Rod Poole – For Bag / Derek
Rod Poole was an excellent and unique musician who died a tragic and pointless death in mid-2007.
Todd S. Jenkins wrote “On May 13, 2007, Poole and his wife, Lisa, were walking through the parking lot of Mel’s Drive-In in Hollywood when a car driven by Angela Sheridan, 24, of Los Angeles, nearly backed into them. Poole exchanged words with the driver, who got out of the car along with her husband, Michael Sheridan, 25. The husband allegedly pulled a knife and stabbed Poole multiple times before the Sheridans got in the car and fled. Poole died less than an hour later at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.”
Rod’s music melded the sonorities of solo steel-string acoustic guitar epitomized by John Fahey, the microtonal theories pioneered by Harry Partch and a meditational, repetitive execution that reminds me of something like Charlemagne Palestine’s Strumming Music or Lamonte Young’s Well Tuned Piano played on guitar.
I found this eloquent description of Rod’s sound on the ‘No Rock N Roll Fun’ blog (http://xrrf.blogspot.com)
“Rod Poole uses just intonation, a tuning system with different underlying mathematical relationships from conventional western turning, to coax overtone-rich sounds from his guitar. His music doesn’t progress along a linear melodic path, but it also avoids the pronounced discontinuity characteristic to free improvisation. Instead, it focuses on gradually evolving changes in timbre and texture. Poole plucks intricate figures which become surrounded by an aura of ringing overtones; as his finger-picked patterns change, that aura shifts and shimmers like St. Elmo’s Fire around a ship’s mast. The effect is a little like that achieved by an Indonesian gamelan orchestra, but Poole does it with one guitar.”
This record is the last thing he released, or more accurately, almost released. It’s listed in the Rod Poole Discography as follows “some test pressings of For Bag/Derek (dedicated to a stray cat that Rod adopted and to the late master of improvised guitar, Derek Bailey) were given out to reviewers and friends….solo performances that should be considered as the successors to The Death Adder and December 1996.”
It contains two beautiful side-long pieces for solo guitar. The handwriting on the back of my copy indicates that I was lucky enough to get copy #13 of 43 made. The label is ‘JUSTGUITAR’.
Short sample available here
For more info, check out this site: Rod Poole Music