Articles by Alan Bryson

TOP TEN LIST

Top Ten Jazz Tracks for Surf Music

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The notion of jazz as surf music seems absurd at first blush, but it can work surprisingly well. Some time ago I learned this by happenstance while listening to an album by fusion guitarist Alex Machacek as I watched surf videos on YouTube. It was a true “ah ha" moment. Compared to the original soundtrack, Alex's music was much better suited to the surfers' incredible aesthetics, athletics, and the resulting excitement. It struck me that it might be ...

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Top Ten Musicians Who Embody Cool

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America has produced some very cool things: jazz, rock, blues, country, hot rods, Hammond organs, and electric guitars. Another one of the coolest things is the language itself, brewed in the melting pot that is America. Like jazz, blues, and rock, American English itself can't be imagined without the influence of African Americans. “Hep," “hip," “funky," “groovin,'" and “cool" are words I had assumed were coined by the early jazz musicians; however, as I dug a little deeper it seems ...

PROFILES

Duane Allman at 70: A Reflection

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The actor James Dean once said, “If a man can bridge the gap between life and death, if he can live after he's died, then maybe he was a great man." James Dean is perhaps the charter member of a modern subset of such individuals who, due to modern technology, live on in the consciousness of others. They remain frozen in time--ascendant, vibrant, and youthful. When you think of James Dean, chances are you can visualize his magnetic ...

TALKING 2 MUSICIANS

Guitarist Mike Seal

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Guitarist Mike Seal first caught my attention at the end of 2014 as part of the Jeff Sipe Trio. At that time I described him as an extraordinarily talented young musician, an assessment shared by many, including the legendary dobro virtuoso Jerry Douglas. This summer the three time winner of the Country Music Association's Musician of the Year award invited Mike Seal to join his band. At the beginning of this exciting new chapter in his musical journey, it seemed ...

TALKING 2 MUSICIANS

2016 Guitar Star series winner Zayn Mohammed

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Appearing on the main stage at the Latitude Music Festival was Zayn Mohammed's prize for winning the 2016 season of the UK SkyArts TV series Guitar Star. He was welcomed to the stage by legendary rock producer Tony Visconti, of David Bowie fame, as, “an incredible performer, a consummate artist, great guitarist, great musician and a visionary!" George Benson, who like Visconti was a judge and mentor on the series, appeared via video on the stage screens with these words, ...

TALKING 2 MUSICIANS

Barbara Dennerlein

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Music is wondrously implausible, an invisible art form that is arguably best appreciated with your eyes shut. Yet it is equally true that live music, like great sporting events, has the capacity to trigger powerful emotional responses, focus people on the present, and unite a disparate crowd around a shared experience happening on stage. Each approach has its own charm, and occasionally you can shut your eyes during a concert to have the best of both worlds. Showmanship ...

TALKING 2 MUSICIANS

Keyboardist Matt Slocum

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Matt Slocum is a prominent keyboardist on the Southern music scene, best known for his work with Oteil Burbridge, the Lee Boys, and Susan Tedeschi and his role as Jimmy Herring's go-to keyboard player. Last year he was recruited by Bruce Hampton to join the Aquarium Rescue Unit's 30 year anniversary tour. He's also a member of the band King Baby, who just finished recording their first album. It will be released this fall on Abstract Logix. He ...

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Top Ten Guitarists Who Left Us Too Soon

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Ranking musicians is a hopelessly flawed endeavor. It's about as meaningful as having a list of the top ten best tasting foods. Taste is highly individualized, influenced by mood, familiarity, and the way in which multiple variables interact. One person's escargot is someone else's slice of Chicago style pizza. I just took a break and searched the web for the top ten best tasting foods, and of course CNN has tackled this difficult issue. Potato chips, Peking Duck, and buttered ...

TALKING 2 MUSICIANS

Carl Mörner Ringström

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Sweden's Carl Mörner Ringström is not the first musician I've interviewed whose parents were music teachers, but there the similarities end. He got his first electric guitar at the age of seven, and although his father is a classical guitarist, the son was determined to master the instrument on his own. He spent the next four years in his room with the door closed learning to tune and play guitar by listening to Eddie van Halen--a decision which gave him ...


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