Sunday, September 18, 2016

Sunday Playlist #46

Sunday Playlist #46: In memoriam Ken Aldcroft

I was shocked and saddened yesterday when suddenly my facebook feed started filling up with the news of Ken Aldcroft's passing. My thoughts are with his family, friends, and many collaborators.

Ken had a powerful musical drive, and he was as happy to throw in with one-off ensembles as he was to work away at elaborate compositions with his more formal groups. Ken's guitar tone and technique were so distinctive to me: his dense flurries of notes were often like someone playing a rope trick, where the cord appears irreversibly tangled — until a sudden twist unknots everything. He loved complicated harmonics and catchy tunes and could tackle either with ease.

But beyond that, Ken was a warm and inviting person, eager to share his music and talk about it, or just to share a laugh and a deadpan story. He will be remembered as a teacher and a community-builder as well as a masterfully-inventive improvising musician.

There will be time to come to ponder more deeply at his many musical paths (including his excellent recorded legacy through his Trio Records releases) but for now I just wanted to revisit a few of the sets that stuck out in my mind. These aren't the "best" shows, just nights that I remember for one reason or another — certainly for Ken's playing, but also for the conversations or the situations. His music will endure, and hopefully today if can be a comfort as well. Let us remember his presence.

Ken Aldcroft - [excerpt]

  • Recorded at The Tranzac's Main Hall (Somewhere There Creative Music Festival – Show 2), February 27, 2016.

Ken Aldcroft + Mike Gennaro - [third piece]

  • Recorded at Dundas Video (Track Could Bend #6), September 1, 2015.

Aldcroft/Lynn/Ng/Miller - [set 2 excerpt]

  • Recorded at The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge), June 8, 2016.

THREADS (Quintet) - Threads I [excerpt]

  • Recorded at The Emmett Ray, October 21, 2013.

Ken Aldcroft and Scott Thomson - [excerpt from duo improvisation]

  • Recorded at The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge), June 17, 2015.

Aldcroft-Fisher-Gennaro - [excerpt from first piece]

  • Recorded at The Imperial Pub's back room, December 21, 2013.

Alaniaris - unknown

  • Recorded at The Tranzac - Southern Cross Lounge ("The Second Annual Somewhere There Creative Music Festival" – Show 1 late set), February 21, 2014.

Hat & Beard - Jackie-ing

  • Recorded at The Tranzac - Main Hall ("The Second Annual Somewhere There Creative Music Festival" - Show 2), February 22, 2014.

Sunday Playlist is an occasional feature that brings back some of this blog's previously-posted original live recordings for an encore. You can always click the tags below to see what I originally wrote about the shows these songs came from.

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