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Alex Kabasser - Dawning


Alex Kabasser

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A review written for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
by Mark S. Tucker

This CD of solo fingerstyle acoustic guitar is an exposition of top-notch playing and composing, completely original save for an adaptation of Bach's Minuet in G Major (which some will recognize as having been done in the 70s by the Toys as A Lovers' Concerto, always one of my oldie faves, though this guy's version ranges far beyond that). Alex Kabasser knows his stuff, trilling out complex lines with absolute perfection, interweaving chords and runs flawlessly in a shimmering cascade of fulsome cuts harmonically shaped and as smooth and liquid as an Oregonian river in high summer.

Kabasser's not afraid to swing, as Heads Up demonstrates, as smart and lickety-split as a Candy Rat label tune, but he also explores Ralph Towner-ish territories in tracks like No Addiction…and that may best provide the deviation the guitarist takes from the illustrious Kottke School. As unparalleled as Leo has been as an influence on acoustic guitarists, Ralph has also held an appeal to the most intelligent among them, producing a wrinkle distinctive even from Kottke's most labyrinthine, a more classicalist palpability steeped in hoarier traditions, something felt as much as heard. Kabasser captures a goodly quantity of that more than once. Perhaps the most impressive cut is Sadepisara, which falls in this territory and employs the largest variety of techniques, all coalesced brilliantly. Among players of the ilk, this guitar player ranks as one of the best—if he hasn't any YouTube materials posted, he's missing his own best PR. Young guy, too, so expect a lot from him for many years to come.

Track List:

  • Bee Fingers
  • Slababaska
  • Minuet in Fingerstyle
  • Heads Up
  • Foxi
  • No Addiction
  • Dawning
  • Your Aire
  • Sadepisara
  • Homebox
All songs written by Alex Kabasser except Minuet in Fingerstyle
, which is an adaptation of J.S. Bach's Minuet in G Major.

Edited by: David N. Pyles

Copyright 2008, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
This review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.

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