Loren Connors

9th Avenue

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9th Avenue Review

by Skip Jansen

This album from 1995 marks a turn in direction for the distinguished New York guitarist, as it was at this point that his signature lilting avant-blues introduced a heavy and distorted tone. Where previous recordings, such as Hell's Kitchen Park and In Pittsburgh, bore a signature of pianistic, minimal electric guitar vignettes, 9th Avenue paints a picture of a rainy New York (as depicted in the striking cover artwork) filtered through clouds of distortion and amplifier overload. At times this album sounds close to the desolate reverberation of Neil Young's Dead Man, and Mazzacane-Connors is as suggestive and eloquent as ever, creating a strong cinematic narrative. Additionally, this album marked the beginning of a new stylistic phase, which he pursued to equally optimum effect on Hell! Hell! Hell! through to Evangeline.

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