Saturday, February 22, 2014

Aram Bajakian

Aram Bajakian is quickly becoming recognized as one of the most exciting post Ribot/Frissell guitarists on the scene. After releasing his first record, Kef, to critical acclaim on Tzadik, the guitarist spent two years cutting his teeth with Lou Reed, all while remaining active as a noise maker in NYC's exciting downtown scene.

When I was 10 I remember my Uncle came over with a 1940s Steel guitar and played some slide blues on it. He's a master slide player, and throughout my teenage years, he would take me to blues shows. We sat on the side of the stage at a BB KING show, and you could feel his sound in your chest. And I'll never forget the immense vibrato of Clarence Gatemouth Brown. While I'm not an old school blues player, this music has left a deep impression on me. I originally set out to make a blues record, but with Shazhad and Jerome playing in their beautiful way, it turned into something very different. At times it's funny, at times it's regal, and times it's dense and chaotic like the city I live in. I still think it's a blues record. It's just a blues that comes from living in Queens and raising a family in this great crazy city.

Guitarist Aram Bajakian has performed/recorded with rock legend Lou Reed, Grammy winners Diana Krall and Yusef Lateef, saxophonist John Zorn, guitarists Marc Ribot and Nels Cline, saxophone virtuoso James Carter, bass legend Jamaaladeen Tacuma,  violist Mat Maneri, and the original Can singer, Malcolm Mooney. Bajakian is also a member of bassist Shanir Blumenkranz’s group Abraxas.  Bajakian leads several of his own groups, including Kef, a chamber string trio that plays arrangements of traditional Armenian Songs. His latest album, there were flowers also in hell, has received universal praise, and was called "One of the best instrumental rock records of recent years," by New York Music Daily. 

Aram Bajakian - Guitar
Shahzad Ismaily - Bass
Jerome Jennings - Drums