IN THE ARTIST’S WORDS ~ ~ Over the last
few years I’ve been experimenting with percussive effects on the
guitar. For example, hitting the guitar just behind the sound hole with
the heel of the palm delivers a large drum sound. Hitting the top with
my right hand fingertips gives a much higher pitched sound. My left
hand fingers can fill in between right hand hits, contrapuntally,
either by slapping against the strings and fingerboard or using them to
perform “rolls” on the sides of the guitar. On this project, my plan
was to incorporate these techniques into the performances in an
improvisational manner so as to resemble interplay with a real
percussionist. The challenge in playing everything in real time with no
overdubs, is the physical adjustments that have to be made in order to
implement these various hits, taps and slaps on different parts of the
guitar, then get back to a natural playing position without creating
extracurricular noise. This perplexing process ended up a great
learning and creative experience. I hope you enjoy it! ~~ WJ
Wayne Johnson One Guitar Solid Air Records SACD 2040 CD
This acoustic guitarist is mainly known by his appearance by the
Manhattan Transfer group, which had a lot of success in the early 80's.
Wayne Johnson now has a solo acoustic guitar album out called One
Guitar. His influences come from jazz and blues music, but you hardly
can compare him with one, as Wayne does his own thing. Wayne plays
classic and flamenco guitars. Firefly is the first track and has fantastic
percussive elements and a challenging melody line with a first-class
repeating pattern on which he improvises a lot in Bossa Nova style.
Baby an interesting ballad which represents a lot of tranquillity. My
Secret is a top-notch piece on which he improvises with percussive
melodic and harmonic phrases on a Spanish orientated sound palette,
but switches in a wink to excellent finger style play. American Medley
is an ode to Ray Charles his version of American the Beautiful. Father
and Son a very moody ballad played with great fantasy on a skilled
melody line, which is intimate, a dedication for his passed away father.
For Sodie's Sake a grooving piece played with flowing techniques in a
jazzy way full of richmelody line building attainments. One Guitar is an
unpredictable album as Wayne Johnson has the ability to fully absorb
a listener in solid playing techniques, like structure, balance, rhythm
and a unique approach to melody line building and swing.Seldom
heard an album which so much variety and creativity, wow !
Henk te Veldhuis
Bridge Guitar Reviews.