Born in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, but raised in the D.C. suburb of Vienna, Virginia, guitarist Anthony Pirog first came to national prominence as one half of the instrumental duo Janel & Anthony, with virtuoso cellist Janel Leppin. Pirog has performed with a wide variety of musicians, ranging from avant-garde icons like Henry Kaiser, Elliott Sharp and William Hooker to roots and rockabilly legends such as Billy Hancock, Bill Kitchen and Tab Benoit. He has even played with ex-Smashing Pumpkins drummer Jimmy Chambelain in the power trio Skysaw. He currently leads a number of ensembles, from trio to septet.
Anthony Pirog (@asp222) • Foto e video di Instagram
Guitarist, composer, Joel Harrison has created a new label to explore cutting edge guitar-based music. The label partners with The Alternative Guitar Summit, the premiere organization for new guitar music in the USA. “Integrity beyond Genre” is our motto. He has “created a new blueprint for jazz” (New Orleans Times-Picayune). He was described by the New York Times as “protean… brilliant.”
Music | AGS Recordings (bandcamp.com)
The Great Mirage by Joel Harrison and Anthony Pirog, AGS Recordings, 2023 on #neuguitars #blog #AGSRecordings #JoelHarrison #AnthonyPirog
The Great Mirage | Joel Harrison and Anthony Pirog | AGS Recordings (bandcamp.com)
A two guitar collaboration between Joel Harrison and Anthony Pirog.
Pirog and Harrison tend to finish each other sentences when they play. Twenty five years separate them in age, and yet they seem to have common ancestry. Both are from Wash. D.C., both love jazz, rock, fusion, avant garde, folk, funk, and country music, and both often do all of it all at once.
On The Great Mirage each composed and arranged music for the session, the music caterwauls between heavy and light, really loud and really soft, gorgeous, spiky, grooving and free. The record reaches towards a 21st century essay in what the guitar can do. The band’s sense of joy and adventure is palpable as they extend their range and reach deep into American guitar history and future.
The rhythm section adds a tremendous amount to the pieces. Allison Miller, herself a D.C. kid, wallops and caresses the drums with authority and finesse. Crump, who is better known for his upright playing, grooves like a modern day Jamerson, and then puts a delicate bow around a lyrical series of modern jazz chord changes.
Harrison’s “There’s Never Enough Time” and “I’ll See You in the Shining World lean towards pathos.” But then moments of thunder, Pirog’s “It Slipped Through My Fingers, his arrangement of Keith Jarret’s “Mortgage on My Soul.” There’s the windswept ballad “Desert Solitaire,” and the final track where two Les Pauls light up a Neil Young-style groove penned by Harrison called “Buffalo Heart.” The CD takes its name from the first tune, The Great Mirage, a Paul Motian-inspired number which Harrison wrote in a flash after reading a book on Tibetan Dream Yoga.
For guitar fans, modern jazz lovers, and rockers alike, this release takes you on a circuitous, thrilling journey.
releases March 15, 2023
Joel Harrison and Anthony Pirog: guitars
Stephan Crump: bass
Allison Miller: drums
Bruce Katz: Hammond B-3 on track 10