Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Gregg Belisle-Chi, Tenebrae

Is there nothing new under the sun? Ironically that expression was uttered at the very moment when catalclysmic change was about to transform the world. So yes, there is always something new under the sun, especially where music is concerned.

Take Gregg Belisle-Chi, electric guitarist-composer of great imagination. His album Tenebrae (Songlines 1613-2) finds him alone with his guitar, some spacious audio headroom and in three out of seven numbers, the hauntingly appropriate vocals of one Chelsea Crabtree.

Gregg gives us some very memorable ambient, harmonically informed, melodically acute numbers that show him a guitarist and musicsmith of singular originality. Sure, this may remind you at times of some of the ECM guitar classics, but then, no, it goes forward into a special place.

This is music of great finesse, now and again real song form, logic, symmetry and touchingly ruminating spaciousness. There are some very magnetic soundscapes too.

From a technical point of view Gregg has a schooled way of picking through, among other things, but the technique is consistently subordinated to the musical ideas at hand.

This is music that, little by little, grabs you and does not let go. I am entranced by it.

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