4

Ben Tyree: Thoughtform Variations

Mark F. Turner By

Sign in to view read count
Ben Tyree: Thoughtform Variations
In stark contrast to the psychedelic funk rock of re: Vision (2010, Sonic Architectures), Brooklyn-based guitarist Ben Tyree eschews pyrotechnic effects and performs literally naked on his solo acoustic debut, Thoughtform Variations, showing enough imagination and finger-picking stylizations to satisfy both six-string enthusiasts and casual listeners.

These original pieces were conceived eight years ago as experiments, and display a virtuosity and breath reminiscent of guitarists Michael Hedges and Alex de Grassi's 1980s-'90s work for Windham Hill Records, as well as his multitalented contemporary, Kaki King. Elaborate changes are equally balanced with picturesque melodies, as Tyree shows a fondness for both the abstract and the pastoral in "No Wrong Turns" as its closing phrase fades to black.

The range of emotions and contours in the set is striking. A Bach-like motif evolves into something entirely different in "What May Come," a gregarious piece dedicated to Tyree's father who also loved classical music. But there's also a rustic gaucho swagger in the title with an array of colors that include progressive chords, fingered harmonics, and blazing runs.

"David" and "Dmanisi" are two of the set's longer pieces, featuring melodic arcs with plenty of fireworks in between. Yet the set is a far cry from conventional solo guitar chops/ballads fare, and ends accordingly with "The Gatekeeper" which is darkly lit and moody yet, like its predecessors, brimming with ideas. Armed with only an acoustic guitar and endless possibilities, Tyree may be unplugged this time around but the music is still electric.

Track Listing

Soliloquy; No Wrong Turns; What May Come to Be; Bish; David; Thought Forms; Dmanisi; The Gatekeeper.

Personnel

Ben Tyree: solo acoustic guitar.

Album information

Title: Thoughtform Variations | Year Released: 2012 | Record Label: Sonic Architectures

Post a comment about this album

Watch

Tags

Shop Amazon

More

Mono No Aware
Roberto Pianca Sub Rosa
Live at NIR Studios
Georg Graewe, Kjell Nordeson, Jon Raskin Trio
Breathe
Dr. Lonnie Smith
Beau Bow de Lune
Val McCallum
Jesup Wagon
James Brandon Lewis
Songs For Tracy
Frank Macchia

Popular

All About Jazz needs your support

Donate
All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded albums and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, limited reopenings and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary step that will help musicians and venues now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the sticky footer ad). Thank you!

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.