By: Vince Lewis
The Desert and the City is the first release for guitarist Mike Rood. He began his study of guitar at age 8 with lessons from family friend John Patitucci. Rood also studied at the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music in New York. There he learned from guitarists Vic Juris and Adam Rogers.
His promotional material describes his unique technique of playing by utilizing five fingerpicks. The influence of Juris is present in Rood’s tone and single note lines. His sound is very similar to Pat Metheny. His solo lines are very free and airy in keeping with the compositions themselves.
Rood has recorded this album with fellow New School graduates. Mike Bjella (Saxophone), Alex Spradling (Bass) and Goh Izawa (Drums) provide excellent support to his music. They are all like-minded in their approach and they play off of each other well.
Titles include “The Desert and The City,” “Atonement,” “The Gate,” “Uncertainty” and “Dark Star.” The music is designed to create images of where Rood composed the music. New York City and New Mexico were two places that made an impact on his life.
There is a reasonable variety of styles here due to Rood’s early musical experiences. From early favorites Jimi Hendrix to Weather Report he offers a mix of world music and contemporary rock. His music is thoughtful and impressionistic, and will be enjoyed by regular listeners of this