Solitude Intones Its Echo

Harvey Valdes

Available through Destiny Records: https://destinyrecords.bandcamp.com/album/solitude-intones-its-echo A guitarist of searching, sophisticated musicality, the Brooklyn-based Harvey Valdes releases his third album – Solitude Intones Its Echo – via Destiny Records on XX XX, 2019. The album, available on vinyl and digital/streaming, features Harvey communing with his electric six-string Teuffel Tesla guitar for a collection of concise, engaging solo improvisations. A mosaic of 18 melody-laced pieces, most around two minutes in length, the record has a quality of concentrated intimacy; sage guitarist and studio ace David Torn mixed and mastered Solitude Intones Its Echo, heightening its atmosphere of contrapuntal introspection. The new album follows Harvey’s solo debut of free takes on jazz standards (Roundabout, 2015) and a bristling, Mahavishnu-meets-math-rock trio album (Pointcounterpoint, with violinist Sana Nagano and drummer Joe Hertenstein, 2016). All About Jazz hailed Pointcounterpoint as “cosmic,” while the Free Jazz Collective described Roundabout as “sublimely beautiful.”

Solitude Intones Its Echo was born from Harvey’s series of “morning improvisations” that he posts regularly on Instagram. He explains: “The album developed out of this exercise in creativity and discipline, where I was trying to make an actual piece of music each morning and share it, something of one minute or less that I streamed live. The process of playing solo, just you and your instrument, becomes this dialogue that you have with yourself. It’s important for any sort of artist to go deep within yourself and bring out what’s inside.”

Torn, who also mastered Pointcounterpoint, bonded with Harvey over guitar and gear (as well as the oud, which both artists play); although decades apart in age – Torn is a longtime ECM artist and composer of high-profile film scores, among much else – the two musicians share a sense of sonic adventurism that runs deep. “When I first heard Harvey, I thought: Well, here’s another badass motherfucker on the scene – wow,” Torn says. “He – like Brandon Seabrook, Mike Baggetta and Alvaro Domene – is one of the young cats I keep up with, one of those special players who has something to say, musically and sonically. Harvey is a special character, seeking his own voice. It’s a real challenge to play improvised solo electric guitar in an individual, alluring way, but Harvey has a flair for leaving space, for holding back in order to play just the right thing.” The admiration is mutual, with Harvey saying of Torn: “He has been such an inspiration over the years as a guitarist, as well as for his ability to maximize things sonically in the studio. David gets what I’m after and really helped me sculpt the sound for the new album."

Solitude Intones Its Echo includes such highlights as “But All Too Prone,” “Everything You Need” and “Still There,” which are kaleidoscopic in their allure – with strong melodies refracted contrapuntally; then there’s the splintered, Monk-like “Scavenger” and rhythmically tense “The Second Points the Way,” as well as the dark-hued “Learned Mercy” and ghostly tone poem “Dismantling Silence.” Along with his “space age-looking” Teuffel Tesla, Harvey employed just his Fryette Memphis amp, plus a touch of reverb via a Strymon Flint pedal. Then Torn added a bit more reverb in the mix for a sound that’s simultaneously Spartan and lush. A new aspect of Harvey’s tone came from this album being “the first where I used a fingerstyle playing method throughout, dropping the pick,” he explains. “Fingerstyle brings out a more polyphonic element in my playing.”

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Pointcounterpoint

Harvey Valdes

Guitarist Harvey Valdes has a reputation for genre bending, and his debut trio album, PointCounterPoint, is seven tracks of rhythmically driven, countrapuntal action that draws from metal, jazz, atonality, noise and more.

Guitarist Harvey Valdes has a reputation for genre bending, and his debut trio album, PointCounterPoint, is seven tracks of rhythmically driven, countrapuntal action that draws from metal, jazz, atonality, noise and more. These angular tunes feature Sana Nagano on violin, Joe Hertenstein on drums, and Valdes on seven string guitar. Valdes’ intervallic writing creates a tapestry of consonance and dissonance that is grounded in odd time and syncopation. Valdes and Nagano weave atonal melodies into improvisations, while Hertenstein holds the trio tight in his pocket. Valdes’ heavy, distorted sound pulsates with urgency throughout this inspiring, intelligent, and intense debut.

featuring: Harvey Valdes - Guitar/Compositions Sana Nagano - Violin Joe Hertenstein - Drums

recorded by Tom Tedesco at Tedesco Studios mixed by Aaron Nevezie at The Bunker Studio mastered by David Torn artwork by Steve Byram

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Roundabout

Harvey Valdes

Harvey Valdes steps away from jazz guitar tradition to craft a sound all his own. His adventurous take on harmony creates many moments of spontaneous re-composition born of a free improvisational approach.

"Harvey Valdes has produced a beautiful solo guitar CD. His sound and approach are reminiscent of Lenny Breau and Ted Greene, but Harvey has his own voice. He has a bell-like legato tone and a unique take on chords and voice leading in the context of familiar standards. Harvey has taken old chestnuts and reinterpreted them in a very personal way to make them his own. Highly recommended.” - John Stowell

"With the release of Roundabout, guitarist Harvey Valdes brings a new meaning to solo guitar. If you don’t know Harvey, get to know him. You won’t be sorry”. - Dom Minasi

I’ve been a fan of Harvey Valdes for a while now. He’s a beautiful guitarist, and always has a knack for finding the most unexpected and surprising, but very unusually appropriate, musical contributions in a given situation. Its great to hear him interpret these nine standards on Roundabout. He brings his fresh harmonic conception and original approach to these tunes as he reimagines them, and uses the standards as a starting point for his organic explorations and abstractions. Really fine solo guitar work here!  - Kenny Wessel 

"On Roundabout, Harvey Valdes creates depth and contrast with his use of tone color and unique choice of textures." - Jon Damian

On Roundabout, NY guitarist and composer, Harvey Valdes, steps away from jazz guitar tradition to craft a sound all his own. Using a finger style approach and a sense of felt time, Valdes effortlessly plays with multiple voices and complex counterpoint. His adventurous take on harmony creates many moments of spontaneous re-composition born of a free improvisational approach. Each track shines with the originality and sensitivity of Harvey’s voice. While Roundabout as a whole, takes a pianistic approach to radically reshaping jazz standards. In doing so, Harvey, elevates the interpretive possibilities of the guitar itself.

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