9/09/2016

Progressive Instrumental/Ambient Review: Trevor Gordon Hall-Late Night with Headphones Vol. 1

Release Date: August 1, 2016
Label: Independent
Trevor Gordon Hall is a prolific guitarist.  His legacy will continue to grow long after the release of Late Night with Headphones Vol. 1.  His sound reminds me fondly of some of the California Guitar Trio’s work I used to enjoy so much. The variety of sounds and tones afforded the listener make this recording a real keepsake.

“Roots and Branches” is quite a finger picking workout. The sound has a definite jazz flavor to it and is very progressive, shifting and changing every few minutes. The title of the track is a perfect explanation of where the song goes from beginning to end. The focus is the ever changing progression of chords presented by the artist.

“The Comfort of Doubt” is a fast moving track, the drums kick it in to push it all along right from the start. What I can picture in my mind’s eye is a train rolling down the tracks and finally reaching its destination. The slide work is a thing of beauty and the lightning fast fingers of Trevor keep it going nonstop. It sounds like a real country barn burner that gets you in a very uplifting mood even though the subject is about living on the edge and being comfortable in that frame of mind, at least that is how I would interpret it.

“Embracing the Lack” is a beautifully done tasteful instrumental, the kind that I always love to hear. It reminded me of the phase I went through in the 90s with instrumental surf music (although it does not sound like surf) then moving on to the more complex pieces from the likes of Danny Gatton and similar artists that caught my ear. The melodicism and rhythm in the track is amazing and it’s the kind of music that makes you want to keep hitting repeat. It has a magical aura to it that is irresistible to my ears and I am sure it will be for many others. Again Hall provides some incredibly diverse guitar playing that would grab any aficionado’s ear and hold on until the song was finished.

The closer is “Himinn,” which steps away from the flow of the album and presents another side of the performance with an ambient new age sound that serves as a nightcap. It is that final relaxing number that pulls you into another state of consciousness just before going to sleep. The music is light and airy and it kind of floats you to another place. All of this happens after hearing more upbeat tracks with precise guitar work that got all the good endorphins flowing, then it sets you up to call it a night. It is the perfect ending to an all too short venture into instrumental paradise. I certainly did not want it to end but I guess I will have to wait until Volume 2 arrives.

4.5/5 Stars

Key Tracks: Roots and Branches, The Comfort of Doubt, Embracing the Lack

Tracks:

1. Uthaf   
2. Roots and Branches
3. Cerebral 3.0
4. She's Almost Here
5. The Comfort of Doubt
6. Embracing the Lack
7. Himinn



Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck
September 8, 2016
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Review Provided By Prog Rock Music Talk

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