 festival. The best known names are Cabezas de Cera and Jack o' the Clock, but a host of other bands are featured, mostly from the Northwest. The festival will take place June 2-4, 2017. » Read more
Acoustic Festival of Britain 2017 Announces Eclectic Lineup – The Acoustic Festival of Britain has been going since 2006, and this year's event sees a number of outstanding artists on the bill. Fairport Convention, Tir na nOg, and Martin Turner are some of the artists we've covered, and there are many more, including The Men They Couldn't Hang, Howard Jones, Chantel McGregor, and many more. The festival runs June 2-4, 2017 at Uttoxeter Racecourse in Staffordshire. » Read more