New Orleans based improviser/guitarist/composer Chris Alford utilizes a spherical approach in his artistry. In one hemisphere is the deep tradition of jazz and blues languages of the past and in the other is avant-garde, unconventional, creative syntax. Warping the old with the new, Alford keeps his feet rooted in the ground all the while looking beyond the horizon. He is just as likely to galvanize an audience with peculiar, angular, sharp flourishes as he is to allure with luscious, atmospheric harmony and melodies. An openness to sound and collaboration allows Alford to shape and guide the music in an organic flow.
William A Thompson IV or “WATIV” is a pianist, improvisor, composer, programmer, sound designer and educator of many traditions. However, there is little about his musical career that could be called traditional. This unique music has attracted the attention of much of the mainstream as well as alternative media to include NPR’s “All Things Considered” and the BBC to name a few. His work has been profoundly impacted by his one year tour of duty spent in Baghdad during the Iraq War in 2004 as a Counter- intelligence Agent and created the very first album released from a combat theater. Given this truly unique experience in combination with Thompson’s southern musical upbringing, it’s not uncommon to hear him kicking bass in a funky organ trio one night and playing free jazz or singing and playing orignal folk music the next. There is little to compare to his music which has made it’s way from the Mississippi Delta, to New Orleans, to Baghdad, and the world.
Overtone Undertow by Chris Alford and William Thompson, Ramble Records, 2022 on #neuguitars #blog #RambleRecords #ChrisAlford #WilliamThompson
This collaborative endeavor represents a deeper study into our duo music featuring the acoustic resonator guitar and upright acoustic piano. This record again features Thompson’s invented piano augmentation device the Infastain Piano. This acoustic modification device mounts on the piano’s soundboard and has the potential to create infinite sustain that then can also be manipulated digitally. Part of the challenge and intrigue of this project was how piano and guitar navigate improvised harmonic worlds together. Of additional note, is what happened to my personal language on the acoustic guitar when creating with Thompson’s Infastain Piano and its new and curious vocabulary.
released July 29, 2022
Chris Alford – nylon string guitar and resonator guitar
William Thompson – infastain piano
Produced by Chris Alford
Artwork and design by Tyler Tadlock
Mastered by Andrew Weathers