on life, music etc beyond mainstream

2018 24 Mai

„Gently does it, wild and dark, too“ („Life Of“-review & collected stars)

von: Manafonistas Filed under: Blog | TB | Comments off


Yr – ***1/2

Northern Song – ****1/2

Safe Journey – ****1/2

Exploded View – ****

Big Map Idea  – *****

The Fall Of Us All – *****

A Man About A Horse – *****

Natural Causes – ****

Life Of – *****


My personal rating „downbeat style“ of his ECM-released albums. When I was meeting Steve Tibbetts in Germany, early in the 90‘s, he didn‘t have the nicest thoughts on „Exploded View“, musically, called it a result of times of upheaval. Well, musicians are not always the best critics of their own works. I always liked „Exploded View“ very much. (M.E.)


Instead of conjuring other worlds, Tibbetts has spent the past 40 years trying to figure out what this one sounds like in its entirety – a quiet, noble quest for one of the most underappreciated musicians of our time. Across the 1980s, during an extraordinary four-album run for the legendary jazz label ECM, the Minneapolis guitarist was using percussion, electronics and his 12-string acoustic guitar to make highly evocative music with astonishing nuance. Tibbetts was deeply interested in the rhythms of Africa, India and Asia, but the worldliness of his recordings always felt like a mysterious mix of scientific exploration and spiritual quest more than a tourist’s flirtation.

Tibbetts’ exquisite new album, “Life Of,” is easily the most elegant of his career. Accompanied by longtime percussionist Marc Anderson and cellist Michelle Kinney, Tibbetts plays only with his fingertips – no pick – applying both hands to his fretboard, making his notes gently drip and streak.

Instead of advancing forward, this music simply obeys gravity. Forget about jazz, forget about guitars. “Life Of” should make beautiful sense to anyone on this vast and unknowable Earth who’s ever spent time listening to the rain.

(Chris Richards, The Washington Post)

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