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Antonio Forcione: Guitar God or Guitar W@nk?

Discussion in 'music' started by JTC, Aug 25, 2003.

  1. JTC

    JTC PFM Villager...

    After a bit of debate, some friends and I caught the Antonio Forcione gig in Edinburgh last Thursday night.

    For what it's worth, this guy has incredible technique, but more than that, he's a definite showman. However, I'm still not sure whether he falls into the Guitar 'God' or 'W@nk' category.

    There's a definite tendency to noodle, as one would expect in someone with a reputation for the fiddly stuff. However, in this gig, accompanied as he was by a cellist, percussionist and another guitarist, the noodling was somewhat reduced, which may or may not have been a good thing.

    The man's obvious ability with a geetar can't be denied - "Touch Wood" was perhaps the obvious highlight of the night. At times I felt like I'd mistakenly wandered into a guitar clinic, and was expecting a Q&A session at any moment. However, the forays with full band demonstrated a range that goes beyond my only other encounter with the boy Forky live, and that's his "Live!" album.

    Having weighed up the evidence, I'm going to proclaim Mr Forcione as Guitar "God" rather than "W@nk", on the basis of sheer blistering fingermanship, though be warned, if you like the "less is more" approach this gig is not for you.

    jtc
     
  2. Fretless Eric

    Fretless Eric Musketeer Bathos

    I can understand your dilemma. I bought the Acoustic Mania CD after hearing the version of Birdland on Jazz FM and really liked it for a while. I then went to see "them" in Croydon in a nice inimate, almost an oak panelled library, setting however Neil Stacey didn't show for some reason. There was a delay for Antonio to phone round a few mates who turned up later to help out but it was essentially a solo gig.

    I am also impressed with his technique and showmanship but I was struck at the gig by his almost flippant approach where I would prefer to just hear some good tunes played well.

    After the gig I went back to the CD and heard more of the flippancy and have subsequently played it less and less. Oh well.

    I would still like to be convinced.

    However, if you want to hear some really good playing with the right attitude check out Kelly Joe Phelps "Shine Eyed Mister Zen".

    I also think Derrin Nauendorf is worth a listen [many thanks Les] but I think the piezo pickup sound of the acoustic guitar is off-putting.

    Cheers
     
  3. Kit Taylor

    Kit Taylor Well-Known Member

    I've not seem him in action with my own eyes, but he sounds like someone hunched low over their guitar in a world of their own. I quite like the sound of his playing, but he seems clearly an artist playing to himself, not a performer who communicates.

    I suppose that's technically ****ing.
     
  4. Kit Taylor

    Kit Taylor Well-Known Member

    That said, a guitar album which is very introspective but still an artistic triumph is Solo Concert by Ralph Towner.

    The thing is that the style creates the effect of being total being isolated, cold and lost in the void, like floating in the eerie blackness of space.

    Mr Forkycone's playing - granted in my limited knowledge of it - is just too lush, fat and organic to really bite. A bite pleasant.
     
  5. joel

    joel Painter of Dragons, Maker of Mirrors

    Cameron de la Isla and Tomatitto - Live in Paris 1987 (aka Live at the Cirque D'Hiver). It'll put hairs your chest ;)
    None of this kiddy doodling nonsense.
     
  6. Jonathan Ribee

    Jonathan Ribee Unavailable at present

    I seem to have bought all of the output of Antonio Forcione over a few years - and probably play about three of them regularly. I think the dilemma is apted explained above - you've really got to be in the right mood.

    Having said that - I do like his stuff. In any of our fairly large collections - I guess playing three albums by one artist quite often is a good thing. Heard it thru the Grapvine live (or even on the live album) is a wonderful things to listen to - but is 100% guilty on the noodling front.

    Having seen both AF and Kelly Joe Phelps in the last couple of years - well, I'd probably rather go and WATCH Antonio, but LISTEN to Kelly Joe. 'Sky like a broken clock' is good as well - but 'Shine eyed Mr Zen' has definitely be the best.

    Jonathan
     
  7. Andrew L Weekes

    Andrew L Weekes Senior Reverse Engineer

    I like Antonio's playing a lot.

    Certainly when compared to Martin Taylor he is, in my opinion, a player who has much more obvious passion and emotion in his playing.

    I find Martin Taylor quite boring, but Antonio has real feel and passion for his playing, in my experience.

    As for the 'playing for himself' comment, I suspect that's true of any great guitarist, whilst there's always a showman element, if you're going to communicate the emotion in your playing you first have to have that connection with yourself, it's obvious to me that the guitar is a very real extension of Antonio's personality.

    He's certainly very natural and fluid in his playing, and even when showing off I get the feeling that he's not having to work that hard, some guitarists sound obviously strained when trying to pull off similar stunts.

    My 0.02 anyway.

    Andy.
     
  8. martin clark

    martin clark pinko bodger

    Aha! another one.

    I bought a couple of Taylor's Linn releases at Fopp in Bath recently for £3 each, having heard 'Return of Django' and quite enjoyed it.

    I wuz done.

    Rapidly come to the conclusion it's the sort of thing I'd play during dinner with people I tolerate but don't love. Dangerously close to elevator music, really, which is a shame given the technical ability it encapsulates.

    It does not compare at all to players like John Fahey where the noodling is the music. Grab a copy of Fahey's 'America' and enjoy.
     
  9. Fretless Eric

    Fretless Eric Musketeer Bathos

    I've just managed to get "Sky.." from the library and it is good, a bit more singing and less of the playing but I think he has some good "quality control" on his output; which could make a good title of another music thread...

    Thanks for the suggestion Jonathan.
     

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