Eric Hofbauer: American Vanity (2004)
His improvisations include "$..." (parts 1 & 2), "Coke" and "New Coke (parts 1 & 2)"prickly tunes that jab and poke at your earsand "Display Window Strut." The covers include the Yardbirds' "Driftin on a Reed" and Mingus' "Better Git It In Your Soul," a tune I didn't think could be done justice on solo guitar, but Hofbauer proves me wrongthis is a muscular and audacious display of technical virtuosity. He also covers Waylon Jennings' "Dukes of Hazzard," as well as Eric Satie's "Gnossienne #1," and Eric Dolphy's "Mandrake," establishing an "Eric" theme within the "gripe-about-American-culture" theme, I suppose. And why not; it's Hofbauer's show.
I used the word "rant" in describing this sound, and that's the feeling the disc leaves me with. It's sort of like answering the doorbell at midnight and letting a wayward nephew, guitar in tow, into your house. He stalks over to the sofa and sits down and goes into his take on the world, in musical fashion, and you don't know quite what to make of it all, riveting as it might be.
Brilliant young artist or wild-eyed nut-case? Damned if I know; probably some combination of the two. But he's got my attention.
Track Listing: The Fad, Coke (for our addicts), Gnossienne #1, Mandrake, American Eulogy, Better Git it in Your Soul, BA-DEE Image, Greensleeves in Vermont, Ode to Little Drummer Boy, $...(part1), Old Man River (for our lost ones), New Coke (part 1), Driftin' on a Reed (for our dreamers), American Innocence, $...(part 2)Dukes of Hazzard, Take On Me, Femme Fatale, New Coke (part 2), Display window Strut
Personnel: Eric Hofbauer--solo guitar
Record Label: Creative Nation Music
Style: Modern Jazz