Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Bill's Solo masterpiece
Phasedin | New Jersey | 09/06/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Connors came to attention as the first wild electric guitarist with Chick Corea's Return To Forever group (Al Dimeola filled the spot after Connors left).
The RTF work may stillbe his best known, which is a shame really, because after leaving the group he concentrated on acoustic and nylon string guitars and recorded as a solo artist during the late 70's with ECM while, at the same time, being a part of several collaboritive recordings on the IAI label (Improvising Artists Inc), which was a New York-based jazz label run by pianist Paul Bley. Sadly, this label no longer exists, but Connors recorded at least 4 albums during this period for them (all of which also featured Paul Bley's piano). Those late 70's recordings were issued on CD however in the early 90's but seem to be out of print now. For fans of really avant-guarde improvised jazz, those records are worth seeking out (as well as Connors fans looking to hear a slightly different side than we get on the ECM records or with Chick Corea's RTF).
Connors recorded only 2 all-solo discs, both for ECM. The earlier "Theme To The Guardian" and this follow-up, "Swimming".
I really find that "Swimming" does the trick, so to speak, for me. It really delivers the goods. By that I mean, I believe if Connors intent here was to get the listener "lost" in his music, without any regard for passing time, well he suceeded. Especially with the longer cuts here. While "Guardian" is still also a fine companion album to this, I belive it's shorter pieces (though fine compositions) were harder to get that "lost-in" vibe to them , simply because they ended too soon.
I'm sorry ECM didn't keep Connors around as a solo artists though. He did also record another solo disc for ECM in a quartet context with Drummer Jack Dejohnette, Saxophonist Jan Garbarek and Gary Peacock on Bass, as well as make several appearences with the Jan Garbarek Group at this same time period.
This was Connors most prolific period: solo discs with ECM, guitarist with the Jan Garbarek group, several recording projects with Paul Bley on the IAI label. There was also a great, never released on CD recording on ECM done in Feb 1979 with Connors in a trio setting on an album by Vibraphonist Tom Van Der Geld called "Path", which also featured Roger Jannotta playing Flute, Oboe, and Saxophone. A great percussionless chamberish recording that all Connors fans should flock to buy if ECM ever deems it worthy of re-releasing. I burned my old vinyl copy onto CD years ago and still play this one along with "Swimming" as my most frequently-played Connors discs.
After this period Connors dropped from sight, re-emerged in the mid 80's for a few years making 3 electric guitar fusion recordings that are still in print, but no-one would believe that this is the same person as recorded these discs I am talking about here, then dropped from sight afterwards.
Connors 80's fusion music is so different from what you have here however, that, if you heard his 80's stuff and didn't like it, well, please do not let that deter you from sampling his 70's music. I'm not even so sure that many fans of Connors 70's music would like his 80's fusion recordings and i'm sure that also works vice-versa.
Well, he's still around and i'm still hoping that he returns to the world of recorded music again, specifically in the mode that we have here. Well, at least for now we still do have these recordings (are you out there reading this Bill??) ."
One of my favorite solo guitar albums ever
Anthony A Aardvark | Shoreline, WA United States | 07/10/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I literally wore out the original import vinyl of this one, bought the moment it came out. The liquid guitar work just sings. I got my CD version from Amsterdam 'cause I couldn't find it in the states; thanks Amazon for carrying this now. Highly recommended. Timeless, playful, moving and quiet all at once."
Still swimming ...
GRAM PARSNIP | JOSHUA TREE | 04/08/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I first heard the album right when it was released ,having been turned on to "theme to the guardian" roughly three years earlier. In stark contrast to the guitar scene at the time the quiet melody and detached rhythms spoke volumes about
the "ambient" possibilties of solo acoustic guitar.Not over the top virtuosity but reflective,thoughtful,genuine music.The compositions and arrangments have a depth that like most great records reveal new imagery with repeat listenings
the album was recorded by the unhearlded Jan Erik Kongshaug who brings an audiophile quality to it .As relevent now if not more so in our "got to have it now" world
"Swimming with.." causes you stop and think about what it is you've gotten yourself into and how that experience might
influence the future for the positive.
"Swimming with .. "is one of my 10 favorite recordings."