Circolare is no more jazz than Leo Kottke or the late Michael Hedges. But that is no matter. Pino Forastiere is a guitarist of expansive talent, both in composition and performance. He employs complex tuning paradigms and plays this a combination of plucking and fret-board hammering that reflects a synthesis of Kottke, Hedges, Eddie Van Halen and the army beyond who perfected the fret-board tapping technique of guitar playing (including Stanley Jordan). What sets Forastiere apart is that he accomplishes this on an acoustic guitar, a context that presents its own technical challenges. Sonically, the guitar is miked close and is well-captured, giving the listener the necessary detail Forastiere wants to demonstrate.
Forastiere's playing style is highly percussive by necessity. A good deal of his playing involves tapping the strings with both right and left hands. There is not a plectrum to be found for miles. Additionally, he achieves tones by striking the strings with the flat of his right-hand fingers, adding to the percussive nature of his hammer-ons and pull-offs. The brief "Full shows Forastiere's talents in strumming, tapping, finger picking, and establishing a rhythm with direct strikes to the guitar body. "Marecorrente demonstrates a combination of finger-picking and left hand tapping that is highly effective harmonically. The same is true for "Rifrazioni, with Forastiere's incorporation of carefully chosen harmonics. Circolare is an immensely entertaining recording, particularly for guitarists.
I was first exposed to jazz by my high school girlfriend's father. On the one hand he was the school's Vice Principal, on the other
he was a big Miles Davis fan. He gave me my first jazz record, Miles at the Blackhawk.