Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Alexander Turnquist

A fascinating and beautiful new album from acoustic 12-string player Alexander Turnquist, Hallway of Mirrors may remind you at first of James Blackshaw (especially the title track, which sounds very much like "Cross"), but there's an intellectual rigor and restraint in these five tracks that links him more to a minimalist tradition than any extension of folk or blues. Like Blackshaw, Turnquist is not just a picker but a composer, introducing the subtle warmth of violin, the luminous chill of vibraphone into his pieces. "Waiting at the Departure Gate," the album's 16 minute centerpiece has the same lucid lyricism, the same dazzling virtuosity as Jack Rose's "Cathedral Et Chartres" (and is said, per the label, to have borrowed some of Rose's technique from "Black Pearls.")

All in all, very nice. The album is out now on VHF records.

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