Bill Orcutt - s/t LP
It's only been eight years since Bill Orcutt's first post-resurrection single appeared out of nowhere. While his mangled 4-string shredding in legendary Miami outfit Harry Pussy borrowed as much from free jazz as hardcore, Orcutt's re-emergence as a blues guitarist has been a completely arresting, exhausting and exhilarating ride.
This new self-titled LP, his first solo electric studio album, is a tremendous capstone to dozens of releases issued on the artist's own Palilalia label. That one would someday be listening to Orcutt playing standards may have seemed unthinkable during HP's mid-90s heyday, but perhaps more shocking is just how gorgeous this record sounds. Rich chords and delicate arpeggios shimmer with vibrato, and Ornette Coleman's "Lonely Woman" sounds just as radical here as it did six decades ago. Orcutt's playing remains striking, bold and inspired. This may be the best Orcutt record yet, and yes that says a lot, but beauty is still a rare thing.