Support All About Jazz

All About Jazz needs your help and we have a deal. Pay $20 and we'll hide those six pesky Google ads that appear on every page, plus this box and the slideout box on the right for a full year! You'll also fund website expansion.


I want to help
271

John Stowell: Solitary Tales

John Barron By

Sign in to view read count
John Stowell: Solitary Tales An entire disc of solo, improvised guitar music could easily run the risk of sounding like one continuous tune. Fortunately, Portand, Oregon-based guitarist John Stowell applies enough depth and open-minded searching to his nylon-string guitar to keep things interesting throughout Solitary Tales. The eleven-track disc was recorded live at the home of master guitar luthier Mike Doolin, who builds guitars for Stowell. Relying heavily on single-note lines, the guitarist seems to pull arching motifs out of thin air, eschewing clichés while maintaining a swinging essence.

Stowell gives contemplative readings to Cole Porter's "Everything I Love" and Bill Evans' "Funny Man." Steve Swallow's "Outfits" contains some of the disc's most inventive lines, with breathtaking leaps across the fret board. Ornette Coleman's "Blues Connotation," a disc highlight, jumps out as a bluesy surprise, as Stowell digs in with spirited phrasing.

The bulk of the recording is comprised of Stowell's original compositions, including the rhythmic "Fun With Fruit," the harmonically lush "Behind the Scenes" and the swingingly unpredictable closer, "Wybleing." Thick and juicy chord clusters bring out a thumping, unhurried pace on the hypnotic "Friendly Giant."

The up-close-and-personal setting and superb audio of Solitary Tales allow an extraordinary glimpse into Stowell's uncompromising artistry.


Track Listing: Everything I Love; Friendly Giant; Outfits; Funny Man; House of Doolin; Willow; Fun with Fruit; Behind the Scenes; Laughing River; Blues Connotation; Wybleing.

Personnel: John Stowell: guitar.

Year Released: 2009 | Record Label: Origin Records | Style: Modern Jazz


Related Video

Shop

More Articles

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

All About Vince Guaraldi!

An exclusive opportunity for All About Jazz readers to participate in the celebration of a jazz legend.