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Bertrand Gallaz: Sweet and Sour

Seemingly contradictory elements may make for a pleasing culinary experience in terms of Chinese cooking, but on this outing it adds up to questionable schizophrenia on the part of Gallaz, a Swiss guitarist who is sometimes touted as an avant garde innovator. The album is divided into two parts (three, if you count the rendition of the Swiss national anthem that concludes the album). The “sweet” portion of the program features naive, almost primitive fingerpicked electric guitar solos. With his guitar detuned, he plays in a basic, primarily triad-based chorale style, occasionally throwing in some quirky vibrato for its quasi-microtonal effect. The more boring numbers include “Under The Beaten Floor” with its gospel/country vibe, the Europeanesque “Romanze,” and “Oh! Suzanna.”

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