Chris Forsyth: All Time Present
The annals of music history are overowing with gifted guitar players whose egos prevented themfrom reaching their full potential: rather than being content to be exceptional members of a band,they instead create unexceptional records as leaders in vain attempts to prove their worth as soloartists.Guitarist-songwriter-bandleader Chris Forsyth is the rare exception that proves the rule. Rightfullybut somewhat reductively known as a guitar player par excellence, one listen to Forsyth's latestdouble album, All Time Present, reveals that while his dazzling musicianship can always be takenfor granted, it's hardly the whole story. Forsyth's albums-presented with his Solar Motel Band ornominally solo, as here-have always been evidence of a musical mind brimming with ideas.Forsyth is joined on All Time Present by bassist Peter Kerlin and multi-instrumentalist Shawn EdwardHansen, both longtime foils; new to the group is Ryan Jewell, a sublimely talented drummer whosemusicality is seemingly bottomless. With this group, Forsyth is at the peak of his powers.All Time Present is the rare double album that goes by in a ash. Indeed, one of Forsyth's greateststrengths as a composer and bandleader is his consistent ability to sustain interest even when athis most brazenly improvisational: he drifts, but he never meanders. On All Time Present, Forsyth'sparticular drift is like that of a proverbial wallflower with a sudden surge of unselfconscious courage:toward the dance floor.