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The Lady of Khartoum

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Album Review

Boston has yielded many a jazz guitarist, either taught by Mick Goodrick, refined at the Berklee School of Music, or in from Europe to learn how the Yanks do it. Garrison Fewell is one of those longtime local heroes who teaches and hangs out on the East Coast, carving an individual voice on his instrument without copping too much from contemporary peers or sources. Eric Hofbauer is one of the rising stars of creative improvised music who leans more toward the precepts of noise, prepared, and found sound in his instrument, à la Eugene Chadbourne or Loren MazzaCane Connors rather than John Scofield or Pat Metheny. This seemingly unmatched pair join beautifully in a program of progressive ethnic-influenced music that taps from bop and fusion, Middle Eastern folk forms, and much freedom. What sets them apart, especially evident on the title track, is the resonant use of sticks on strings, combining Arabic inferences with a Western sensibility. "Devil at the Salang Pass" also reflects this diverse, oud-like sonority, while shakers and guitars call each other out on the spare "The Returning Serpent." Not all ethnic fusion, the guitarists more free-ranging inclinations come out on the saber-rattling "A Cajun Raven," recalling Fred Frith or Davey Williams; the intense "Eyes of Nkisi"; and the bent, distorted, flanging "A Bourbour's Spirit." Of the most tuneful and standout pieces, an off-kilter, whimsical Chadbourne-ish 12-bar setup informs "Dogon Delta Blues"; they do the Thelonious Monk number "Let's Cool One" in playful call and response; bring a bright, funny, solidly rendered intro and melody to "We Need Your Number"; and evoke a cowboy/desert storm image à la Bill Frisell on the longest cut, "Farsighted Friendship." Where guitar fans should find this intriguing to the nth degree, the general public interested in improvised music should also find that Fewell and Hofbauer make compelling music worth more that a few listens. ~ Michael G. Nastos, Rovi

Biography

Born: 14 October 1953 in Charlottesville, VA

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

Europeans knew about Garrison Fewell's jazz talent long before his fellow Americans discovered him. The Virginia native began his love affair with Europe on a visit to Marseille, France, in 1983. He went on to play hot jazz venues all over the continent, including Paris, Milan, Amsterdam, and Brussels. While the Europeans were learning about Fewell, he was busy learning their languages, becoming fluent in Italian and French. His relative obscurity in his homeland changed, however, with the release...
Full bio
The Lady of Khartoum, Garrison Fewell
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  • £7.99
  • Genres: Jazz, Music, World
  • Released: 2007

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