Unexpected Turns (1993-96)

Roger Smith

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Unexpected Turns (1993-96) Review

by Steve Loewy

British guitarist Roger Smith performed and recorded with the Spontaneous Music Ensemble from 1976 to 1994, but this rare CD is only his second solo recording. Here, he plays acoustic Spanish guitar over the course of twenty tracks recorded at Smith's home. A one-time student of Derek Bailey, Smith has forged his own path, and his precious tone and sense of melodic invention complement his percussive side. While not as startling an individualist as Bailey, Smith nevertheless impresses with abstract ruminations and formidable talent. There is an air of creativity even when he is doodling. With a nod to folk music, another to earthy roots, and a third to free improv, Smith packs a wallop, developing an avant-lyricism that succeeds more often than not.

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