Another of those impossible-to-categorize albums. It’s really New Music
with an accent on both acoustic guitar work and electronics.
Cuneiform is known for its embrace of the minimalist esthetic and this
album is no exceptiion, and it strikes me as possibly appealing to
adventurous jazz fans. Johnson – who has been compared to Pat
Metheny and Michael Hedges in his imaginative talents – plays various
acoustic 6 and 12-string guitars, Ricardo Ochoa plays violin –
amplified and not, and third member Andrew Ripley plays various
electronics including a Yamana WX5, Melodica and something called a
Frostwave Resonator (which sounds like a combination marimba and deep
freeze). The blending of the acoustic string sounds with the electronic
instruments comes to the fore as one of the primary attractions of this
trio, and the minimalism is tempered by quirky variations and
ornamentation that prevent overload a la Steve Reich. And the
overriding melodic slant is tonal. Truly a unique musical outing for
the sonically adventurous.
Tracks: Highway 420 revisited, Charmin’ Carmen, Meditation on Hymn, Her
to Hymn, Glide Path, Eulogy, Haploid Springs, 4 Months 4 Days, The Moon
is a Sky Thing.
– John Sunier