“Was not their mistake once more bred of the life of slavery that they had been living?—a life which was always looking upon everything, except mankind, animate and inanimate—‘nature,’ as people used to call it—as one thing, and mankind as another, it was natural to people thinking in this way, that they should try to make ‘nature’ their slave, since they thought ‘nature’ was something outside them” — William Morris

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Favorite Guitar Solo

I suppose everyone has something like it. This is Allan Holdsworth on David Hines's “Antilla,” an extraordinarily nice blend of something like late 70s Weather Report with disco being collapsed into 3/4 yet embellished with dimension-crossing grace notes that make you wonder whether there is a time signature at all...

Holdsworth is so devoted to attuning to the chord sequence and working out all the possibilities in that space, in swift legato style--something very movingly, introvertedly, non-aggressively immensely powerful about it. And he just keeps pouring out more and more notes per beat.

There is something nice about the oscillation between falling into the chord sequence of the other musicians, then soaring above it. He allows the guitar to succumb to the sequence, then pulls it upwards as if attaching a gigantic kite to it. Sort of genius surrendering. Overall, the impression seems to be some kind of courageous, unstoppable benevolence. And the keyboards seem to respond to the joy.

And in general, I'm a sucker for rapid major–minor transitions, from John Dowland to techno, so it has that going for it.

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