Exposé Online banner

Neil Haverstick — Spider
(Haverstick 008, 2009, CD)

by Pam Thompson, Published 2010-07-01

Spider Cover artNeil Haverstick continues to prove his guitar virtuosity with Spider. The album opens with the four movements of “Spider,” written for 19-tone guitar and chamber orchestra. Tom Blomster arranged the parts for the Colorado Chamber Orchestra, and the combination of electric guitar and acoustic orchestra is dynamic. The movements range from space to avant to rock, challenging the listener with the unexpected contrast between instruments not usually paired in compositions. Microtonal music has a different sound, and that’s part of the appeal of this album. Haverstick’s an award winning composer in the ever expanding field of microtonal composition, and listening to this disc you can understand why. There’s a lovely solo piece for seven string electric fretless guitar which is melodious and haunting, and six short pieces for 19 and 12 tone acoustic, all with a variety of styles, some tragic, some humorous. The last two tracks also include percussion, drums and bass, working well within the songs to add additional dimensions. Haverstick communicates his musical ideas in as little as 48 seconds, and sometimes takes over 16 minutes, and adds subtle ethnic influences here and there that add intrigue to the songs. It’s always interesting, and with repeated listenings it just gets better.

Filed under: New releases, Issue 38, 2009 releases

Related artist(s): Neil Haverstick (Stick Man)

Latest news

2017-04-16
ProgDay 2017 Announces First Bands – Flor de Loto, Sonar, and Infinien are the first three performers to be announced for the 2017 edition of the long-running ProgDay Festival. The 23rd ProgDay takes place Saturday and Sunday, September 2nd and 3rd, at Storybook Farm in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. » Read more

2017-04-16
Allan Holdsworth RIP – Surely in the list of artists who have contributed to the sound of modern music, there is a special spot for guitarist Allan Holdsworth. His name is known to virtually every student of the instrument in jazz and rock, and his style has been so widely emulated that it's hardly worth mentioning anymore — we can just assume that every guitarist has Holdsworth as an influence. » Read more

2017-02-20
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

2017-01-31
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

2017-01-30
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 Jack o' the Clock and Zero Times Everything, but a host of other bands are featured, mostly from the Northwest. The festival will take place June 2-4, 2017. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Jack Bruce - Out of the Storm – Continuing further into the back catalog of bassist, singer and composer Jack Bruce, Out of the Storm offers up a creditable Mark Powell sound update from 30 year old studio sessions in LA. The origin...  (2005) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues