Monday, August 29, 2011

Guitarist Robben Ford to play Seattle

photos by George Wells
Guitar Hero Robben Ford

For those of you who know who Robben is, or have seen him play, you know what I’m talkin’ about. This guy’s discography reads like the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame roster. I’ve had the distinct pleasure of experiencing Robben’s musical genius live on several occasions. And a lucky audience will have an opportunity again:

Robben Ford, with guitarist Mike Landau, bassist Jimmy Haslip, and drummer Gary Novak, Triple Door, Seattle, October 19

Robben has played with artists as diverse as Joni Mitchell, Jimmy Witherspoon, Miles Davis, George Harrison, Phil Lesh, Larry Carlton, Bonnie Raitt, Claus Ogerman, Bob Dylan, John Mayall, Greg Allman, and many others.

Robben recently started his Guitar Dojo, a learning center where he shares his experiences and musical discoveries. Here, follow along as Robben gives you personal and comprehensive lessons through high quality streaming video. You can also virtually visit sound checks and other live recordings.

A little history from his website:

He began to teach himself guitar at age thirteen upon hearing the two guitarists from The Paul Butterfield Blues Band, Michael Bloomfield and Elvin Bishop. In the late 1960’s, Ford frequented the Fillmore and Winterland Auditoriums in San Francisco to see Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Cream, Led Zeppelin, Albert King, B.B. King and all of the progenitors of blues. “It was an incredible time for electric guitar,” Robben recalls.

On his interest in jazz, Robben says, "I fell in love with the sax-playing of Paul Desmond and The Dave Brubeck Quartet, and before long found Ornette Coleman, Archie Shepp, Yusef Lateef, Roland Kirk, John Coltrane, Wayne Shorter, and of course, Miles Davis.”

Robben’s first attempt at forming his own jazz quartet was picked up by legendary blues singer Jimmy Witherspoon, who brought Robben to L.A. He toured the U.S. and Europe with Witherspoon and was seen by Tom Scott and members of The L.A. Express, who were about to begin a promotional tour with Joni Mitchell for her recording “Court and Spark.” Robben was invited to play guitar on the tour and played on two recordings with Mitchell and The L.A. Express. “The two years I spent with Joni were the most formative of my musical life. Joni was just brilliant and very accessible.”

Beatle George Harrison invited Robben to join him on his “Dark Horse” tour of the U.S. and Canada…”

After moving to New York, he was called to play with musical icon Miles Davis. “Producer Tommy LiPuma played Miles my work with the Yellowjackets, then three days later, Miles called me personally to join his band. Shocking!”

 “Tiger Walk” is an instrumental recording produced in New York with Keith Richards' rhythm section…”

In 2000 Robben was invited to tour with Phil Lesh and Friends, co-billing with Bob Dylan, and reuniting him with Billy Paine and Paul Barrere of Little Feat, as well as drummer John Molo. “This experience gave me new respect for Jerry Garcia as a musician and songwriter. The songs and musical context were pure pleasure--real guitar music!"

In 2002, he released “Blue Moon” [I highly recommend this album]. His third release for Concord was entitled “Truth”. “I feel this is the best work I have done in terms of a solo recording. It is my most realized work as a songwriter, and I feel like I am reaching higher ground as a guitarist. [I second that!]

Robben has been touring the world off and on with the legendary guitarist Larry Carlton, the two producing “Live in Tokyo”, and an “unplugged” DVD from Paris. Collaboration seems to be the current M.O.-- projects with John Scofield, and touring and recording with fellow Miles Davis alumni saxophonist Bill Evans, as well as Randy Brecker and Rolling Stones bassist Darryl Jones.

Most recently (2010) Robben released “Renegade Creation,” with a group of musical friends who have played in different combinations and contexts over the years and decided to focus on a project together recording for Mike Varney’s Shrapnel label. This is a rock band, Robben’s first, and the results have people talking: “Dare I say everyone who hears it, loves it!” The other members are guitarist Mike Landau, bassist Jimmy Haslip and drummer Gary Novak. [This is the line-up playing at Triple Door Oct 19 !!!]

No comments:

Post a Comment