Review of “Only Sky” by David Torn, ECM, 2015
David Torn’s records are precious gifts that this guitarist with a monumental career releases from time to time. Last work published by the ECM, the excellent Prezens, dated back to 2007, so we had to wait eight years rewarded with this excellent solo record “Only sky”, performed with electric guitar, an electric oud and his precious effects.
The music played by Torn moves away from the usual guitar cliché, his songs are light years away from the repetition of licks or by his accession or not to a specific music’s genre, or as a new kind of crossover, or by the particular use of scales or combinations of chords: I would try to define his music like .. guitar’s weather. His music enjoys a precisely pulse, outside of the groove, swing or a classic meter. Rather than in terms of specific factors such as time and musical structure Torn seems to think in terms of space, while the other two factors are used more as additional items and clues. Unlike many other guitarists who use electronics and pedal’s effects as a mere adjunct of their music and their style, Torn is playing his effects by making innovative and oblique combinations.
Only Sky is a dark and moving album, the last excellent work by a real artist by whom we have in these last years learned and listened a lot and at the same timet we are not still never tired. Please Mr. Torn … give us more!