16 Songs

EDITORS’ NOTES

Those who listened amidst the acid-fueled battle cries of the Jefferson Airplane could detect lead guitarist Jorma Kaukonen’s love for quieter, more traditional sounds. Quah, his 1974 solo debut, allowed him to fully express his talents as a folk, blues and gospel interpreter. By any measure, his playing here is impeccable — whether he’s launching into a delicate fingerpicking passage, bearing down on a meaty blues riff or spicing things up with some slide work, Jorma’s touch is sure and distinctively his own. Highlights here include the chiming, mystically inclined “Genesis,” the tragedy-tinged “Another Man Done Gone” and the jaunty ragtime piece “I’ll Let You Know Before I Leave.” His warm-toned vocals catch the joyful mood of tunes like the Rev. Gary Davis’ “I Am the Light of This World.” Jorma lets guest singer Tom Hobson take lead on the sultry romantic lament “Blue Prelude” and the lighthearted “Sweet Hawaiian Sunshine.” Quah invokes memories of campfire serenades and coffeehouse jams — but don’t let the laid-back ambiance mislead you: these tracks certify Kaukonen as a six-string virtuoso.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Those who listened amidst the acid-fueled battle cries of the Jefferson Airplane could detect lead guitarist Jorma Kaukonen’s love for quieter, more traditional sounds. Quah, his 1974 solo debut, allowed him to fully express his talents as a folk, blues and gospel interpreter. By any measure, his playing here is impeccable — whether he’s launching into a delicate fingerpicking passage, bearing down on a meaty blues riff or spicing things up with some slide work, Jorma’s touch is sure and distinctively his own. Highlights here include the chiming, mystically inclined “Genesis,” the tragedy-tinged “Another Man Done Gone” and the jaunty ragtime piece “I’ll Let You Know Before I Leave.” His warm-toned vocals catch the joyful mood of tunes like the Rev. Gary Davis’ “I Am the Light of This World.” Jorma lets guest singer Tom Hobson take lead on the sultry romantic lament “Blue Prelude” and the lighthearted “Sweet Hawaiian Sunshine.” Quah invokes memories of campfire serenades and coffeehouse jams — but don’t let the laid-back ambiance mislead you: these tracks certify Kaukonen as a six-string virtuoso.

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About Jorma Kaukonen

Guitarist, singer, and songwriter Jorma Kaukonen was born and grew up in Washington, D.C., where he first turned to the guitar. He lived in the San Francisco Bay Area in the early '60s, playing backup to singer Janis Joplin in local clubs. In 1965, Kaukonen became a founding member of Jefferson Airplane, which soared to fame in 1967. Though Kaukonen's songs and vocals were not prominently featured in the band, his distinctive guitar-playing was crucial to its sound. With bassist Jack Casady, Kaukonen formed a spinoff duo from the group in 1970 called Hot Tuna, and this became his primary musical vehicle after Jefferson Airplane split in 1973. Hot Tuna recorded a series of albums on which Kaukonen sang and played guitar through 1978. After that, Kaukonen worked as a soloist and with such groups as Vital Parts (1980), and he recorded occasional albums. Kaukonen reunited with Casady in Hot Tuna during the '80s, and both participated in the 1989 reunion of Jefferson Airplane. A Hot Tuna reunion album appeared the following year. Kaukonen remained active as the 20th century closed and into the 21st, regularly touring and recording in different configurations before finding a home with Red House Records, which released Stars in My Crown in 2007 and River of Time in 2009. ~ William Ruhlmann

  • ORIGIN
    Washington D.C.
  • GENRE
    Rock
  • BORN
    23 Dec 1940

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