Review of Viriditas by Charlie Rauh, Destiny Records, 2017
This is the first time that I had crossed my path as a passionate blogger for contemporary guitar music with Charlie Rauh’s guitar, but I’m absolutely happy to have had this opportunity with this amazing new cd: “Viriditas”, produced by the independent label Destiny Records. A record that is already announced as one of the best record released in this year and will surely bring the joy of so many other good music’s fans.
Viriditas is in fact a solo guitar record: eight songs played with charisma passion by a very creative and innovative guitarist who at the same time casts its foundations into the rich tradition of jazz guitar. The reference model is surely Bill Frisell, a musician to whom Rauh himself doesn’t hide his sympathies by quoting him in his soundcloud web. However here we are not surely in the presence of a Frisell clone: Rauh is a guitarist with a strong personality and an already achieved artistic maturity. If you are waiting for a record full of fun and crazy virtuosity you will be bitterly disappointed: Rauh is a true virtuoso and as such expresses a musicality that transcends the exceptional technique, which he surely has, putting it at the service of intimate, moving and dreamy music, in which every single note played by his guitar shows an innovative and contemporary vision. Hightly reccomended! One of the best 2017’s records!
Guitarist Charlie Rauh has been awarded grants from such organizations as Meet The Composer, The Fractured Atlas Group, The Untitled Artists Group, The Herndon Arts Council, The Queens Arts Council, The Raucschenberg Foundation, and The International Studios at Denkalschmeide Hofgen. Master improviser Connie Crothers noted Rauh as “a true musician with an originality that is deeply personal”, while virtuoso composer/pedal steel guitarist Susan Alcorn describes his creative approach as “a rare combination of discipline, attention to detail, and impeccable taste.” In collaboration with choreographer Megan Harrold he has served as composer in residence at The Klaustrid Foundation (Iceland), The Chen Dance Center (NYC), and Le Feuil (France). Rauh has worked with such artists as David Rothenberg, Hank Roberts, Bernard Fowler, Michael Hafftka, Noël Akchoté, Sepideh, and Cornelius Eady – His compositions have been featured on NPR’s Live in Studio C program and WUSB’s Jazz On The Air program as well as in venues such as Merce Cunningham Studio, The Kitchen, Alice Tully Hall Lincoln Center, The Chocolate Factory, The Stone, The Rubin Art Museum, and Bohemian National Hall. His debut solo release, Innocent Speller, is currently available on Composers Concordance Records/Naxos.