|Ken Aldcroft's guitar is a tool for his composer mind, is the way I've recently heard it, listening to these ten solo guitar improvisations.
Aldcroft's avant guitar features slack de-tuning strings ("Body and or Soul"), a dry snapping flat picked sound, chunky scrubs of chords, brief rock explosions ("Let's Go!") and frequently two conversations going on at the same time ("Pre-am-ble").
So these improvisations make him more of a percussionist and composer than a musician who simply 'plays the guitar'.
And, most urgently, his extended sounds make us consider and appreciate the intentions of pure sound-making versus making socially acceptable beautiful sounds on the guitar.
But there's a human part, too, in the recorded slide and squeak of his fingers and those blurred ghost notes that immediately get integrated into the wafting flow of his improvisations.
"Sterling Road Blues" incorporates most of the above. It's classic and meditative and is still a free form acoustic jazz guitar blues, where string slackenings and tightenings rock the bass, and Celtic keenings drift into a hastened world of radio signals and electronic slips and slippages in life viewed as a sound stream.
Catch Ken Aldcroft alone, where he plays a truly selfless guitar.
by David Fujino March 2009