Bill Connors: Long Distance
Bill Connors (electric guitar)
Double-Up (Pathfinder Records PTF 8620-CD)
Bill Connors (electric guitar),
Tom Kennedy (bass), Kin Plainfield (drums).
Composed by Bill Connors.
Recorded: New York; released 1986
Rating: 89/100 (learn more)
Once or twice every decade guitarist Bill Connors makes a recording. For his fans these are long-awaited projects. These days Connors seems to be primarily teaching music and trying to perfect his ever- changing style. Who knows where it will lead? But one thing is clear when it comes to Connors. He was one of the first great jazz-rock guitarists. He had a distinct voice (even when he changed it) and continued to put out interesting music whenever he chose to.
"Long Distance" is an effective fusion ballad. The melody consists of liquid-like stretched-out Connors notes presented over a slow and deep backbeat. The band is in no hurry to cover distance of any length. From time to time Connors pulls off the end of a note the way Jeff Beck would. That is the only indication he plays the same instrument. Like his contemporary Allan Holdsworth, Connors is the anti-guitar player. His lines are more associated with horns or even keyboard synthesizers. The thing that sticks out about "Long Distance" is that it sounds every bit as modern as any of the new music I review. You could put this cut on a current release and I would guess in form and substance that it was conceived, created and recorded this past year. Jazz-rock fans not familiar with Connors's past work need to check it out before he releases his next album. You will probably have a few years to get that done.
Reviewer: Walter Kolosky