Originally posted on February 13, 2008
When you talk about acoustic players, the field is vast and not as accessible as it could be. My old friend George turned me on to some really interesting music in this vein last week. There is a guy named Erik Mongraine who taps with both hands while the acoustic is on his lap. It’s amazing what sounds he gets. Check out the harmonics alone. See the youtube clip at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AbndgwfG22k&feature=related
What about flamenco meets fusion? Go to www.myspace.com and look up Paco Fernandez. Listen to “Gandi” and/or any of the others. Wow. Then look up the Brazilian acoustic master Lenine. Next, for a more rock influenced thing, listen to Cibelle. If you want more there is "ojos de drujo." Try a Google or a Yahoo search for them. I love the new and unknown. Surely these are interesting examples of that.
On a less bright note, I stumbled across an obituary on the net yesterday that shocked and saddened me. Jazz pianist and music educator Jeff Furst died last November. He was a brilliant pianist and an innovator in music ed. He was in a group in the sixties called fourth stream and he and clarinetist Bob Fritz did some out stuff with that group that gained critical success and a loyal following in the Boston area. I still have their first and, I believe, only album. It sounds good to me to this day. Then Jeff formed the Contemporary School of Music in the mid-70s in Brookline, Mass., which I attended for a while. It was a great place to learn, jam, and a sort of free-form deal where you took classes in what interested you. I also jammed with him, and that was a real moment. His touch on piano was amazingly vibrant, and he probably got that from the great piano teacher Madame Chaloff. He was only 63 when he died. I hope those who were affected by his musical vision will not forget. I won't.