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.
Guitarist Henry Kaiser is a prolific member of the San Francisco Bay Area music scene, as well as being a globally recognized leader of the “second generation” free improvisers who came of age in the ’70s. His earliest musical inspiration came from the spiky sounds of English improvising guitarist Derek Bailey and the many guitarists in Captain Beefheart’s Magic Band; later on Kaiser absorbed the subtle string textures of the American blues stylists and traditional music of Asia, particularly India, Korea, and Vietnam. His initial recordings documented solo projects and spontaneous groupings with other energetic improvisers like Fred Frith, the ROVA Saxophone Quartet, pianist Greg Goodman, and vocalist Diamanda Galas. Kaiser’s restless creativity unearthed many new and unconventional electric guitar techniques during these years, and he combined these innovations with a strong sense of logic and concise development, often aided by sophisticated sound-processing devices.
Live, Love, Larf & Loaf by French, Frith, Kaiser & Thompson, BandCamp, 1987 on #neuguitars #blog
During the Eighties, Kaiser projects tended toward the rock sound of the ’60s and ’70s, with a special fascination for the music of The Grateful Dead and particpation in a number of tribute albums for Imaginary Records. Just when people were starting to peg him as a “cover artist”, Kaiser ditched his rock stylings, for the most part, and back to more of a free improvising style. He recorded albums with Derek Bailey and Jim O’Rourke, and did new recordings with his old duo-partner Fred Frith. The Nineties also saw Kaiser increase his profile through his successful collaborations with David Lindley and local musicians from both Madagascar and Norway. He was also involved with a number of recordings made in Burma, also for the Shanachie label.