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Michael Gregory Jackson — Electric Git Box
(Bandcamp Golden Records, 2022, DL)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2022-05-07

Electric Git Box Cover art

American guitarist, multi-instrumentalist, and producer Michael Gregory Jackson has done it all across many decades, from free jazz to more commercial styles to eclectic jazz ensembles and much more, going all the way back to the 70s. In the last few years he has released recordings with his Clarity Quartet as well as working with trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith, and his 2020 release Change: A Suite for Nelson Mandela. But he’s never done anything like Electric Git Box before — a purely solo electric guitar album without any accompaniment and no overdubs, no vocals either, the guitar in real time is the entire story, no effects beyond the natural distortion of his amps and the natural reverb of the studio he recorded in. The eleven compositions herein exude beauty and emotion, and confirm his exceptional skills as a composer and guitarist. Opener “Karen (Sweet Angel)” sets the stage for all that follows, wandering through a number of ideas, offering further refinements on some; it’s truly a masterful and free elucidation of his compositions in an almost improvisational style. In “The Rainy Days” his approach conveys a reassuring warmth that proceeds along an almost magical entanglement, developing with assurance as it goes. As an experiential listen, one would almost have to find these pieces to be meditative and introspective, even in spite of the fact that they are delivered on distorted electric guitars. With “Jcakjcak (For Ornette)” we find him in a jazzy soundworld mostly delivering exceptional bursts of solo shred, while on the dreamy “Prelueoionti (V2)” he offers a hauntingly beautiful fingerpicked piece that warms the spirit. Every spin of this album comes with new discoveries that seem to have been previously hidden, and its entirety is a journey that a listener will want to repeat often, beginning to end.

Filed under: New releases, 2022 releases

Related artist(s): Michael Gregory Jackson

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