Friday, May 8, 2015

David Torn, Only Sky

David Torn's first album since 2007, Only Sky (ECM B0022966-02) reaffirms his creative stature as a major force in the high art of very electric guitar, space guitar if you will. The album creates vibrant soundscapes and orchestrally dense thickets of cosmic sound, as produced by solo electric guitar and its transformations.

There are moments of pure tone-space and with his highly musical approach to effects, especially digital delay, a blues-rock-compositional presence that skillfully glides atop the pulsating or enveloping shimmers of delay for music at once deftly creative, guitar-centric, beautifully sculpted, with essay-like logic and a strong feeling of structure-in-motion.

The sound is monumental in that special ECM sense and each piece brings us memorable music which is much more than merely mood inducing. The compositional elements bring the music a soulful but lyrical memorability and show the hand of a master who knows how to build sonic structures and make the total aural package into a unified whole. That is a matter of years experimenting with effects, which like any other sound aspect of the instrument is something for which special technique-sets and a sure artistic sense are needed for a great result. That is very much happening on the album.

The virtuoso use of spatial effect extensions give David Torn a poet's surety. To my mind, in today's cluttered world of avant guitar excursions, David and Gary Lucas reign supreme as the present-day masters of space. This album gives you a wonderful travelogue into Torn's special world, and in the process demonstrates just how good he is at it.

It is stunning. A masterpiece!

If you are Stateside and able to catch David on his tour, it starts today. Here is the itinerary: May 8 - New York, NY at Subculture, May 10 - Hamden, CT at The Ballroom at The Outer Space, May 11 - Marlboro, NY at The Falcon, May 12 - Dunellen, NJ at NJ Proghouse @ Roxy & Dukes, May 13 - Cambridge, MA at Regattabar, May 14 - Philadelphia, PA at Philadelphia Art Alliance, May 16 - Portland, OR at Holocene, May 17-18 - Seattle, WA at Storyville (Pike Place), May 19 - San Francisco, CA at Slim’s, May 20 - Sacramento, CA at Gold Lion Arts, May 21 - Los Angeles, CA at Blue Whale, May 22 - Denver, CO at Walnut Room, May 26 - Minneapolis, MN at Cedar Cultural Center, May 27 - Milwaukee, WI at The Jazz Estate, May 29 - Chicago, IL at Constellation, May 30 - Cincinnati, OH at The Monastery, May 31 - Pittsburgh, PA at Club Café, June 1 - Washington DC at Union Arts, June 3 - Baltimore, MD at The Windup Space, June 4 - Carrboro, NC at Cat’s Cradle, June 6 - Asheville, NC at Streamside Concerts, June 7 - Atlanta, GA at Red Light Café

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