Covid-19 is dangerously impacting the social-economic category of musicians. No concerts, poor political and social consideration, uncertain earnings. As a consequence, an ever-growing number of musicians, especially those from the experimental area, are trying to promote their music on BandCamp in digital format only. It is increasingly difficult for me to follow and review this incredible flow of music. I therefore decided to open this section on my blog Neuguitars where I propose music in digital format that I consider particularly interesting and worthy of attention. I hope you like it. Let’s support musicians. They need it.
Mike Cooper has traced a path completely his own for the past 50 years as an international musical explorer, lap steel guitarist, singer, improviser and composer, performing and recording, solo and in a number of inspired groupings and a variety of genres. stretching the possibilities of the guitar with an eclectic mix of the many styles he has practiced over the years.
Mike Cooper and Jim McAuley play Fragile Corners, Bandcamp, 2021 on #neuguitars #blog
A series of long distance acoustic guitar duo collaborations made during the 2020 Covid pandemic via file sharing between Cooper in Valencia, Spain and Jim McAuley in Los Angeles. Cooper met McAuley via Jim’s cd Second Earth with Lap Steel Guitarist Scot Ray on the LongSong record label.
Guitarist Jim McAuley – described as “the only guitarist who has played with Frank Sinatra, Perry Como and Nels Cline”, Jim has been integral to Los Angeles creative music scene for over 30 years. After a brief stint as a commercial session musician in the early 70’s, he began focusing on his original solo material, quickly landing a contract with John Fahey’s Takoma label in 1976. In the eighties he gravitated toward free improv and was honored to perform and record with such LA legends as John Carter, Horace Tapscott and James Newton. He earned his MFA at CalArts in ‘91 (mentored by Frederick Rzewski, David Behrman and others) and in ‘94 formed a collective called Gongfarmer whose revolving roster included Alex Cline, Jeff Gauthier, Marty Walker, David Johnson and other Los Angeles new music stalwarts. 2001 saw the release of “Acoustic Guitar Trio”–Nels Cline, (the late) Rod Poole and Jim McAuley–on Derek Bailey’s Incus imprint. He has several more recent.d. releases on the Italian Long Song record label. This is his first collaboration with Mike Cooper.
Review – “Jim McAuley & Mike Cooper, “Fragile Corners” Two acoustic guitarists obsessed with grain and spontaneity share expressions continents apart, though sounding as if they’re in the same room. The coarse slides, buzzing plucks and piquant minglings remind us that humans are physical objects vibrating to unseen forces. 20 min. Listen/buy here. – Metal Jazz.
released January 2, 2021
All songs improvised by Mike Cooper and Jim McAuley on a variety of acoustic guitars.