Category Archives: Jazz

Chromatographies vol. 1

Chromatographies is the new jazz and ambient guitar project of Carlos Ibanez.

The Chromatographies project consists of solo guitar performances that alternate improvised guitar meditations with jazz guitar pieces. As in a live performance, each volume is arranged as a continuous suite of single track recordings, and all sounds and effects are made in real-time using stomp boxes.

The first volume includes improvised compositions by Carlos Ibanez and renderings of pieces by Bill Connors, Victor Young, Charles Mingus and Ralph Towner.

Volume 1 has just been released at the Bandcamp website. The free  download includes a digital booklet.

Blue beauty

Here it is our new Gibson Les Paul Standard HP 2017. A solid body electric guitar packed with features to achieve that great classic humbucker  tone.

We have just used this blue beauty to record a few pieces in volume 1 of the brand-new “Chromatographies” project which has just been released at the Bandcamp website.

But more on that in a later post. In the meantime, here is a sample of some of the sounds we have got from this incredible guitar, a track called “Overload”.

New guitar pedalboard

It took time, but our new guitar pedalboard is here! The board itself is a Trio28 from Temple Audio Design fitted with an IEC AC Mains Micro Module (left) and a 4-way Jack Patch Module (right), all from Temple Audio Design.

As far as the pedals are concerned, from upper left clock-wise:

  1. Triple custom pedal from JAM Pedals:
    • DelayLlama + (analog delay)
    • WaterFall (chorus)
    • TubeDreamer+ (overdrive)
  2. GOO Limited Edition designed by Nels Cline from ToneConcepts (distortion)
  3. Mel9 from Electro-Harmonix (mellotron)
  4. Mini EGO from Wampler (compressor)
  5. DVP4 Volume X Mini Pedal from Dunlop (volume and expression)
  6. Mini Modular Switcher Ver. 2 from LoopSwitchers (volume pedal switcher)
  7. SneakAttack from Malekko Heavy Industries (attack/decay envelope modulator and tremolo)
  8. Lil Buddy from Malekko Heavy Industries (tap switch for SneakAttack)
  9. DIG from Strymon (stereo dual digital delay)
  10. BlueSky from Strymon (stereo reverberator)
  11. DittoX4 from TC Electronic (stereo dual looper)

The signal chain is as follows: MiniEGO → Mel9 → SneakAttack → TubeScreamer+ → GOO → Volume X Mini → WaterFall → DelayLlama → DIG (stereo) → BlueSky (stereo) → DittoX4 (stereo). The board is powered with a DC10 from CIOKS, fitted on the under side of the board (underneath the GOO). The AUX output  of the DVP4  (loose plug in the picture above) can be connected to the EXP input of the DIG. The switcher is used to by-pass the volume pedal, allowing it to function as expression control. The stereo output of the  DittoX4 goes to the 4-way Jack Patch Module (right). The right channel is connected to our trusty CUBE 80GX from Roland, while the left channel goes into our brand-new Fender Blues Junior III Woody Tequila Limited Edition. But that is the stuff of a separate post…

Pedal frenzy (Part III): blueSky from Strymon


Another guitar effect pedal making its way into our pedal board, this is the blueSky reverberator from Strymon. To say that it’s absolutely stunning would be an understatement. Lush, gorgeous reverb that can go to infinity.

Here a small sample introducing  the “mod” mode with infinite reverb morphing into Mingus’ Goodbye Pork Pie Hat and a crazy looped overdrive.

Pedal frenzy (Part II): Sneak Attack from Malekko

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Here is our newest guitar effect pedal, the Sneak Attack from Malekko Heavy Industries.

Sneak Attack is an auto-swell volume pedal that can also be manually triggered or used in a tremolo mode. The core of the pedal is an Attack/Decay envelope generator with separate length and curve controls for both the attack and decay segments. The envelope can be triggered or cycled in several ways using the input signal, built in footswitch, Lil’ Buddy footswitch or external clock/click track.

This is unlike any effect pedal in that it does not change the sound of your guitar, but the shape of the sound form. A crazy little sound machine with huge possibilities that we will be digging deeply.

Namesake guitar… at last

IbanezPMIbanez guitar company first released the Pat Metheny PM200 model in March 2013. At the top of the Ibanez PM line (which also includes PM120 and PM20), the PM200 is a full-hollow body electric guitar featuring a mahogany set-in neck, maple top/back/sides, ebony fretboard, and a single Silent 58 humbucker neck pickup. It has been widely acclaimed for its rich tone, fantastic playability, and exceptional build quality.  After the acoustic Martin D35 (from 1983) and the cut-away nylon Ovation #1863 (from 1991), it was time for us to update.

Here is a quick sample of the PM200 sound through Roland’s 80W CUBE in Tweed mode with a bit of rev and delay; a beautiful arrangement by John McLaughlin of jazz standard My Foolish Heart (by Victor Young): 

A treasure trove for jazz lovers

Musica degradata

In its first year of existence, the music blog Musica degradata has already posted over 400 entries of rare live concerts and ripped vinyls from the whole spectrum of contemporary jazz. The blog is a special treat for ECM fans, as the posts include incredible performances from many of its artists during the golden years of the label. Most of the recordings have quite decent sound quality and can be downloaded through an external site. Well worth periodic visits and a subscription to its RSS feed.

Live Jazz Lounge blog celebrates first anniversary

Live Jazz Lounge blog celebrates its first anniversary featuring a solo piano concert by Brazilian composer and multi-instrumentalist Egberto Gismonti, recorded for Buenos Aires radio in 1981. A rare gem that few knew it existed.

Text from the Live Jazz Lounge anniversary post:

Live Jazz Lounge celebrates its first anniversary with a rare jewel from the bottom of the archives. In its first year, Live Jazz Lounge featured over 140 hours of music from 100 concerts by over 260 artists. It received over 43,000 visitors from 77 countries. Live Jazz Lounge only presents material that is freely accessible and not sold commercially. Live Jazz Lounge is a totally non-profit, commercial-free enterprise, fueled soley by the love for this great music. It has already received praise and gratitude from many of the featured artists. Thanks for visitng, and PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE: support these wonderful artists by purchasing their recordings. This can easily be done by clicking on the “Related recording” thumbnail. (Disclaimer: links are only provided for promotion of the artists’ work; Live Jazz Lounge makes no profit whatsoever from your purchase). Peace, love and jazz. /LJL

Live Jazz Lounge: unreleased recordings of live jazz from around the world

Music blog Live Jazz Lounge, launched January 2012, already has over 35 posts featuring unreleased live jazz concerts anywhere from Buenos Aires to New York to  Stockholm to London, with entries from the 1970s to the present. At the time of this writing, over 4,500 visitors have so far been on the site. In addition to concert info, the site provides links to purchase albums related to the featured concerts, and the site’s header features all original photographs from live jazz concerts.