Orhan Demir Trio: Guitar Plus

The first thing to notice on the Orhan Demir Trio’s fascinating Guitar Plus (Hittite Records HTT-2007; 57:57) is the raw, almost scratching production style on the be-bopping title track. This up-close, dramatically bare feel echoes ’50s beatnik club jazz, and should serve as a warning that Demir and company will be squarely in-your-face for the next hour. This is a tremendous opportunity for guitar fans to experience Demir’s searingly fast fretwork and improvisation on a visceral level. The Turkish-born guitarist rages through flights of improvisation and experiments with guitar-synth tone on wild tunes like “Lumberyard” (buzz-saw fuzz guitar over be-bop jazz bass and drums) and “El Nino” (a creepy electronic-Latin fusion hybrid), showcasing an endlessly fascinating technique. Demir’s Eastern influences surface most prominently on “Orpheus” and “Goodbye Princess,” with dissonant chords punctuating each phrase, creating waves of anguish and reminiscence. Guitar Plus is a must for anyone who aspires to use the instrument as a freeform, emotional paintbrush; but others be warned: it’s also an exhausting listening experience.