Last week, I was fortunate enough to see the jazz guitarist Kurt Rosenwinkel live with Allan Holdsworth at Eric Clapton’s Crossroads festival in NYC. I wasn’t familiar with his work but left with a great admiration for his mastery and craft - him and Allan really stood out in a sea of pentatonic licks and machismo shredding. I’ve since bought several of his albums and have them on infinite loop in my mp3 player. I’ve been a huge fan of big band ever since I discovered the music of Charles Mingus and this music and video are simply phenomenal at what they do. It leaves me with with a thousand questions and thousands of ideas for my own compositions. I sometimes wonder if jazz musicians admire what classical musicians can do in the same way that I admire what they can do.
On a side note, while I appreciate Eric Clapton and his presenters for doing such a fantastic job bringing an array of guitarists together for this 5 hour marathon, I have to call them out for not having EVEN ONE featured act be a woman. Seriously? What decade are we living in where the only announced woman of the entire 5-hour evening was essentially a backup singer for Doyle Bramhall II? We left the event determined to buy any future daughter of ours an electric guitar and take her to see all the great female guitar players out there. I mean, if Beyonce and Michael Jackson can tour the world with female shredders, it’s not clear to me why the Crossroads festival can’t find a lead spot for a single woman in a lineup of 30 guitar acts. What message did that send to all the young women in the audience? My wife and I were not alone in this thinking. Shameful!