KEN ALDCROFT - Home: Solo Guitar Compositions (Trio 12; Canada)
Bruce Lee Gallanter, Downtown Music Gallery

Ken Aldcroft is a fine Toronto-based guitarist who has played here at DMG a couple of times, in duos with William Parker. Ken has a dozen discs out of this his own label, Trio Records, and each one that I've heard is interesting. Mr. Aldcroft wrote each of the ten pieces here and they do sound like standards at times. Ken switches between playing crafty chords and single notes excursions, swinging one minute and then playing bent note solos. Ken takes his time to focus on each note or chord, often banding a note and letting it hang in the air before moving on to another line. He plays a semi-acoustic guitar with no pedals to alter his sound, keeping his tone pure most of the time. The title track sounds a familiar folk song, which is warm, graceful and enchanting. Ken writes odd, thorny melodies at times, focusing on certain notes or phrases, bending them and twisting them into different shapes. It takes time to hear which direction the songs are moving in, yet they all make some sort of sense. After I listened to this disc a few times, I found that certain ideas stood out and made more sense once I observed the entirety of the disc. There is a good deal more going on than just one man and his guitar. You will see what I mean if you give this some time. -