Keith Price’s second album, Gaia/Goya, was partially inspired by poet Gary Snyder. (SUPPLIED PHOTO
When guitarist Keith Price goes on the road to make music he, well, makes music.
While traveling on his own and with Ron Paley’s band accompanying the Royal Winnipeg Ballet in the United States, he worked on a long-form suite that composes half of his sophomore recording Gaia/Goya, which is being released on Saturday at Aqua Books.
Four of the 10 tracks on the album are indie music, but the 27-year-old guitarist wanted a longer form, more dramatic suite as well. “I used the Pink Floyd disc Animals as an outline,” he said.
Gaia is the name of an ancient Greek goddess who cares for the planet, and of a theory that everything is part of one system, Mother Earth, he explains. While on the road, he read a book of poetry by Gary Snyder that included environmental essays and the suite was born. Part 1 is named Theme for Gary Snyder.
The indie material includes a cover of Kurt Cobain’s Lithium and while it is the first time Price has recorded the Nirvana hit, “it was the first thing I played in sixth grade. It was easy to play power chords,” he says.
The playing has advanced since then, of course, and Lithium and the whole recording sound very good in the hands of Price, bassist Julian Bradford, drummer Curtis Nowosad, pianist Will Bonness and alto saxophonist Neil Watson playing in trio and quintet formats.
It’s fitting that Keith Price is holding a baseball on the cover of this CD, because with these seven songs, the jazz guitarist has hit a home run. Recorded last December, the 45-minute disc proves not only that Price has talent, but that he’s a team player too. The excellent compositions are his, but the collaborative nature of the recording is what makes songs like Warmth and the three-part Zoom Zoom work. Other guitarists might have used the opportunity to get in as many solos as possible. Price, on the other hand, picks his spots to shine and allows the other musicians – Neil Watson (alto sax), William Bonness (piano), Julian Bradford (bass) and Curtis Nowosad (drums) – the opportunity to display their formidable talents as well.
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Released: Friday, September 18th, 2009
Producer: Keith Price
Studio: Epiphany Lutheran Church
The debut from jazz guitarist Keith Price features seven original compositions recorded live by Adam Mlodzinski to two track in December 2008 at the Epiphany Lutheran Church in Winnipeg. Musicians appearing on the album include Neil Watson (alto saxophone), William Bonness (piano/keyboard), Julian Bradford (bass), Curtis Nowosad (drums), and Amber Epp (vocals).