Category Archives: Guitarist

Guitar players only, the exclusive club of instrumentalists

Graham Dechter

Today I would like to present an extraordinary guitar player. His name is Graham Dechter and I had the chance to see him live in Bern at Marian’s Jazzclub on October 17 (see the picture above).

He joined the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra when he was 19. In 2011, he played on Michael Bublé’s best-selling “Christmas” album and made followup television appearances backing the popular singer on The Today Show, Regis & Kelly, the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting and on Michael Bublé’s NBC Christmas special.

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Graham Dechter follows in the lineage of his guitar heroes like Wes Montgomery, Barney Kessel, Grant Green and Herb Ellis. “I tend to veer towards the real swinging stuff,” says Dechter. “I love listening to and appreciate many different styles of music, both within and out of the jazz idiom. But in terms of my own conception, I really live in that swinging realm. Guitarists like Wes Montgomery and Barney Kessel, as well as other instrumentalists like Oscar Peterson, Ray Brown and Ben Webster — all of those musicians have been a huge influence on my playing.”.

Especially Barney Kessel is his main influence. He came to Bern with his Lineage Trio with Alex Frank on double bass and Ryan Shaw on drums and the idea of this trio is to build the lineage from the Poll Winner Trio Barney Kessel, Ray Brown and Shelly Manne into today’s Jazz scene. All three musicians have their direct or indirect personal relation to these three poll winners and so they strongly relate to this heritage. The music itself is entertaining and sophisticated, swinging and in line with the tradition.

If you get the chance to listen to these guys, don’t miss it. Graham Dechter is really one of the most remarkable guitar players on the scene and his Lineage Trio is a treat for your ears.

The trio brought a nice EP with them, which I bought and (as you can see) got signed. All five songs on this EP are part of their standard repertoire, so a nice souvenir form this evening. Unfortunately, these songs are not published online.

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Here is a promotional video for his album “Takin’ It There”:

Another video with his Lineage Trio:

And finally links to his website and to the Lineage Trio website:
http://grahamdechter.com/
http://www.lineagetrio.com/

Charlie Rhyner: The First Second

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The album which I would like to present today comes from Charlie Rhyner, a guitarist from the New York area. “The First Second” is his second album and it features six originals from Charlie plus three cover songs.

The official release date is June 1st, 2018, but you can already buy and download the album.

Charlie started playing guitar as a teenager and focused always on writing and recording songs (to all parents: please buy a house with a basement, so your children have an area to do such things). He studied classical and jazz guitar and works now as a music teacher at a public school in New York.

He told me that his inspiration came initially from people like Neil Young or Tom Petty, but later he listened also to Miles Davis, Phish or Cream. The guitar players he admires are John Scofield, Mike Stern or Pat Metheny.

The album was recorded in April 2018 and the songs have been written in the last year. The musicians on the album are:

Charlie Rhyner – guitar, compositions
Mike Roninson – bass
Graciliano Zambonin – drums
Imraan Khan – saxophone
Dan Schnapp – piano

Charlie explained to me that he plays a lot with Mike Roninson and he met Graciliano and Imraan by lucky circumstances at a jam session.

The album starts with “Jethiya” one of the six originals from Charlie. The melody is played by sax and guitar, with fine rhythmic changes. Imraan takes the first solo and Charlie the second one. Bass and drums provide a solid and stable layer for the soloists.

“Golden Cuffs” is the second original. Instrumentation is guitar trio only featuring Charlie and Mike. A soft tune, played nicely and dynamically.

The third song is called “Pat’s Print” and is a blues with solos from all musicians.

“Nardis” by Miles Davis is the next tune on the album. For me the album starts to take off with this tune. The first three songs are what you call in ice skating “short program” but the “free skate” begins here.  Charlie told me that he really “likes and identifies” with this song, but also Mike Roninson plays a great double bass solo.

The next song is called “Boozy Dough” and was recorded at Charlie’s house. It’s like an interlude with just some guitars and a little bit of percussion. Gives you a little bit of a break before we continue with “Juju” by Wayne Shorter. This is also one of my favorite songs and Charlie, Mike and Graciliano know how to play it. Very well done.

“Breakdown” by Tom Petty is next.  We had Tom Petty before as inspiration and so Charlie took the chance to arrange this song after seeing Tom Petty live last summer. It is very well arranged with a killer piano sound.

“Handsome  & Healthy” comes with a steady beat and again a great bass solo.

The album closes with “Black Daniels” a song that starts soft and easy.  According to Charlie “the song falls apart in the middle” where the band moves into a steady groove allowing Imraan and Charlie to improvise freely.

As a summary I have to say that the album is very well done, the sound of the instruments is brilliant. The musicians play excellent and Charlie has done a great job in composing and arranging the material.

Charlie and his comrades are also active performing musicians in the NYC area, so check out the link below and you might have a good chance to listen to some of the songs live.

You can listen or download the album on bandcamp:
https://charlierhyner.bandcamp.com/album/the-first-second

Charlie with his Gibson 335:
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If you want to know more about Charlie please check out his website:
www.charlierhyner.com