Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Guitarist Mark O'Leary Blazes in A Trio Setting on New Ayler CD "Stoj"

This is post number 601 here. I look back and think of how this blog grew out of the first one at gapplegate.com, how all the blogs grew out of my work at Cadence, and think of the enormous amount of work it takes to keep the two daily work-week postings informed, smart and I hope insightful, and I cannot say "it has been fun." Rewarding, enlightening, challenging and satisfying, yes. Fun, no. But it was not meant to be that for me. And so we continue to move along.

Today we have a CD appropriate to the milestone, a kick-tail guitar trio set with the remarkable Mark O'Leary improvising his way into the stratosphere. Stoj (Ayler 072) would get my vote for the Gapplegate Inner Circle of Mother Guitarist CDs Award, which doesn't exist really, but it wins anyway along with a few others so far this year.

I've reviewed some excellent examples of his work on these pages (search his name on the search box and you'll find them), but this one is in the most definite directional mode. Not that the others weren't but he flourishes especially finely with the trio he has fielded. It's Peter Friis-Nielsen on bass, Stefan Pasborg, drums. They do a marvelously convincing job aiding, abetting, and spurring O'Leary on, adding two separate yet related improvisational voices to Mark's.

This is rock-laced free improv of a definite "jazz" inflection. They basically let it rip over the course of the CD's 56 minutes in nine interrelated sections. It's flat-out hitting it with a few moments of relative quescence. Maestro O'Leary's considerable prowess is harnessed to scaling expressive heights much of the time in rapid, freely articulated phrasings that flow in and out of time along with the trio. This is a lining bag more than a noise-sound excursion for the most part. O'Leary weaves some exceptionally complex, burning, quicksilver-laced lines, though. Some of the very best coming out of a new cat on the block.

It's an elated performance of hard-charging freedom that sends out some very hip smoke-signals, Jack! He's most definitely among the handful of most promising young improvisational guitarists working today. I mean that. Listen to this one! Click the Ayler link on this site and you'll get more info.

And thank YOU, all who have read and supported this blog for the first 601 posts. Now on to the next 601!

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