Keys And Chords
Jazz fusion guitarist Tyler Reese rediscovers his creative muse on "Reminiscence," arriving November 4
Guitarist Tyler Reese found that being a busy Nashville session player all week and touring in a country band every weekend left little time to explore his own musical creativity. The 23-year-old, once summoned to Paisley Park to play for Prince and who studied at the feet of jazz guitar legend Pat Metheny, re-immersed himself in the music that first sparked his passion and imagination: jazz fusion. Carving time to revisit his roots resulted in the varied guitar-driven, jazz odyssey titled “Reminiscence,” featuring ten of his original compositions. The platter, produced by Jeff Silverman (Rick Springfield, Hiroshima, The Allman Brothers Band, Tim Weisberg) and Reese, will be released on November 4 and is prefaced at radio by the spirit-lifting, sweetly melodic acoustic guitar sojourn “Moving On.”
Reese composed “Reminiscence” to be an ambitious and intrepid expedition through vast jazz terrain. Most tracks slash through thickets of electric guitar-powered fusion, horn-highlighted funk and sprawling progressive rock. Others present delicate bouquets of acoustic guitar expressions, fragrant stems of gypsy jazz and new age meditations. Whether gracefully strumming gentle harmonies or dexterously plucking frenetic runs at dazzling speed with turn-on-the-dime precision, Reese’s fretwork primarily serves his engaging compositions, enabling his fingers to communicate evocatively and emote vividly.
“The seed of my inspiration for ‘Reminiscence’ came from needing a creative change and a musical recharge - something fresh and new - so I delved into writing and found myself back at my jazz roots and renewed my love of fusion. It has rekindled my musical soul. I hadn’t realized that I had so many ideas floating around in my head. The writing and production process was fun and inspiring, but challenging and liberating at the same time. The body of work is truly no holds barred, which is exactly what I was going for,” said Reese, a Fredericksburg, Virginia native who will return to the area to perform on November 20 at the Riverside Center and November 23 at The Tin Pan in Richmond. “I was never too much into songwriting, but after moving to Nashville and spending the past few years playing so many gigs, traveling extensively and going through certain life experiences, I was inspired to write. ‘Reminiscence’ encompasses all those experiences and places I’ve gotten to see, all of which are reflected in the writing.”
Reese studied classical piano for 14 years beginning at age three and started studying jazz guitar when he turned twelve. He cranked out his first album at age 15, “Risus21,” an energetic, moody and heavy progressive rock foray. Two years later, his “Because I Can” disc put a contemporary funk, rock and blues spin on a collection of straight-ahead jazz standards. He recorded a duets project two years ago with longtime Prince backup singer Elisa Fiorillo-Dease titled “Life in 20,” which is how he came to the attention of the late purple icon. Impressed, Prince flew the guitarist to Minneapolis for a jam session and carefully studied the young prodigy’s technique. Reese attended a master’s guitar clinic taught by Metheny and calls the 20-time Grammy winner a mentor. During his sophomore year as a jazz performance guitar major at Berklee College of Music, Reese released a rock single, “Simply To Choose,” his first collaboration with Silverman, who recruited the rock band Boston’s Kimberely Dahme to sing on the track. Feeling he learned all he could in the classroom, Reese left college early eager to launch his professional career.