Extended Play
Ken Waxman, The Whole Note, February 2009

Another alumnus of the orchestra's Guelph foray is guitarist Ken Aldcroft, whose solo guitar lexicon on Vocabulary (TRP-SS01-008) is as varied as Brenders' is for saxophone. Using diverse tunings, the guitarist's distinctive flattish tone makes full use of flanging and reverb. Some tracks become exercise in controlled feedback, others are built around metallic micro tones and snapping flat picking. Sometimes his spiky runs reference Monkish licks; other times, loops, claw-hammer banjo tones or serrated rock-music extensions are present. Like Brenders he creates a call-and-response pattern as if a guitar duo is present. However his repeated phrases often fade into silences or transform themselves into patterns that form a combination of slack-key and microtonal slurs. These spidery, interlaced textures reverberating back onto one another are most accessible on Sterling Road Blues, which matches a non-showy blues progression that emphasizes the bass, with hesitant string-clumping, finally downshifting into ringing, but not reverberating timbres.