Tim Bedner is a relatively new shooter in the six string world that is jazz guitar but I suspect we will be hearing a great deal more about Bedner is the coming year. Naturally the most obvious question would be, " Who does he sound like?" My answer would be himself of course but imagine the lyrical harmonics of a Pat Metheny with the groove of a John Scofield but done with his own unique phrasing and you begin to get a sense of where the new release Of Light And Shadow may be heading.
Bedner is a refreshing change from most guitarists eager to show off their ability to either cover other monster players or the more self indulgent desire to work in that speed is king vibe without making any artistic statement of significance. Tim Bedner's gig is as a modern jazz player if that Jim Hall type vein of lyrical improvisation mixed with an occasional blues infused flavor for texture to create his own sound and direction. A legitimate jazz triple threat has Bender working as a performer, composer and not surprisingly as an author whose music publications include A Common Sense Approach to Improvisation with Joe Negri , 11 Solo Guitar Arrangements for Pick and Fingerstyle Guitar and The Literate Guitarist.
Of Light And Shadow doesn't hit the streets till October 23rd but is hitting the radio on 09/03/12 so now would be a great time to mark your calendar or better yet check out www.timbedner.com for complete details. "Umbra" opens this release with an expansive some what John McLaughlin type approach with a tight edge but lyrical sense of purpose. An open ended approach that settles in a musical happy place somewhere between an expressive Jeff Beck type fusion sound and that more harmonic base of Metheny mentioned earlier. Hard core fusion lovers will go bananas over "Umbra" including the subtle nuances added from drummer Jeff Asselin. "Chiaroscuro" has that Toots Thieleman phrasing and vibe down cold with Normand Glaude on harmonica and is another sonic exploratory, open ended and expansive with a warm natural sound. One of the better aspects is in fact the sound quality of this recording. There is not a heavy hand on the compression levels so the music maintains a nice warmth and accessibility without sounding sanitized for your protection. Bender's single note runs flow effortlessly and without every dancing close to the edge of that self indulgent cliff previously mentioned. "Bluenote" is a nice blues infusion with that consistent lyrical sense of purpose and harmonic base that keeps this trio so well grounded. The harmonious synergy on display here is layered with each member of the ensemble seemingly finishing the musical thoughts of the other. Bender exhibits a tasteful swing while bordering on the more traditional fusion edge. It is working without a harmonic net and the ability to shift dynamics on the fly that has this as one of the better tunes on the release and that says a great deal as one would have to look hard to find a bum tune in the lot.
While musical frames of reference are sometimes a dangerous game to play, Bender's may be a tad more obvious than most but he does his own riff on these legends while creating and finding his own voice while ripping through a most impressive release.
Don't believe me? Then do some research and check out www.timbender.com or go to CD Baby, iTunes and Amazon.
Here is a taste of Bedner from You Tube in 2010
Tracks: Umbra, Aurora, Lumen, Chiaroscuro, Synergetic, Sometimes Sadness, A.M. For P.M., Bluenote; Waltz For Elise.
Personnel: Tim Bedner: acoustic and electric guitars; Jeff Asselin: drums and percussion; Normand Glaude: contra bass, chromatic harmonica, percussion and synth strings on "Sometimes Sadness."
Photos via www.timbedner.com