All About Jazz

Home » Musicians » John Bruce Wallace

John Bruce Wallace

I am a composer, improvisational guitarist, painter, and philosopher interested in freely improvised music with a focus on generating extended sound statements within the options afforded through solo performance. What I do is referred to, especially in Europe, as ‘Free Jazz’, totally improvised sound expressions with emphasis on deconstruction of structure and pattern, upon which one can become comfortable and rely on during a performance, while generating a narrative of the moment. I am interested in the textural aspects of the sounds, in the physical dimensioning of each note, of the geometric quality of the sound. I am also concerned with the timbre of every note and passage, and with the rhythmic structure of the relationship of each note to its neighbors within the musical neighborhood. Compositions are improvised extemporaneously on solo electric guitar without the use of tape, tape dubbing, computers or synthesizers. The idea is to utilize a few basic tones and then present relational possibilities inherent in those tones. The improvised compositions often incorporate sonorous multi-tonal qualities, dense, interwoven passages embellished with harmonic and micro-tonal sound statements, or silence further defined by irregular syntaxed rhythms and primitive beats. These extempore compositions incorporate complex musical riddles wherein are displayed the qualities of multiple instrument arrangements, incorporating voicings that bring to mind horns, sax, chimes, cello and strings, and percussion as well as various guitar timbres: All in the service of exploring, exposing, exhuming, and exploding the human GEIST. In fact I have been credited with inventing a new approach to playing guitar[1]. I have recorded and released seven albums of extended sound statements that have received considerable air play on alternative and college radio across North America, Western and Eastern Europe, along with reviews in leading trade journals and press. Tours have included festivals in Russia and Lithuania, where I was awarded fourth place at the Vilnius Jazz Festival. My music was invited for performance consideration at the American Pavilion during the 1991 Bienal-Sao Paulo, in Sao Paulo Brazil. A high point during my concert tour in Russia was when a veteran of the Soviet Union’s war in Afghanistan came up after the performance and indicated that he had been comforted and relieved of a great sense of loss over the death of a fellow soldier and friend through what he experienced from what I had played. While I have enjoyed acclaim, most of my musical work is not easily accessible, nor aimed at a mass market. Rather it could be said to be very cutting edge and an acquired taste, demanding much on the part of both myself as presenter and the audience.

Read more
WHAT THE CRITICS SAY

[I]ncredibly interesting guitar improvisation, [i]f you are into guitar you will be into this from John Bruce Wallace. Incredibly talented. Susie Mudd, MARYLAND MUSICIAN, Baltimore, MD

Wallace is one of those rare exceptions. Charles S. Russell, EAR MAGAZINE, New York, NY

Sinuous solo guitar improvisations...rippling, resonant sound. Mark Jenkins, WASHINGTON CITY PAPER, Washington, DC

An aggressive, wailing guitar sound—astonishing and extremely individual—that one has never heard before. Grigory Valov, TIF, Arkhangel'sk, Russia

[S]izzling electric distortion...thick and saturated tone...tapping the human interior's post pro-harmonic feedback

Read more

Discography

Energized Exchange

Energized Exchange

Waving Bye Records
2018

buy
Loud Noises In A Corner: Engagements On Urban Terrain

Loud Noises In A...

Challenge Jazz
1993

buy
Memories

Memories

John Bruce Wallace
Energized Exchange

Videos