Guitarist/composer Guillaume Gargaud of Le Havre, France, is a well-recorded artist, having appeared in some twenty-five recordings, including eight solo recordings. Guillaume frequently plays electric guitar enhanced by pedals and computer sound modification, but on Strange Memories, his new solo release, he limits himself to acoustic guitar. Gargaud’s fluency on acoustic guitar is well-documented; for example, just a year ago he played that instrument on Magic Intensity, a fine duet recording with pianist Burton Greene, who is himself a veteran of the avant-garde jazz world of the 1960s. The improvisations on Magic Intensity are free-floating but cohesive, a pattern that Gargaud continues to follow on Strange Memories. On this new recording Gargaud’s improvisations follow a free-associative logic that takes them through harmonic and melodic developments constrained only by the chromatic imagination. The music is by turns abstract and melodic; Gargaud’s playing is sharply-etched with the occasional garnish of some extended technique and scordatura and, on one track apparently, some hardly-there electronics.
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