GIFTED - Continuing to promote the mesmerizing cuts from his newest disc One World

Guitarist Jesse Cook to hit Red Deer stage

His latest CD - One World - continues to break new ground

BY MARK WEBER

Lacombe Express

For guitarist extraordinaire Jesse Cook, crafting his incredibly rich tapestry of music has always been something of a journey. He plays Red Deer’s Memorial Centre on Nov. 20th.

“Over the years, I’ve taken my music and tried to cross-pollinate it with music from different parts of the world,” explains the 50-year-old global-guitar virtuoso. “For the (2003) album Nomad, I went to Cairo and recorded with musicians there. On my (2009) record The Rumba Foundation, I went to Colombia, and worked with musicians from Cuba as well. On (1998’s) Vertigo, I went down to Lafayette, Louisiana and recorded with Buckwheat Zydeco.

“For me, the question has always been where did you go? Where did you take your guitar?”

For his latest One World he didn’t venture far, however. The CD, released in the spring of 2015, continues to break new ground, which is hardly surprising as every single project this guy has released has done pretty much the same thing.

“We did 140 shows last year,” he explains during a recent chat. “It was really intense touring probably the most intense touring we have ever done. And it’s great that’s what you want to do; make hay while the sun shines.”

The band wrapped up that stint of touring this past spring, and Cook had most of this summer to work on material for an upcoming project. And so continued his unrelenting creative process hitting the road with gusto and then hibernating to the relative solitude of studio life to compose and begin to shape a batch of new songs.

“That’s kind of the ebb and flow of my life I go out and tour and then I go bury myself in the studio. I go from being incredibly extroverted and being in front of 1,000 people every night to being totally by myself like a hermit! Shifting gears, it just catches me every time.

“Composing by nature ‘being in solitude’ kind of thing. You just sit there by yourself you can’t really get together with your friends and have beers,” he adds with a laugh. “You need to be alone, and focus on what you are doing.

“And then playing live, you have to do that with your friends! Things change every night. Somebody does something different and you react to it or the audience gets up and dances so you change a bit of the drum section or whatever so that’s fun, too, in a totally different way. In the studio you can be meticulous but ‘live’ whatever happens, happens. There is no taking it back.”

For One World, he stayed home in his studio and instead of a foreign legion of performers, he relied on his own devices. He also chose to essentially meld an array of styles from flamenco, classical, rumba, world beat and pop to blues and jazz.

“The idea is that there really is just one world. If you pull your focus back far enough, you start to see all music as being branches of the same tree. They’re all connected to the same trunk from way back,” he said. “For example, my strange way of playing guitar is a hybrid of styles. I was a classical guitarist as a kid, and I studied flamenco and then I studied jazz. So there are three musical and guitar traditions in my background.”

As pointed out in his bio, One World launched another chapter he incorporated technology more than ever before.

Part of the inspiration to do so came from one of his kids. He said his boy is always trying to get on the computer.

“I started going, ‘Wow, what’s that? What are you doing? Let me in there!’ I started writing tunes using weird loops and metallic and electronic sounds. And I found myself interested in taking what I do and putting it in a more modern context. I’ve leaned heavily on ancient instruments. But for this record, I put those instruments side by side with modern sounds unabashedly so.”

It’s amazing how well the two actually fit together.

“I actually majored in music synthesis at Berkley I minored in guitar performance,” he explains. “I definitely wanted to be a concert guitarist, but a bit part of what I was doing was writing and recording. Back in the 80s, the recording department was still using tape.” Computers were obviously miles away from where they are today.

<p style="margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0.5em; color: #000000; font-family: Georgia, Times, serif, &quot

Just Posted

Thurber Raiders snatch season opener from the Lacombe Rams

Red Deer game saw 44-8 win for the Raiders

City crews clean up Lacombe yard

Loads of debris were taken out of the residence property on Sept. 21st

Wolf Creek Schools raises Treaty 6 flag for first time

Chiefs, school officials took part in a ceremony that is aimed at acknowledging Treaty 6 land

Lacombe Generals looking to capture Allan Cup on home ice

Generals returning key veterans in hopes avenging last years finals loss

Unsightly properties upcoming focus for Bylaw Enforcement

Clean up of long-standing, problematic properties will begin on Sept. 21

WATCH: AHS breaks ground on new Lacombe Community Health Centre

17,000 sq. ft. facility will bring existing Lacombe AHS services together

Suspect in Wetaskiwin trunk kidnapping arrested

Ponoka RCMP seek arrest warrants for suspects of armed robbery as well

Local filmmaker works on documentary featuring women farmers

Red Deer woman receives $50,000 grant from STORYHIVE to produce documentary

CATena offers glimpse into Central Alberta Theatre’s new season

Visitors can also check out Memorial Centre refurbishments

Fred Penner featured during special Symphony and Museum fundraiser

Event at Bo’s Bar & Grill set to run Sept. 28th

Steve Arsenault to perform at the Golden Circle Sept. 29th

Local singer/songwriter is also expanding his influence via teaching

On the run with Melissa Ray

Red Deer runner talks about her intense running experiences

Red Deer Rebels lose to Edmonton Oil Kings 4-1 at home opener

General Manager and Coach Brent Sutter said team ‘played hard’

Yowza! Twerk, emoji and facepalm are added to Scrabble dictionary, OK?

Merriam-Webster has announced 300 new words have been added to the spelling game

Most Read