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Parting Is

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Audio CD, January 18, 2018
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A deeply emotional and personal record, Parting Is takes the idea of a solo guitar album and transforms it into a stunning sonic landscape of texture and color. Many of the sounds on the album bear no relationship with traditional guitar, but there are no synthesizers employed at all. Everything is played by Jon Durant on guitars with Durant also playing fretless bass on four pieces.


Imaginative guitarist Jon Durant, co-leader of the band Burnt Belief with Colin Edwards of Porcupine Tree, traveled between the East Coast and his second home near Portland, Oregon, to produce this set of solo guitar works. Yet, according to the artist, the album title reflects the sweet sorrow that occurs after his wife visits for a long weekend then returns back East. Hence, Durant's inner-self is transposed via these atmospheric pieces, often resonating with his melodic single note lines and guitar-induced effects. The guitarist's temperate ascent and use of echoing extended notes help facilitate shadowy treatments and resonating opuses, complete with textural shadings and layered voicings. Durant also integrates prismatic colors into these tracks amid ever-so-subtle chord structures and other eloquent articulations. Essentially, these pieces are engineered with cohesive thought-processes, and many components that draw upon his advanced technical skills. Durant's polyphonic musings can be heard on The Room Where She Waits enacted with his yearning slide guitar passages atop placid undercurrents. However, Before the Rain Falls could serve as a soundtrack for a documentary of the International Space Station, where he conjures imagery of a timeless void with a cyclical groove etched in an enchanting melody line. But Durant punctually underscores Ecliptic Shadows with his soft fretless bass lines in support of another harmonious hook. The final track Willamette Fog contain more loops and electronic manipulations to cast an existential vista where he slices through the fog on a horizontal plane, jolting his attack with sweeping background effects and sizzling sustain licks. Moreover, listening to this program with high-end headphones poses an even deeper sense of intimacy. Regardless, the pristine audio characteristics provide due justice for this magnetic endeavor. -Glenn Astarita

If ever any set of compositions deserved to be the definition of beautiful, it is Parting Is by long time guitarist (multi-instrumentalist) and composer Jon Durant. Jon describes this as his most personal solo (and this is all done by him and him alone) yet. He lists his chosen instruments on each song and they include cloud guitar , electric 12 string guitar, fretless guitar, fretless bass, and electric guitar. The arrangements are paramount. The cover art brings to mind what could be a ECM release and the music has a heavenly almost spiritual atmosphere. Knowing that the theme of the recording was built around the sadness that Jon felt having to be away (or say goodbye each time) from his family while working on this music really penetrates the listener. When I spoke with Jon he described this as a sweet sadness though. The kind only a loving father and husband understands. Without a doubt Parting Is brings forth a meditative state of mind, but never dull or depressing. Nine tracks present a mindful and broad textured canvas. Jon has many years of experience with greats like Tony Levin, David Torn, Michael Bearpark, and Colin Edwin (who Jon made three fabulous albums with under the name Burnt Belief, which I highly recommend). This 2018 solo has Jon doing a grand job with the kind of perfection that only a disciplined and well-seasoned artist can achieve in their lifetime. The select pieces with fretless bass may remind some of Tony Levin (tracks 3,8) and fretless guitar used much like bass (tracks 2,4,6,7) but a higher register, are fluently placed. The sweet sadness of each note brings beauty. This is not a cookie cutter guitar solo, nor should it be classified as ambient. As a collective, the compositions beg to be referenced, however anyone in love with the more mellow atmospheric works of David Torn or Erik Wollo, would be smart to purchase this. Jon has honed his craft and delivered pristine music year after year. Thus as to why his performance sounds so effortless and sure. Beautiful transcendence indeed. VERY RECOMMENDED. Reviewed by Lee Henderson 2 20 18

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Product details

  • Audio CD (January 18, 2018)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Alchemy Records
  • ASIN: B077319LXV
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #432,261 in CDs & Vinyl (See Top 100 in CDs & Vinyl)
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June 3, 2018
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