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Kaphan, Bruce: Slider Ambient Excursions For Pedal Steel Guitar

Bruce has re-released this solo project (originally released on Hearts of Space Records back in 2000) on his own label Wiggling Air Records after winning a protracted legal battle for the rights to his music from a "larger" company that had purchased Hearts of Space shortly after Slider's release. That company failed to accord the priority to Slider that was previously promised and the album ultimately slipped through the cracks. This reissue is the same music with brand new packaging from Bruce.

Bruce has assembled an impressive resume since first touching the instrument in 1976. Highlights include a Rolling Stone magazine critic's top five album selection in 1992 (American Music Club's Everclear which Bruce co-produced and engineered), recording sessions with REM, Jewel, The Black Crowes and also on John Lee Hooker's Grammy nominated/winning tunes "Jealous" and "Chill Out" respectively. Just prior to creating Slider, Bruce spent two years on the road with David Byrne's band. An impressive and varied background to be sure!

Ambient is the key word. These eleven tracks weave a hypnotic tapestry of lush crystal smooth sound. The slide is in no way the "wiggling air" stereotypical trebly country sound we typically associate with pedal steel, but rather long, slow and soulfully expressive excursions over the strings with immaculate tone phrasing and effect. The tracks meld and blend together to give a pleasant and virtually uninterrupted listening experience. This is dreamier to listen to than most of the "ambient" world music I have ever heard. A truly stellar effort that is hopefully getting its just due this time around! With avant garde proponents of the instrument like Bruce Kaphan and Robert Randolph at the helm, we can be assured that use of the pedal steel guitar will continue to evolve beyond its traditional boundaries in interesting ways.

Track Listing
1. clouds
2. country and eastern
3. high desert
4. big brain small brain
5. back to the light
6. sideways carousel
7. outpost
8. arc of flight
9. homage (pour le grand fromage)
10. undeserved ending
11. shinn pond

Added: March 28th 2006
Reviewer: Mike Blackburn
Related Link: More Information
Hits: 2516
Language: english

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