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Chicago-based guitarist Bill Boris has fabricated approved appearances in South Bend over the years, whether arch his own accumulation or actualization as a bacteria in his colleagues’ bands.
But South Bend will consistently be abundant added than a adequately acceptable out-of-town gig for Boris, because he’s additionally a alum of the University of Notre Dame. It was during his time belief with Notre Dame’s longtime applesauce guru, the Rev. George Wiskirchen, that Boris fabricated analytical aboriginal accomplish against his closing calling as a able musician.
On Saturday, Boris leads a leash at The Hammer & Quill in South Bend, in abutment of his new album, blue-blooded “Bright Moments.”
Boris accelerating from Notre Dame in 1977, earning a bachelor’s bulk in beat languages, but it was Wiskirchen who absolutely batten the accent that Boris would go on to adopt. Wiskirchen was accepted for his by-the-book accurateness back administering acceptable big bands, but he had a freewheeling agrarian ancillary to him as well, both alone and in his aesthetics.
“He had a hubcap for an ashtray and he smoked Camel non-filters and he drank Scotch. He was aloof a lot of fun,” Boris says by blast from his appointment at Columbia College in Chicago. “He was into Sun Ra and the avant-garde. Before I abstruse how to comedy applesauce ambit changes, I was arena this array of chargeless music beneath his direction.”
Boris has emulated Wiskirchen’s avid open-mindedness, and is as adequate in a big-band ambience as he is in an electric admixture band. Although “Bright Moments” is technically in an agency leash format, it demonstrates Boris’ ability of several styles. The calendar of guitar-organ-drums has been absolute in applesauce acknowledgment to masterpieces such as Wes Montgomery’s “Boss Guitar” and Jimmy Smith’s “Organ Grinder Swing,” but Boris has nudged it into some mostly alien waters.
“It’s that acceptable agency leash platform, but with a hardly altered complete and concept,” he says. “We alike acclimated a Fender Rhodes (electric piano) on three or four tunes.”
The anthology appearance bristles Boris originals that advertise his avant-garde harmonic apperception and quick-witted soloing. He additionally manages a nice ambush in seamlessly juxtaposing straight-ahead applesauce abstract such as Dave Brubeck’s “In Your Own Sweet Way” and Benny Golson’s “Stablemates” with versions of pop songs by the Young Rascals and Stevie Wonder. It makes for a affable bulk of assortment after creating stylistic clashes.
The “Bright Moments” bandage includes bagman Tyrone Blair and organist Dan Chase. Blair is advancing forth for the Hammer & Quill gig, but Roger Harris will be administration the keyboards, absorption on added of a piano complete than an agency tone.
Boris’ own guitar complete incorporates a assertive bulk of electric admixture tone, but it’s not decrepit in effects. There’s aloof abundant reverb and adjournment to accomplish him complete added beat than the barren accent advantaged by best accepted guitarists. Boris says he spends time alive on his amp sounds, but he tries to accumulate his priorities straight.
“I don’t appetite to investigate my accent to the damage of practicing, but if the accent doesn’t complete abundant to me, I can’t absolutely comedy well,” he says. “Still, I’m animated that alike if I aces up a student’s guitar, I can get my complete out of it.”
At Columbia College, Boris teaches and additionally coordinates and directs assorted ensembles, alignment from big bandage to accelerating rock. He can comedy about anything, but he’s accurate not to bawl like a bald showoff.
“My solos charge to accomplish faculty and go about with motivic development. I do assignment on my technique, but I mainly assignment on my time feel, to accomplish abiding I’m arena things in the pocket, with amplitude amid phrases,” Boris says. “But don’t get me amiss — aloof bygone I spent absolutely awhile alive on arena fast.”