The guitar is dead? Don’t tell these Bay Area jazz cats

With the decline of rock ‘n’ roll as a dominant cultural force the guitar has lost its iconic power. No longer can a straddled Stratocaster turn a musician into a demi-god worthy of worship via a poster on a teenager’s bedroom wall.

In the world of jazz, however, these are the best of times for guitar fans, and one needn’t look far to find astonishing players on the Bay Area scene. The instrument is present in every style and permutation of jazz, from straight-ahead bebop to the amorphous borderlands where jazz and new music overlap.

The versatile guitarist Terrence Brewer has been a mainstay on the Bay Area scene for nearly two decades while exploring an array of sounds and settings. He settles into Berkeley’s beer garden Jupiter for a weekly residency, playing every Tuesday in September with his sinewy trio, and concludes the month by introducing a very different sound at Oakland’s Piedmont Piano on Sept. 30 with his Acoustic Jazz Quartet.

Featuring fellow guitarist Ken Husbands, bassist Justin Carney and drummer Micah McClain, the quartet is designed for quiet spaces and close listening. For Brewer, “it’s all about expanding the box and broadening my pathways as far as sound is concerned,” he says.

“Coming from ‘Citizen Rhythm,’ an album where I was pushing the fusion/funk boundary and playing a lot with the wah pedal and distortion, it’s great to focus on the acoustic guitar, which I play a lot. The more I can stretch out what people expect for me the better.”

Berkeley’s John Schott has spent much of his career subverting expectations. Steeped in blues and fluidly conversant in jazz’s post-bop continuum, he returns to The Back Room in Berkeley with his Actual Trio on Oct. 6. A working ensemble for the past decade, the group features bassist Dan Seamans and drummer John Hanes playing material from the trio’s critically hailed 2015 eponymous debut on John Zorn’s Tzadik Records and previewing pieces from their forthcoming CD “Bring Yourself Back” (Smash The State).

A role model for younger musicians looking to sustain creativity over the long haul, Schott is “agenius, someone who really did so much to shape the Bay Area scene in the 1990s,” Brewer says. “He’s such a great musician and plays to his own beat. He’s one of these cats I grew up idolizing because of T.J. Kirk with Will Bernard and Charlie Hunter.”

No player on has done more

Source:: East Bay – Entertainment

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