progressive rock

Manzanera onstage with his longtime collaborator Andy Mackay, who is also his creative partner on their new album, AM.PM.

Photo by Matthew Weber

With fellow Roxy Music cofounder Andy Mackay, the solo artist and sideman for David Gilmour and other notables chases musical liberty on a new album that pushes the boundaries of 6-string.

AM.PM, the intriguing all-instrumental release from legendary guitarist/producer Phil Manzanera and equally legendary saxophonist Andy Mackay, is full of unexpected twists and turns. “Somebody said to me recently, ‘I can tell you what it’s not. But I cannot tell you what the hell it is,’” says Manzanera. “And I quite agree. I listened to it and I’ve got no idea what’s coming next. I played the backing tracks once and I could never play it again. I’ve got the chord progressions…. Where did they come from? Instrumental music is a different kind of experience. When you listen to it, you tend to float off into your mind and just drift. There’s a visual aspect to it, to where you’re listening to it. It’s a wonderful, very different experience.”

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Garnett hits the floor with his Huss & Dalton dreadnought. The guitars are hand-built in Staunton, Virginia, at the company founded by Jeff Huss and Mark Dalton.

NV Photography

The guitarist’s experimental string band music opens new vistas for bluegrass, jazz, classical composition, and improv on his stunning debut album, Imitation Fields.

Ben Garnett’s debut album opens bravely, almost daring the casual listener to give up before anything recognizable as a tune emerges from the speakers. Instead, we hear a collage of abstract sound—a tape spooling backwards, spectral voices, and stringed instruments being rubbed and scraped. Out of these two minutes of gentle cacophony, an angular theme emerges, tentative at first, played on banjo and fiddle. Then the idea organizes itself into the punchy, gypsy-derived melody of “Thirty One Mouths.” And with that, the remarkable Imitation Fields gets underway.

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In the guitar, Yvette Young found a refuge from the pressures of the world of classical music competition, and from parental expectations.

Photo by Eli Chavez

With the album Catharsis, the unique guitar visionary has reached a new creative zenith. But it wasn’t easy.

A tattoo of the word “resilient” adorns both Yvette Young’s collarbone and the T-shirts and masks that just recently sold out on her website. That’s an apt descriptor for Young’s strong will. It served her well when, even with the meteoric rise to success of her band, Covet, the behind-the-scenes environment turned extremely toxic after a band member’s behavior became erratic. Young is reluctant to say more about the matter, but she felt unsafe and trapped, and she wanted to quit the band she’d started to instead either pursue a solo project or revisit the visual arts. (A former art teacher, she double-majored in fine arts and education at UCLA, and made money painting guitars, including one for WILLOW.)

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