Make a difference: Support jazz online

Support All About Jazz Your friends at All About Jazz are looking for readers to help back our website upgrade project. Of critical importance, this project will result in a vastly improved design across all devices and will make future All About Jazz projects much easier to implement. Click here to learn more about this project including donation rewards.

271

John Stowell: Solitary Tales

John Barron By

Sign in to view read count
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.

Title: Solitary Tales | Year Released: 2009 | Record Label: Origin Records

Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Live at Pyatt Hall CD/LP/Track Review Live at Pyatt Hall
by Jack Bowers
Published: January 23, 2018
Read Flying Heart CD/LP/Track Review Flying Heart
by Troy Dostert
Published: January 23, 2018
Read The 3Dom Factor: Live in Krakow CD/LP/Track Review The 3Dom Factor: Live in Krakow
by John Sharpe
Published: January 23, 2018
Read Solano Canyon CD/LP/Track Review Solano Canyon
by Glenn Astarita
Published: January 23, 2018
Read Lucas CD/LP/Track Review Lucas
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: January 22, 2018
Read In Paris: The Definitive ORTF Recording CD/LP/Track Review In Paris: The Definitive ORTF Recording
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: January 22, 2018
Read "Horizonte" CD/LP/Track Review Horizonte
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: March 31, 2017
Read "Atrium" CD/LP/Track Review Atrium
by James Nadal
Published: May 2, 2017
Read "Cycles of Animation" CD/LP/Track Review Cycles of Animation
by Troy Dostert
Published: December 11, 2017
Read "Mal Sirine" CD/LP/Track Review Mal Sirine
by Roger Farbey
Published: September 16, 2017
Read "Baby Talk" CD/LP/Track Review Baby Talk
by Mark Corroto
Published: August 14, 2017
Read "Reflections" CD/LP/Track Review Reflections
by Mark Sullivan
Published: March 25, 2017