Hey Sharleena! I 'be so delighted' to see you.
I brought Guitar with me today, to listen at work.
You must work in a very progressive office! Did you pipe it thru the public address? Or did you bring a CD for everyone?
This is a disc I started to enjoy since not very long time ago. First times i listened to it, it seemed to me, well, that the solos were out of their context... (You know, the album is not recommended for children and Republicans; i'm not Republican, but...
You're a child?
I'm not sure I follow you... Either you've owned the CD for a while and it's starting to grow on you, or you haven't owned it very long. Either way, I guess; at least you're listening.
The songs may have sounded "out of their context" because they are?
Then lately I found out that they really makes a beautiful, strong album. How does it occurred to you to make it? I can't recall any other artist that made an entire 2 CDs album with guitar solos, is there any?
Besides the SU&PYG set? That one is 3 disks long... Let's see, where to start.
The concept of creating a song from an improvised solo of another song isn't new; Jazz guys have been doin it for years. But, I believe, the concept of doing an entire album that way - and admitting that's indeed what you are doing - is a bit novel. I can't answer for the last 8 years, but I don't recall anyone else doing a project like that.
The original idea of an album made up entirely of solos came from Mike Altschul (a musician from the Wazoo band). Mike didn't say, "Hey Frank; you ought to make an album of guitar solos - no songs, just solos." But he told me once that he thought some of my improvisations were good enough to "stand on their own". (Understand that, like the Jazz guys, I'd been taking little pieces of previous work and creating new works from them for a number of years.) He meant that I didn't have to take the trouble to create entire new songs from the improvisations, I could release them as is.
The reason that it took as long as it did to put Mike's innocent comment into actual practice was that technology needed to catch up with the idea. If I'd tried to create a "Guitar" album back in the early 70's, I'd have been in the sandbox with Brian in no time.
Now, how did it "occur" to me to make "Guitar"? First the solos were selected, via a complicated (and highly subjective) rating system that includes tone, tempo, timbre, and tuning. Next, the rhythmic patterns were assessed, and solos with similar rhythms, or backing track, were intentionally kept apart in the line-up. Finally, "how the songs will segue", is the last point to ponder. In a nutshell, this is how Guitar and SU&PYG were created.
I hope I've answered your question.
My preferred ones: Sexual Harassment-Winos do not March-Outside Now- of course, Watermelon, and also For Duane, which is spectacular...
We all have our favorites.
There's another one that will be out soon (I hope).
Thanks for writing,