I own a few of Howard’s Stick recordings and have sampled others but this release is a significant and wonderfully successful departure from his norm. Those of you familiar with guitarist Michael Brook and his Live at The Aquarium
release will understand the principle of sample-hold-repeat mixed with live improv. Howard jams for a solid 59+ minutes and never loses steam nor bores my improv-critical ears. This is got to be some the most fascinating and tour de force
Stick artistry I have ever heard period. Howard even gets into seriously overdriven, fuzzed out, and echo-delayed modes that Hendrix, Torn, Durant, or Fripp would applaud. I can hardly see how all this is done so seamlessly with no overdubs. Imagine Michael Hedges, Todd Levin, Stanley Jordan, Victor Wooten, Michael Brook, Jon Durant, Pat Metheny, and Jeff Beck tradin’ licks. Howard’s live composition even has space rock and ambient elements. Amazing effort and a hands down winner. Somebody unplug that guy!
Reprinted with the permission of John Collinge and Progression Magazine .