on life, music etc beyond mainstream

The tracks are simply signposted by „parts2, nine in all, the shortest running to just under seven minutes; the longest, „Part VI“, from Orchard Hall, Tokyo, at just under nine-and-a-half. Austerely presented with a dark cover featuring an abstract painting by Eberhard Ross, a faintly discernible woven texture with slim green and white horizontal flecks, there is a communion of sorts invoked in the atmosphere of each piece, few fireworks in the first two pieces (actually few overall in terms of bravura grandstanding), more the atmosphere of nocturnes, deeply passionate … (Stephen Graham, Marlbank)


One solo album done with piano, one with guitar(s) and electric oud. Two instruments with tons of cultural baggage. Keith Jarrett and the big word „Creation“, David Torn and the airy title „Only Sky“. Two covers to look at, two hours to get lost in. I think that the magic decade of Mr. Jarrett were (roughly speakin‘) the 70’s, but, particularly in his solo piano performances, time spans can luckily  be denied, and there have been some dark and shining hours long after the „Köln Concert“ turned into a worldwide „vibe“. „Creation“ is a work of class that doesn’t require the big word on the cover, the texture of the cover painting is more telling.


As is the figure in the landscape of „Only Sky“. An impressive variation of a well-known ECM -„signifier“. David Torn once played in a band that accompanied Lou Reed. David Torn reached for the sky (only sky!) several times, since he lost the panoramic scale of listening after a brain surgery – deaf on one ear. I once talked with him on a long evening, one of the unforgettable interviews. He released, for example, the enigmatic magic of „Prezens“. He never really lost the panoramic scale of listening. „Only Sky“ is worth every second. Mr. Torn takes his time. No doubt this belongs to most rewarding guitar albums of recent years, along with Daniel Lanois‘ „Flesh & Machine“ (2014) and Eivind Aarset’s „Dream Logic“ (2012) .


Solo recordings are always a dicey proposition; naked, with nobody to hide behind, the artist’s work is laid bare for all to hear. But given that only sky is, according to Torn, „the closest to capturing what I do alone with a guitar at home“, it most accurately approaches who Torn is when he’s unbound by the constraints that most projects, if even inadvertently, impose. The result is a record that is his most idiomatic and individualized. Sonically it’s an expansive record that’s the antithesis of the traditional solo guitar record – (…) everything from harsh angularity to unabashed beauty can be found on only sky … (John Kelman, allaboutjazz)

This entry was posted on Samstag, 2. Mai 2015 and is filed under "Blog". You can follow any responses to this entry with RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.


  1. Michael Engelbrecht:

    Ich weiss ja nicht, wie es den anderen Manafonistas ergeht, wenn sie sich auf diese beiden CDs einlassen – die von Keith Jarrett erschient nächsten Freitag, die von David Torn so um das Manafonistastreffen auf Sylt herum. Aber bei Gregs und Martina wird David Torn, da wette ich, ungebremste Begeisterung auslösen, und Gregs wird nicht minder beeindruckt sein von Creation. Also, Gregs, Kaufbefehl :)

    Ach, Meister der Jukeboxen, kannst du mir dein Exemplar der Michael Mantler-LP mit den Gorey-Vertonungen nach Sylt mitbringen, ich bringe dir die ausgeliehenen Platten mit. Du willst mir ja wohl nicht erzählen, dass dieses Werk mit Robert nicht in deinem unendlichen Archiv bestens aufbewahrt ruht.

  2. Michael Engelbrecht:

  3. Michael Engelbrecht: …

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