Downtown Music Gallery
Review: Solo Ken Aldcroft – “Mister, Mister” (TRP-SS03-022)
By: Bruce Lee Gallanter

Toronto-based guitarist Ken Aldcroft plays here at DMG usually a couple of times per year, sometimes solo, duo or in trios. He also sends us new discs from his own label perhaps even more often than his appearances and this seems to be disc number 22 from his own label. This is the third solo disc we have listed from his label and he has written all of the songs here. Aldcroft uses minimal effects and has a more restrained, partially acoustic sound. The first piece is the title piece and balances between jazzy chords and sly single note runs. He keeps shifting unpredictably between the two, speeding up and reaching for the stars and then slowing down to more calm surfing. Each of the six pieces here range from 5 to nearly 20 minutes and each one explores a different theme. The long piece here, "O'nette + Solo", is like swimming in an ocean with several currents pushing and pulling us in different directions. If you listen closely, one current or direction will take you along with it and provide a ride, which is hard to get off once it begins. There is a tightrope like balancing act at the center, which takes a bit of courage to hold on to. Mr. Aldcroft is an extraordinary guitarist who excels in thoughtful explorations. If you give him a chance he will dazzle you and take you with him to some magical places.