Jul 17, 2009

sir richard bishop

Listen through
Sir Richard Bishop's six readily available solo albums, and you get the picture that the worldview of the former Sun City Girls’ guitarist is not only complex, but also more than a little ambiguous. What exactly is Richard Bishop? A dealer in the exotic? A dabbler in esoteric mysticism? A “traveling salesman”? The Freak of Araby doesn’t make Bishop’s worldview any simpler for us, but it does clarify it some. He is, first and foremost, a traveler, picking up inspiration as he roams, but he is also a worshiper at the altar of the guitar, occasionally himself transforming into a guitar hero/idol.

On The Freak of Araby that challenge is the guitar styling of Omar Khorshid, an Egyptian-born guitarist and composer of music for film. After a period of immersion in Khorshid’s music, Bishop recorded a handful of standards from the Arabic world alongside a few from his own pen. Playing exclusively on electric guitar again and with a bare-bones band (bass guitar, drum kit and hand percussion), Bishop does his best to inhabit Khorshid’s spirit, eschewing any extended soloing in favor of concise variations on simple, sensual themes, some of them Morricone-like in their directness and memorability (...)

Bishop’s interpretations of standards little known in the West are enlightening and his originals a nice complement, but they feel a little dry at times, even flat. One would’ve wished for more of the adventure he shows on pieces like “Taqasim for Omar,” a brilliant solo feature, or the delay-pedal and reverb orgy of “Sidi Mansour,” a piece that reaches for the same psychedelic excess Khorshid could unleash. In this case, a little less tribute and a little more irreverence would have been very welcome.

Sir Richard Bishop prosigue su andadura de fingerpicking aventurero, despojado de ataduras y convencionalismos. The Freak of Araby, se desenvuelve en
intrincadas melodías enraizadas en el middle-east. Junto a Rasheed Al-Qahira a la guitarra, Mohammed Bandari y Abdulla Basheem a la percusión y Ahmed Sharif al bajo, Bishop revisiona el folclore egipcio, marroquí y libanés, a Omar Khorshid, a Peter Walker, a Robbie Basho, hay ecos del pasado, terrenos fronterizos, psicodelia. Resulta sorprendente su habilidad para moverse en la tradición y dejar señas de su espirítu insólito y único. El mejor disco del ex-Sun City Girls, atrapado en 'Blood Stained Sands' y la maravillosa 'Solenzara'.


mar said...

sidi mansour, sidi mansour!!


adrián said...

sidi mansour!! y emta omri!!
sáudos mar :)

ECOtectura said...