Nick Granville is a Wellington-based guitarist/composer and educator. Visit www.nickgranville.com for more information, free lessons, music blog and more. His latest CD Home features some of New Zealand’s best musicians and can be downloaded from nickgranville.bandcamp.com for free (or pay what you want). Here are five albums he’s loving right now…
1 – Nelson Latif, Tributo a Joao Pernambuco: A couple of years ago I met Nelson Latif who held a workshop in Wellington. I purchased two of his CDs. I alway try to buy CDs from visiting artists, mainly because if I don’t it is highly likely I will forget to buy a copy later. I have to say – I love Latin music, Brazilian music in particular. The guitar holds a strong place in this music and the rhythm is infectious and for these reasons I find this CD addictive. It is well recorded, well performed, good feeling music. This CD features Nelson Latif on guitar with guitarist Bosco Oliveira, saxophonist Flavio Sandoval and Rafael dos Santos on pandeiro.
2 – Bill Frisell, East/West: Bill Frisell is one of my favourite guitar players on the planet. He is a true original and his playing instantly recognisable. His broad influences range from jazz to country and blues; all of which are strongly represented on this double CD of popular tunes, jazz standards and more. This CD features Bill Frisell on guitar with Kenny Wollesen on drums and Viktor Krauss on bass (disk 1 – west) and Tony Scherr on bass and acoustic guitar (disk 2 – east).
3 – Joseph Tawadros, The Hour of Separation: I stumbled upon this music while surfing YouTube videos, and found a behind-the-scenes video of the making of this record while looking for new music that featured guitarist John Abercrombie. I do this often! Joseph Tawadros is an oud player based in Australia. He is a virtuoso musician and this record displays his abilities to full potential. In addition to featuring Tawadros, this CD uses Abercrombie and a killer band to great effect. Prior to this record, I had never heard an oud played with jazz musicians. Here is that behind-the-scenes video. This CD features some of the finest jazz musicians alive including guitarist John Abercrombie, bassist John Patitucci and drummer Jack DeJohnette with guest musician James Tawadros on req and bendir.
4 – Janek Gwizdala, Theatre By The Sea: Janek Gwizdala is a Los Angeles-based electric bass player. I first heard his music on YouTube and subsequently purchased his CD through Bandcamp. I discovered his music while surfing YouTube looking for music by guitarist Mike Stern (who is a guest on this CD). See a pattern here? In 2013, I toured New Zealand with Mike Stern and made friends with him. A few months later, I called Mike and he said that his friend (and bassist in his band) Janek Gwizdala was heading to Australia and that he would pass on my details to Janek. So, I was fortunate enough to get Janek to Wellington to play. One of the first things I noticed about Janek was his groove and amazing technique. That groove is evident on this CD but surprisingly he does not flash his chops everywhere, rather he plays melodically and the compositions are strong. He reminds me of guitarist Pat Metheny, only playing an electric bass. This CD features drummer Peter Erskine, pianist Alan Pasqua (who I’m a big fan of), vocalist Lizzy Loeb, guitarists Mike Stern, Sergio Vallin and Nir Felder, trumpeter Randy Brecker and trombonist Elliot Mason.
5 – Oz Noy, Schizophrenic: Oz was born in Israel but now lives in New York. Since arriving on the scene he has made a big impact, both as a session guitarist and more recently as a recording artist. Schizophrenic is an apt title for this record – it feels like a collection of the best funk, rock, blues, jazz and associated styles all melded together to create new music. It works really well for me and I keep finding new things I like about it each time I listen to it. Oz is a very distinctive player and his use of guitar effects pedals is totally original and inspiring.