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Eric Hofbauer: Book Of Water

Read "Book Of Water" reviewed by Mike Jurkovic

Boston based guitarist and rising star Eric Hofbauer obviously isn't afraid of challenges. But then again, no musician/artist should be if they wish to leave a mark. The compositional intent at first come across rather lofty: a five part, multi-ensemble project interpreting wood, fire, earth, metal, and water, namely the five pillars of Chinese philosophy understood as the “Five Agents," with each element its own book or, in this case, album, containing five chapters or compositions, someone's got to take ...

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Eric Hofbauer's Five Agents: Book Of Water

Read "Book Of Water" reviewed by Jerome Wilson

This CD marks the beginning of an ambitious project for guitarist Eric Hofbauer, five connected recordings based on the Chinese philosophical construct of the Five Agents, wood, fire, earth, metal and water. Each of these recordings is to have a different instrumental lineup, but for this first one, Book Of Water, he uses an explosive jazz sextet recorded in concert. Apropos of the CD's title, this music flows continuously like water with only brief pauses between the five ...

MULTIPLE REVIEWS

Eric Hofbauer Quintet: Prehistoric Jazz – Volumes 1 & 2

Read "Eric Hofbauer Quintet: Prehistoric Jazz – Volumes 1 & 2" reviewed by Mark F. Turner

With sure workmanship and untamed inquisitiveness, Boston-based guitarist Eric Hofbauer is no stranger to confronting unusual yet stimulating music. Examples include 2008's uncharacteristic guitar duo The Lady of Khartoum with Garrison Fewell or the striking American solo series--American Vanity (2004), American Fear (2010) and American Grace (2013)--which crossed distinctive terrains of improvisation and covers of iconic pieces such Louis Armstrong's “West End Blues," Cindy Lauper's “True Colors" and a raucous take on rock group Van Halen's “Hot for Teacher."

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Eric Hofbauer: American Grace

Read "American Grace" reviewed by Mark Corroto

Origami or balloon animals, it is always interesting what a solo artist can do with his bare hands. Same for a gifted guitarist like Eric Hofbauer, whose American Grace completes a trilogy of solo recordings that began with American Vanity (Creative Nation, 2004), and was followed by American Fear! (Creative Nation, 2010). In these three outing, he has mined the nation's post- 9/11 psyche via pop tunes, jazz, blues, and instant composing.Although a jazz educator and graduate of ...

TAKE FIVE WITH...

Take Five With Eric Hofbauer

Read "Take Five With Eric Hofbauer" reviewed by Eric Hofbauer

Meet Eric Hofbauer: Known as “a crucial instigator in Boston's DIY avant-jazz scene" (Jon Garelick, Boston Phoenix), Eric Hofbauer has been one of the city's most active musicians and organizers for the past decade. When not documenting his own distinctive approach as a solo guitarist, or leading his working quartet, The Infrared Band, he is performing and recording with such ensembles as the Garrison Fewell/Eric Hofbauer Duo, BOLT (featuring Jorrit Dijkstra and Eric Rosenthal), Karayorgis/Hofbauer/William/Gray and Charlie Kohlhase's ...

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Eric Hofbauer and The Infrared Band: Level

Read "Level" reviewed by Nic Jones

Back in 2008 this band--the only change here being bassist Sean Farias in for Michael Montgomery--produced one of the best albums of that year. In 2011, they've gone and done it again. Like Thelonious Monk, Herbie Nichols and Andrew Hill, guitarist Eric Hofbauer's music benefits enormously from having the right musicians to bring it to fruition, and in this instance he's blessed. His quartet effortlessly avoids all the well-established tropes; on “La Ligne De Chance," it brings ...

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Eric Hofbauer: Eric Hofbauer: American Fear!

Read "Eric Hofbauer: American Fear!" reviewed by Tom Greenland

With American Fear!, creative guitarist Eric Hofbauer once again exposes his funny bone, effectively demonstrating that jazz and humor are not mutually exclusive. Like American Vanity (Creative Nation, 2002), this is a solo guitar effort mixing unusual covers with quirky originals, all delivered with the Boston-based artist's extroverted minimalism. There are no disposable notes in this suite of vignettes, each track a meditation on the various ramifications of fear, whether from childhood ("Monsters Under the Bed"), adolescent ...

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Eric Hofbauer: American Fear

Read "American Fear" reviewed by Nic Jones

Boston, Massachusetts is truly blessed in having Eric Hofbauer as a member of its improvised music community. Over the course of successive releases he has proved himself to be one of the great original voices and this solo guitar recital proves it in spades. He seemingly and effortlessly has forged a highly individual instrumental vocabulary and this, allied with a harmonic sense that's by turns sly and steeped in wit, is one of the hallmarks of his work.

He sets ...

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Eric Hofbauer: American Vanity

Read "American Vanity" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan

It's hard to decide--based on American Vanity --if Eric Hofbauer is a brilliant young artist or a wild-eyed nut-case. He plays solo acoustic guitar, ranting about American culture, American hubris, and American vanity through his guitar strings; though you wouldn't know this without liner notes. You might just take the set for some sharply-focused and fairly intense free sounds on his originals, along with some adventurous covers of American jazz classics by Charlie Parker and Charles Mingus.His improvisations ...

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Eric Hofbauer: American Vanity

Read "American Vanity" reviewed by John Kelman

Even only a partially successful experiment deserves credit. Guitarist Eric Hofbauer, recently reviewed as a member of The Blueprint Project , has the guts to put out his first album as a leader as (a) a solo guitar record, (b) a concept album, and (c) an exploration of the concept of pride in American culture. By blending free-style improvisations with songs that have in some cases become part of the American gestalt, Hofbauer has fashioned a record that attempts to ...


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