476

Jim McAuley: Gongfarmer 18

Rex  Butters By

Sign in to view read count
Jim McAuley: Gongfarmer 18 For a musician whose formidable technique and imagination require denials of overdubbing, guitarist Jim McAuley has long maintained a low profile. Thanks to Vinny Golia, that's about to change with Nine Winds' release of Gongfarmer 18, an explosive calling card that vaporizes notions of what an acoustic guitar can do beautifully. McAuley accomplishes his transformations via unique tunings, blazing harmonic insight, and the internal compass of a veteran sailor. Smear fast-fretted blurs into the tapestry envisioned by Kio Griffith's rich cover graphic. When his blues roots surface, McAuley suggests John Fahey in a Tim Burton movie.

Yet, for all the innovation and surprise, the collection often succeeds the most during interludes of resonant reveries that seductively draw the listener in. Serenity tempers the segments of intense virtuosity.

McAuley's detuning during Dark Blooming gives his classical guitar the sound of a sarod. Briskly blunted strings sing percussive bumps under his steady paddle-wheel picking. The brief "Stately Chords lovingly introduces the twelve-string in a musing miniature. The first of two pieces dedicated to John Carter, "Blues for Wally Blanchette (1), takes blues contrivances and curls them into new shapes. "Eyelids of the Buddha stages a dazzling trip, McAuley blistering the twelve-string, only to sink into a melting coda. He gives himself a strenuous workout on "1+2, then follows up with the gently exquisite "Nika's Waltz, an anniversary piece for his wife.

On "Kneebounce, McAuley's Marquette prepared parlor guitar becomes a busy sound catalogue with ample illustrations. Creating harpish tones for "Sulustar Sipsihiilere (Whisper of Stars), he picks a shimmery soundtrack for ice crystals, while "Before Thought offers agile precognitive runs. "Blues for Wally Blanchette (2) continues his fruitful expansions on the blues form, wringing the new from the familiar. Ending with the enigmatic "Stone Cone, McAuley weaves a song that seems to unravel as it's being formed.

Ringingly recorded by Scott Fraser to catch the full spectrum of McAuley's sonic pallette, Gongfarmer 18 indelibly marks the versatile guitarist as a musician with few peers and innumerable ideas.


Track Listing: Dark Blooming; Stately Chords; Blues for Wally Blanchette (1); Eyelids of Buddha; 1+2; Nikas Waltz; Kneebounce; Sulustar Sipsihiilere (Whisper of Stars); Before Thought; Blues for Wally Blanchette (2); Stone Cone.

Personnel: Jim McAuley: Ramirez classical guitar, Guild twelve-string guitar, Collings steel string guitar, Marquette prepared parlor guitar. No overdubs.

Year Released: 2005 | Record Label: Nine Winds Records | Style: Modern Jazz


Shop

More Articles

Read The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture CD/LP/Track Review The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Coldest Second Yesterday CD/LP/Track Review Coldest Second Yesterday
by John Sharpe
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Follow Your Heart CD/LP/Track Review Follow Your Heart
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 25, 2017
Read The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door CD/LP/Track Review The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Chicago II CD/LP/Track Review Chicago II
by Doug Collette
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Over the Rainbow CD/LP/Track Review Over the Rainbow
by Paul Rauch
Published: February 24, 2017
Read "The Broader Picture" CD/LP/Track Review The Broader Picture
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: October 8, 2016
Read "Live at the JazzRoom" CD/LP/Track Review Live at the JazzRoom
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 17, 2016
Read "Trio Miami" CD/LP/Track Review Trio Miami
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: November 8, 2016
Read "Live At Blues Alley" CD/LP/Track Review Live At Blues Alley
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: August 4, 2016
Read "Columbia Years 1968-1969" CD/LP/Track Review Columbia Years 1968-1969
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: July 4, 2016
Read "Prairie Burn" CD/LP/Track Review Prairie Burn
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: November 9, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!