Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

234

Garrison Fewell / Eric Hofbauer: The Lady Of Khartoum

Nic Jones By

Sign in to view read count
Here's music from two guitars that covers far more ground than that description may imply. Fewell and Hofbauer are both players acutely aware of the sonic potential their instrument has to offer, and that awareness is one of the many qualities that combine lift the music on The Lady Of Khartoum well above the run-of-the-mill.



"Comfort For An Affliction" starts quite literally from nothing other than silence, and such is its simultaneously reflective yet agitated air that the listener might well feel as though they're eavesdropping. The piece doesn't so much build as it kind of smolders, hinting at things more heated but failing to ignite. In a way this doesn't matter, as the music throughout this program seems to have long since left behind such relatively hackneyed considerations as heat in favor of less tangible, certainly more chimerical considerations.



In the past Fewell has worked with the perennially underrated John Tchicai, and the duo's reading of that man's "Farsighted Friendship" flirts with the notion of cool in a manner that falls far outside any known school of such a thing. The theme statement is shot through with understated grandeur and the duo's economy lends to the proceedings the kind of dignity that seems like an increasingly rare quality.



If set against it, the discordant undertow of "Ma'at's Mood" is reined in only by the very brevity of the piece, which at one minute and ten seconds is inevitably deprived of the chance to evolve. It seems such a waste in view of the fact that the duo seems incapable of coming up with anything half-baked, so intense yet reflective is their rapport. For all its relative agitation the same can be said for "Eyes Of Nkisi," where the spirit of Derek Bailey is summoned up but not echoed. Thankfully these guys are well beyond the emulatory approach.



Thelonious Monk's "Let's Cool One" is the one instance here when the jazz guitar tradition is overtly invoked, which in light of all the clean picking here is a feat in itself. The duo proves how well they can pull the trick off, however, by dint of the fact that their improvisation is free of overt influence, proving as if it needed to be proved that the tradition can only sustain its viability through revamping and revising.



It all adds up to something special in the sense that the very restricted tonal palette that two guitars can offer is effectively trumped by the wealth of ideas and the sharp musical reflexes of the two players concerned.


Track Listing: Prologue: Before the Dream; The Lady of Khartoum; Dogon Delta Blues; Comfort for an Affliction; Devil at the Salang Pass, Ma

Personnel: Garrison Fewell: guitar, slide, sticks, bells, percussion; Eric Hofbauer: guitar, metal box, sticks percussion.

Title: The Lady of Khartoum | Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: Creative Nation Music

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Shop Music & Tickets

Click any of the store links below and you'll support All About Jazz in the process. Learn how.

Related Articles

Read Everything's OK CD/LP/Track Review
Everything's OK
by Doug Collette
Published: December 16, 2018
Read Making Bones, Taking Draughts, Bearing Unstable Millstones Pridefully, Idiotically, Prosaically CD/LP/Track Review
Making Bones, Taking Draughts, Bearing Unstable Millstones...
by Mark Corroto
Published: December 16, 2018
Read Legacy CD/LP/Track Review
Legacy
by Doug Collette
Published: December 16, 2018
Read Other Life Forms CD/LP/Track Review
Other Life Forms
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 16, 2018
Read Live At Moods CD/LP/Track Review
Live At Moods
by Mark Sullivan
Published: December 16, 2018
Read Runner in the Rain CD/LP/Track Review
Runner in the Rain
by Troy Dostert
Published: December 15, 2018
Read "Ectotrophia" CD/LP/Track Review Ectotrophia
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: July 5, 2018
Read "This City" CD/LP/Track Review This City
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: March 24, 2018
Read "Live in Solothurn" CD/LP/Track Review Live in Solothurn
by Ian Patterson
Published: May 12, 2018
Read "Choices and Melodies" CD/LP/Track Review Choices and Melodies
by John Eyles
Published: May 28, 2018
Read "Both Directions at Once: The Lost Album" CD/LP/Track Review Both Directions at Once: The Lost Album
by Karl Ackermann
Published: July 1, 2018
Read "Blood & Bone" CD/LP/Track Review Blood & Bone
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 5, 2018