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A Little Stroke of Light - Live Solo Guitar 2010

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Album Review

While Henry Kaiser's 2009 solo guitar album had a mixture of acoustic and electric pieces, both long and short, with delay accompaniment and without, A Little Stroke of Light is a single, nearly 70-minute journey with assistance from Kaiser's ancient Lexicon digital delays. The results are no less brilliant. Kaiser's mastery of the long form should almost qualify him for "Pandit" status. His sense of pacing and structure is exquisite and the spaces between the notes are nearly as important as what's being played. The piece begins with a clean, nearly acoustic tone and the delays creep in slowly, providing both a melodic drone underpinning (much like a tamboura in Indian classical music) as well as a sort of second guitar counterpoint. After a while, more fuzzed-out electric tones begin to enter, building up to full psychedelic frenzy over the continuing clean tones and drone. YES! He ratchets it back down, then fuzzes up the drone while he adopts a backwards-sounding tone, then winds it down further until we're back near the same unhurried, contemplative place where we started (and halfway through the piece). And the journey continues, evolving constantly until we revisit fuzzy psychedelic nirvana for a while before arriving back where we started. Let's be honest: 70-minute solo psychedelic guitar raga jams are not for everyone, and it takes a special headspace beyond that. But when those two things come together, this is an album that simply can't be beat.

Customer Reviews

70 minute epic solo!

Using a harmonizer and an ancient Lexicon PCM-41 digital delay to process this 70 minute live guitar solo, Henry Kaiser sounds like at least 3 guitarists playing together. A solo influenced by improvisations of Terry Riley, Evan Parker, Korean Shaman Music, and Hindustani Classical Music; somehow these influences combine into something that is quite pleasant, attractive, and enjoyable for a general audience to listen to. This is Kaiser's most accessible solo playing on record, and among his very best work.

"As I sat through this epic again, it made perfect sense, each section tells a different part of the ongoing story. Sort of a long and soothing lullaby that goes on for a long time but never seems to be indulgent in any way. If you can find the time, you will be richly rewarded." - Bruce Lee Gallanter, Downtown Music Gallery


Born: September 19, 1952 in Oakland, CA

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Guitarist Henry Kaiser is a prolific member of the San Francisco Bay Area music scene, as well as being a globally recognized leader of the "second generation" free improvisers who came of age in the '70s. His earliest musical inspiration came from the spiky sounds of English improvising guitarist Derek Bailey and the many guitarists in Captain Beefheart's Magic Band; later on, Kaiser absorbed the subtle string textures of the American blues stylists and traditional music of Asia, particularly India,...
Full Bio
A Little Stroke of Light - Live Solo Guitar 2010, Henry Kaiser
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  • $1.99
  • Genres: Jazz, Music
  • Released: Jan 25, 2011

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