I dearly love musicians whose talent is so extreme, they defy any categorization. I love it even more when they create music so beautiful it seems transcendent. I love it the most when it is done on instruments that seems to defy easy playing. We are moving from the vaguely understood to the bizarre today, starting with a Steve Howe 12-string guitar solo, which he ended up recording for GTR's only record in the mid-1980's. "Sketches in the Sun":
I first saw Andy McKee on C&L's Late Nite Music Club, and this song made me tear up the first, oh, ten times I heard it. It is so beautiful. McKee is playing a harp guitar here. This is "Into the Ocean".
Finally, we have Pat Metheny playing something called a Pikasso guitar. My only guess as to the name is that it seems to defy perspective just as Picasso's paintings did. While I think it safe to say that many a critic would call such playing self-indulgent, I think they're just refusing to admit they couldn't do this if they studied for years. An improvisation, no less.
Next week, Sarah Vaughan. . .