Russell Carlson

Russell’s Contributions

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July/August 2005    Guitartistry

Cosmic Hug
The Fareed Haque Group

Cosmic Hug sports album art depicting two Indian women fondling each other's breasts, nearly giving away roughly half the album's game-plan: to excite with tabla-underpinned, sitar swarming grooves. But the sitar turns out to be a sitar-guitar-played by...

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July/August 2005    Guitartistry

A Second Look
Vic Juris

What has Vic Juris learned from a career that's put him in the professional company of the likes of Dizzy Gillespie and Phil Woods? Besides the skills and flexibility of a virtuoso guitarist, he's seemingly gained a sense of humility that leads him to disregard...

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July/August 2005    Guitartistry

New Born
Calvin Newborn

While pianist Phineas Newborn eventually moved from his Memphis home to make waves in New York City and record a couple dozen LPs as a leader, his younger brother, guitarist Calvin, stuck to Beale Street and never grabbed wide attention, despite his participation...

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July/August 2005    Guitartistry

This One's for Barney
Andrew Scott Quartet

Just one of the nine songs on Andrew Scott's leader debut, This One's for Barney, is a Barney Kessel tune, and Scott doesn't ever overtly mimic the West Coast guitar legend's tone or style. So this disc mostly pays tribute by existing as a record of straightahead...

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July/August 2005    Guitartistry

Birthright
James "Blood" Ulmer

Put aside for a moment the haunted and hypnotizing lyrics delivered from a set of ragged and raw vocal cords on Birthright, James "Blood" Ulmer's first ever solo album. Just listen to the guitar: a splintered, knotty mess of detuned strings and unfettered...

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July/August 2005    Gearhead

Weber Big Sky Acoustic Archtop

While the name Weber may not yet ring a bell in the minds of guitarists, it's far from obscure in the tight, friendly, roots-music community. Mandolinists have trusted the brand since it rose from the ashes of the former Flatiron mandolin operation in Bozeman...

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July/August 2005    Albums

Guitar in Ernest
Ernest Ranglin

Those who associate Ernest Ranglin solely with the upbeat riddims and tropical timbres of his native Jamaica do so justifiably, but the reissue of Guitar in Ernest offers a reminder of the guitarist's mastery of straightahead jazz. For both its style and...

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June 2005    Gearhead

Tascam FW-1804 Recording Interface

Tascam's FW-1804 enters the crowded market of computer-based recording interfaces as an easy-to-install, easy-to-use centerpiece for a studio in need of an audio interface with MIDI capability. Unlike some other recording interfaces of its size and ability...

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May 2005    Gearhead

Radial Engineering Bassbone Pedal

Suppose you're a bassist on a gig that calls for the use of two instruments but you just have one single-channel amp. That situation isn't uncommon, but the problem it creates is. Let's say the two instruments in question are a Fender P bass-style electric...

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May 2005    Gearhead

G7 Kontakt Edition Guitar Sofware

Guitarist-composers who wanted to create sheet music may have felt overwhelmed or alienated by applications like Finale, which appeal mostly to composers who create large scores for multi-instrument ensembles. What many guitarists want is a simpler program...

200504_060a_span3

April 2005    Gearhead

NAMM 2005

In late January I left snowy Washington, D.C., to visit Anaheim, Calif., home of Winter NAMM-the musical instrument industry's annual product-showcase blowout-and a place with much better weather. The four-day show, held in the Anaheim Convention Center...

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March 2005    Gearhead

Peterson StroboStomp Tuner

A users' forum at the Peterson Web site displays a picture of a giant truck rolling over the British company's StroboStomp tuner, an attempt to show the durability of the unit's casing. Cleverly modeled after an Aston Martin sports car, and die-cast from...

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March 2005    Gearhead

Echo Digital Audio Indigo IO

Even with inexpensive recording software it's possible to produce professional-sounding tracks on a laptop. But built-in sound cards have lousy analog-to-digital converters, and musicians need better ways to plug in other than via a computer's standard microphone...

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March 2005    Albums

Christangelfox
Scott Fields Ensemble

All three players on guitarist Scott Field's Christangelfox are credited as percussionists, clinking and tinkling various instruments that aren't listed in the notes but are probably akin to anything shiny on shelves at any Williams-Sonoma. As the clattering...

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March 2005    Guitartistry

Solo
Jimmy Bruno

The Philly native Jimmy Bruno flexes his virtuoso chops on Solo (Guitar Sessions), revealing a middle ground between the bop lines of Joe Pass and Django Reinhardt's Euro-flavored gypsy voodoo. His skills will send young guitarists to the woodshed and cause...

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March 2005    Guitartistry

At the Purple Onion
Lenny Breau/Don Francks/Eon Henstridge

Guitarist Lenny Breau went to heaven in 1984 at age 43 and left behind a bits-and-pieces discography added to every so often when tapes like At the Purple Onion (Art of Life) surface. This CD features the first concert ever performed by Three, a vocal-jazz...

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About Russell Carlson

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