Guitarist Garrison Fewell established himself as a distinctive voice throughout his 30+ year career. Critics have called him “one of today’s most personal guitar players” (Boston Phoenix), “an assured stylist with a strong sense of tradition” (The New Yorker), “a player of virtuosity and swinging intensity” (UPI), and “refined, passionate, and inspiring” (Guitar Player). His diverse discography as a leader for labels such as Soul Note, Koch, Accurate, Splasc(H) and Boxholder counts multiple titles ranked on best of the year lists in publications like Coda, Guitar Player, Musica Jazz, the Boston Music Awards and his hometown Philadelphia Inquirer. Prominent sidemen on his recordings include saxophonist John Tchicai, pianists Fred Hersch, Jim McNeely and George Cables, bassists Cecil McBee and Steve LaSpina, and drummers Billy Hart and Matt Wilson.
Garrison has performed throughout the world in many unusual places. A mideast tour in 1973 took him through Israel, Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan. He lived in Herat, worked as a disc jockey in Kabul and performed with a variety of Afghan musicians which added an exotic edge to Garrison’s music.
Garrison has appeared with his own ensembles at NYC’s Blue Note and Birdland Jazz Clubs, toured in the US, South America, Africa, Caribbean, Canada and Europe, playing at festivals such as Montreux, North Sea, Umbria, Clusone, Veneto Jazz, Copenhagen, Krakow, Budapest, Quebec, Cape Verde, Africa, and Asuncion, Paraguay. He has performed with John Tchicai, Billy Harper, Khan Jamal, Roy Campbell, Steve Swell, Cecil Bridgewater, Kenny Wheeler, Norma Winstone, Jay Clayton, Zbigniew Namyslowski, Herbie Hancock, Fred Hersch, Cameron Brown, Billy Hart, Tal Farlow, Larry Coryell, Benny Golson, Hal Galper, George Cables, Cecil McBee, Buster Williams, Miroslav Vitous, Steve LaSpina, Harvie Swartz, Michael Formanek, Tim Hagans, Jimmy Owens, Dusko Goykovich, Peter King, Steve Grossman, and Slide Hampton.
Garrison also performed with the following:
Steve Swell’s Serious Trio featuring Steve Swell, trombone, Andrew Raffo Dewar, soprano sax, Garrison Fewell, guitar. The trio has two East Coast tours plus a recording session to be released, playing The Vortex Improvised Series and The Outpost in Boston, and IBeam in Brooklyn, Downtown Music Gallery and University of the Streets in Manhattan, NY. We play improvised music, creating sound palettes in somewhat imaginative, abstract and minimalist style. If we had to find our corner of the improv universe, there might also be found John Cage, Derek Bailey, Milton Babbitt, Morton Feldman, Anthony Braxton …
Garrison Fewell – Eric Hofbauer Guitar Duo Our recording, The Lady of Khartoum is a musical prayer for peaceful resolution in Darfur. This music, and most of our work together, features improvised guitar and percussion, exotic bells, nomadic Afghan jewelry, prepared guitar, African sticks, and other common household or office objects.
John Tchicai / Charlie Kohlhase / Garrison Fewell Trio The CD, Good Night Songs is a live 2-CD set on the Boxholder label. A future release, Tribal Ghost – the John Tchicai Quintet is a live recording at Birdland Jazz Club with Cecil McBee on bass and Billy Hart on drums.
The Variable Density Sound Orchestra Launched in January 2008, the first self-titled recording features Roy Campbell Jr. on trumpet, flugelhorn and flute, Achille Succi, bass clarinet and alto, Eric Hofbauer, guitar and percussion, John Voigt, bass, Miki Matsuki, drums, and Garrison Fewell guitar, prepared guitar, percussion and fisherman’s bow. Two tracks add Alex Fewell on percussion. The latest edition of the group has become a nonet by adding trombonist Steve Swell, bassist Dmitry Ishenko, and tenor sax, Kelly Roberge.
John Tchicai’s Six Points While playing several dates in NYC, we recorded this new collective quintet featuring John Tchicai on tenor and bass clarinet, Alex Weiss on alto, Rosi Hertlein, violin and vocal, Garrison Fewell on guitar, percussion and bow, bassist Dmitry Ishenko and drummer Ches Smith. The Quintet’s (Five Points) recording “One Long Minute” is available on the Italian “Nu Bop” label.