Don’t miss Eli Winter this Sunday, June 25th at the Lodge Room in Highland Park.
Over the past half-decade, the Houston-born, Chicago-based instrumental guitarist and writer Eli Winter has issued a series of solo albums and collaborations.
His most recent album, Eli Winter, came out last year on the consistently inventive label Three Lobed Recordings and features contributions from what press notes call a “murderer’s row of peers and contemporaries.” They include Cameron Knowler, Yasmin Williams, David Grubbs, Ryley Walker, Tyler Damon, and jaimie branch.
Like kindred spirits William Tyler, North Americans, Marisa Anderson, and other contemporary six-string explorers, Winter taps into the rich vein of genre-blurred experimental instrumental music that connects folk and free jazz, Americana and esoterica. At times lovely, grounded, and pastoral, at others cascading through space like an untethered satellite, Winter’s work feels both steeped in the past and aimed at the horizon.
Those in Los Angeles this weekend can catch Winter on Sunday, June 25 at Lodge Room, where he’ll play with Danny Paul Grody (see below) and Danketsu 10, a 10-person leaderless collective that includes ace players Patrick Shiroishi, Dylan Fujioka, Pauline Lay, Ken Moore, Amber Navran, and others.
Below, Winter selects five albums and an EP.
Ah, music. So much potential for disappointment. Not here. Below, six electrifying recent releases – five albums and an EP. –– Eli Winter
jaimie branch – Fly or Die Fly or Die Fly or Die ((world war)) (International Anthem, 2023)
Is it cheating to choose this before it’s out? I was lucky enough to hear Fly or Die Fly or Die Fly or Die ((world war)) last summer – not quite a year ago, actually – while Dave Vettraino was mixing it at International Anthem’s HQ on the South Side of Chicago. In a relatively short period of time, jaimie came to mean a lot to me, and I looked up to her a lot. She played on my self-titled record – highest honor – which, by chance, came out the weekend she passed away; almost two years of listening to her playing on “Dayenu” from that record and I just realized, writing this, that she was singing through her horn. This is a special, beautiful record, full of vigor and vim. The Meat Puppets cover might make you cry, too.
Ibex Clone – All Channels Clear (Goner, 2023)
Words fail me. This Memphis band thrills me. Listen!
Siril Malmedal Hauge & Kjetil Mulelid – Blues and Bells (Grappa, 2023)
I’ve been a fan of the Norwegian pianist Kjetil Mulelid for a few years. I love his limber playing and that he vocalizes when he plays, among many other things. His compositions are gorgeous, teasing, curious, and he’s comfortable embellishing pop songs while paring them to their essence. Case in point is the astonishing arrangement he and Siril Malmedal Hauge present of Bonnie Raitt’s “I Can’t Make You Love Me” (!), with a goat horn solo from Hildegunn Øiseth. I heard this version before the original and didn’t realize how much it clarifies.
Danny Paul Grody – Arc of Day (Three Lobed, 2023)
I’ve been listening to this record a lot as I prepare to tour up California with Danny for a week. What a stellar example of instrumental music this record is, shot through with spare, lush arrangements and controlled emotion. When the cymbals come in on “California Angelica”… It’s just so clear how much care this music has received, and how much it cares.
Flower-Corsano Duo – The Halcyon (VHF, 2022)
Nobody on earth is making music like this. And what do you know? It’s beautiful.
YHWH Nailgun – No Midwife And I Wingflap (Ramp Local, 2022)
Ignore whatever people are paying other people to say about music in New York right now. This is the best band in the city. And they’re only getting better.
As mentioned, Winter is currently touring the West Coast with label-mate Danny Paul Grody.
Last week Grody released his sixth album, Arc of Day. It’s his second record for Three Lobed, and comes a decade after his first for the label, Between Two Worlds.
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