Gordon Grdina's visceral approach is as eclectic and raw as any guitarist of his generation.
Brent Black / www.criticaljazz.com
A visceral approach to some very esoteric lyrical explorations finds Gordon Grdina redefining his own artistic voice while sacrificising nothing in terms of lyrical integrity. Grdina is a most intriguing artist as he includes a masterful use of the oud and bowed guitar for a middle eastern bass while never quite committing all the way. It is this organic manipulation of tone and ambient atmosphere colors that create a more avant garde exploration of not only the instrumentation but the shifting dynamics that allow an almost virtual heartbeat to take place within some rather daring harmonic paths cut but the ensemble cast.
Duos, 4tets and wrapped up in a deceptively subtle nuanced world music flair find Grdina coming from perhaps his most approachable perspective thus far while creating new sound scapes that are steeped in melancholy while never venturing to the morose cliff far to many similar artists seem destined to find. What makes Grdina special is that there are no similar guitarists, Grdina does a deconstructed riff on himself and those performing with him while allowing ample room for each individual to do so in kind.
Variety is celebrated here whether the heartfelt ballad "Nayeli Joon" or perhaps the more free form approach to "Cluster" there is consistency in the inconsistent ebb and flow that somehow ties everything together. Comparative sound analogies are at times fun if not futile attempts to answer the age old music question, "sounds like?" Keeping the sounds like theme in mind there is a textured Bill Frisell meets Albert Ayler approach that should have six string aficionados eager for more!
Tracks: Hope In Being; Limbo; The Throes; Leisure Park; Fast Times; Nayeli Joon; Cluster; Fierce Point; Visceral Voices.
Personnel: Gordon Grdina: Oud, Bowed Guitar, Guitar; Mark Helias: Double Bass; Kenton Loewen: Drums; Tony Malaby: Tenor Saxophone.