Steve Tibbetts - Yr. 1980 USA

Minneapolis based guitarist Steve Tibbett's second album is quite a diversion from his debut, and as well for the ECM label that reissued this 8 years after the fact (with a new cover). Starting where 'How Do You Like My Buddha?' left off from the otherwise all-acoustic debut, Tibbetts gets straight to the point of the album at hand. The all instrumental Yr features Tibbetts on acoustic and electric guitars, keyboards (including quite a bit of mellotron), and all sorts of stringed instruments. Accompanying him is a bassist, and no less than 4 credited percussion players. So while the album cannot help but feel tribal, especially looking eastward toward Asia, the album doesn't comfortably fit in genres such as World Fusion or New Age. Primarily this is due to Tibbett's decidedly psychedelic guitar style. There really is no album like Yr in the vast annals of musical history, that I'm aware of anyway. Including from Tibbetts himself who more or less began to adopt the ECM aesthetic going forward. Perhaps early David Torn provides a slight guidepost, but this is far more warm and alive. Even if you've heard other Tibbetts albums, I strongly encourage you to lend an ear to Yr (so to speak). It's a revelation.

Personal collection
CD: 1988 ECM (Germany)

I've had this on CD forever (second scan). My promo copy still has the instructions on what a CD even is.

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