Steve Tibbetts — A Man about a Horse
(ECM 1814, 2002, CD)
by Jon Davis, Published 2003-02-01My current thinking on the subject of a new Steve Tibbetts album that sounds pretty much like the last four Steve Tibbetts albums is: “Bring it on!” I suppose it would be different if there was anyone else in the world who sounded like Tibbetts, but there isn’t, so I’m content to let him keep making the same basic record every few years, at least for now. The basic things we’ve come to expect are here – the walls of guitar distortion, the ringing, off-kilter acoustic guitars, the thunderous percussion – with some slight twists, like the heavy processing done on some of the percussive sounds to give them a distant, tortured feeling. The mastery of soundscapes that Tibbetts displayed on Northern Song is incorporated into the fabric of this CD, providing a nebulous base that might be considered the equivalent of Robert Fripp’s Frippertronics, though what happens here is very different from anything Fripp ever came up with. I’ve always loved the combination of hammer-on techniques and string bending on acoustic guitar that Tibbetts puts to great use in many places, and his control of feedback is unmatched in the guitar world. He has a way of making the distortion part of the melodies that is instantly recognizable. Percussionists Marc Anderson and Marcus Wise have been working with Tibbetts since 1980’s Yr, and their contributions cannot be overvalued. The congas, tablas, toms, shakers, and other objects struck, shaken, and stirred makes this a feast for rhythm fans as well as guitar nuts.
Jazz Composer Mark Lomax, II Releases Epic 12CD Set – In addition to being a fine jazz drummer, Dr. Mark Lomax, II is a composer in residence at Ohio State University, where he has been very busy on the compositional front. The year 2019 is the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first ship bringing African slaves to North America, and in commemoration of this, Lomax has produced 400: An Afrikan Epic, a 12 volume set of CDs featuring a variety of different musical ensembles. » Read more
Chicago-Based Surabhi Ensemble Tours the World in January – Surabhi Ensemble was formed more than a decade ago in Chicago with the aim of bringing together musicians from varying traditions to make music. Saraswathi Ranganathan, who plays veena, assembled a cast that includes Arabic oud, Spanish guitar, and percussion from Africa and India. This month, the group will be sharing their sounds with concert-goers in Southeast Asia, Europe, and Africa. » Read more
Seaprog Festival Seeks Donations – Seaprog is a small festival in Seattle that highlights creative music from many genres with artists from around the world. It's also a US non-profit organization. They're seeking donations to help keep the ball rolling. Starting in 2013, the organization has been growing, and has featured such artists as Free Salamander Exhibit, Jack o' the Clock, Nik Turner, Cabezas de Cera, Miriodor, Thinking Plague, and many more. » Read more
The Seventeenth Dream of Dr Sardonicus Festival Tickets Now Available – Fruits de Mer Records and their merry crew of psychedelic explorers are getting set to present the next The Seventeenth Dream of Dr. Sardonicus Festival. The dates are set for August 2-4, 2019 at The Cellar Bar in Cardigan, Wales. They've also announced that the legendary Groundhogs will top the bill. » Read more