HIGH LOW DUO EPK
"The guitars intertwine, singing in close harmony, finishing each other's phrases in radiant transparency. Gradually, the music builds to an explosion of colors, like a morning sun rising in all its blinding glory. This performance proves that it's not how many notes you can play, it's knowing how to pick just the right ones.”
-- Tom Huizenga, NPR Music
New York-based guitarists Jack Petruzzelli and Cameron Greider have played with a Who’s Who of rock and pop artists from Patti Smith and Chris Cornell to Joan Baez and Rufus Wainwright.
As High Low Duo, they take the twangy electric guitar sounds of the fifties and sixties to some unexpected places--they play surf and Western Swing originals, but also take on the classical composers, reimagining repertoire from the Middle Ages to the 20th century as electric guitar duo pieces.
Their debut release on the Grammy-winning Sono Luminus label features Ravel’s Mother Goose Suite and selections from Bartok’s 44 Duos for Violin. With this album High Low Duo make the case for the electric guitar as a classical instrument, capable of the range of colors and expression needed to bring these pieces to life.
RAVEL & BARTOK
Out now on the Sono Luminus label
Featuring Ravel's Mother Goose Suite and selections from Bartok's 44 Duos for Violin, arranged for two electric guitars
VIDEO: High Low Duo play Ravel's
"Pavane de la Belle au bois dormant"
from Mother Goose Suite
“The electric guitar too often triggers the image of a solitary dude shredding his fingers raw beside a stack of thunderous amplifiers. But in the right hands the instrument can astonish with a colossal range of subtle textures and colors. And that is precisely what's offered by the High Low Duo, Cameron Greider and Jack Petruzzelli, two veteran rock guitarists who have arranged classics by Maurice Ravel and Béla Bartók for their new album. Ravel's magical Mother Goose (from 1910) concludes in the "Enchanted Garden" which, in this arrangement, is a beautifully chilled out oasis. The guitars intertwine, singing in close harmony, finishing each other's phrases in radiant transparency. Gradually, the music builds to an explosion of colors, like a morning sun rising in all its blinding glory. This performance proves that it's not how many notes you can play, it's knowing how to pick just the right ones.”
“I like the musicians’ discreet manipulation of their volume controls to create the illusion of bowing in ‘Harvest Song’, or the way the ‘choking’ effect of their staccato articulation reasonably replicates Bartók’s directives in ‘Pizzicato’. This EP clearly proves that Petruzzelli and Greider aim to find the most musical solutions to technical challenges. A full-length CD release with all 44 Bartók Duos is in order!”
Jed Distler, Gramophone
"..the sounds they create, recorded so lucidly too, instantly won me over. This is a spectacular release and makes a very enjoyable listening experience. Their transcriptions provided a perspective that sent this listener back to the original compositions for another listen. [...] the sheer energy of their performances combined with a real feel for the jazz roots that underlie the Ravel as well as a curious set of sounds chosen for the Hungarian folk derived Bartok effectively recasts these pieces in a very different perspective.
Electric guitars are now pretty common in folk as well as rock and blues. Dylan gets significant credit for this and these guys seem to be aiming at a similar goal, that of bringing electric guitars into legitimacy in the performance of classical music. Whether this eventually happens remains to be seen but this is a mighty well conceived and executed effort and, in the end, it is a very fine piece of sonic art. Kudos to Jack Petruzzelli and Cameron Greider as well as to Sono Luminus.
“Cameron Greider and Jack Petruzzelli are session guitarists who specialise in surf rock and western swing, but Ravel & Bartók (Sono Luminus), their latest album as the High Low Duo, artfully arranges 11 beautiful, impressionistic themes for electric guitar.
John Lewis, The Guardian
“High Low Duo take the sound of electric guitars of the 50’s and 60’s and play arrangements of classical music...Listen to how the electric guitarists use artificial harmonics on the strings to suggest Indonesian gamelan music...very much in keeping with Ravel’s original intent.”
"The guitarists sought to utilize the special qualities of the electric guitar (as over and above the "classical" acoustic guitar) to match and further the composer's aural conceptual structure in each case. I must say the duo gives us convincing sound color manipulation and in so doing breathes new life into the music and its sonic possibilities.
Greider and Petruzzelli impress greatly with their virtuoso sound and control. Every bar of this program is a delight. Molto bravo! Hear this one!