Articles | Popular | Future

ALBUM REVIEWS

Gordon Grdina Quartet: Cooper's Park

Read "Cooper's Park" reviewed by Troy Dostert

Since the release of his first album in 2006, Think Like the Waves (Songlines), Gordon Grdina has sought a musical language that would allow him to incorporate his dual interests in the electric guitar and the oud. It is tempting to view this as an “East meets West" process, wherein Grdina's jazz and rock-infused guitar playing melds somehow with the Arabic influences that typically contextualize oud performance. But that is not entirely accurate, as Grdina's recordings are more likely to ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Gordon Grdina: Ejdeha

Read "Ejdeha" reviewed by Mike Jurkovic

Fifteen years into his study of Arabia's mysterious and resonant oud, Vancouver, Canada-based guitarist Gordon Grdina has released Ejdeha, with his equally mysterious and resonant ensemble, The Marrow. Expanding out from his debut, Think Like the Waves (Songlines, 2006), recorded with Gary Peacock and Paul Motian, Grdina takes his jazz improvisations further into the poetic exoticism of the Middle East. “Telesm" pulls the veil back on Ejdeha, as The Marrow--bassist Mark Helias, cellist Hank Roberts, and Hamin Honari, ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Gordon Grdina/Mark Helias: No Difference

Read "No Difference" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

No Difference takes place at the crossroads of the known and unknown, expected and surprising, and fenced in and free. More importantly, it's an album built upon the bonds of shared experience. Each of the four musicians involved with this project can be paired off with at least one other in their respective backstories. Grdina and bassist Mark Helias play together every time the guitarist/oud master makes his way from his home base in Vancouver to New York; Helias and ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Gordon Grdina's Haram: Her Eyes Illuminate

Read "Her Eyes Illuminate" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

Vancouver-based oudist/guitarist Gordon Grdina has been bending genres and creating East-meets-West contexts for his instruments for quite some time. He put his own spin on modern jazz with Box Cutter, melded outré twentieth century chamber ideals with Arabian themes with the East Van Trio and created a Persian/Arabian/Indian hybrid with Sangha. Now, Grdina turns his attention to folk themes and popular music crafted by Iranian and Egyptian artists over the past century with this exciting dectet. Haram, ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

The Gordon Grdina Trio: . . . If Accident Will

Read ". . . If Accident Will" reviewed by Jerry D'Souza

Guitarist/oudist Gordon Grdina is one of those rare musicians who is at home in several genres, bringing a strong presence to his music. He is as adept in improvised music as he is in Arabic Taqaism or Indian music. He can let his oud sing a rapturous song and make his guitar rock loud and heavy. But it is his merging of different streams that gives the greatest credibility to his artistry and his vision. And he can build a ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Gordon Grdina's East Van Strings: The Breathing of Statues

Read "The Breathing of Statues" reviewed by Matt Marshall

Guitarist/oudist Gordon Grdina has gathered a marvelous string trio to fulfill a longtime desire of producing music in the mode of Béla Bartók. The compositions on The Breathing of Statues were written specifically for the trio involved--violinist Jesse Zubot, violist Eyvind Kang and cellist Peggy Lee--after Grdina had played with them freely. Grdina's writing then served as the structure for the recording date, but “the resulting execution and arrangements," Grdina says, “were forged by the ensemble."

The album opens with ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Gordon Grdina's Boxcutter: Unlearn

Read "Unlearn" reviewed by Celeste Sunderland

You can tell that guitarist Gordon Grdina does not perceive music through a guitarist's eyes solely. The tunes on Unlearn, with his group Box Cutter, seem formed from deeply collaborative ideas, with considerable importance placed on the contribution of each player and a great regard for their respective instruments. Musicianship on the album is grand and the personalities that emerge amusing. They're coy, brisk and unstoppable on the opening track “Titlewave. Grdina proves he's got lots of ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Gordon Grdina / Gary Peacock / Paul Motian: Think Like the Waves

Read "Think Like the Waves" reviewed by Jeff Dayton-Johnson

Vancouver electric guitarist Gordon Grdina's tone is clean and low-treble; this creates a kind of dreamy effect, like Jim Hall's sound on his classic duet with Bill Evans, Undercurrent (Blue Note, 1962). And speaking of Evans, Grdina scores an impressive coup by recording this trio album in the company of two Evans alumni, bassist Gary Peacock (Grdina's teacher of several years) and drummer Paul Motian. This rhythmic dream team complements Grdina's gifts nicely. The leader favors a ...


Shop for Music

Start your music shopping from All About Jazz and you'll support us in the process. Learn how.