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The unlikely partnership between acoustic guitar pioneer Leo Kottke and Phish bassist Mike Gordon continues with the long-awaited Noon, their first new album in 15 years.
Couching late-night melancholy in a summer lilt, Noon features 11 tracks of warmly askew folk-pop, intricate playing, and the intimate third voice created by Kottke and Gordon—two of the most accomplished and idiosyncratic instrumentalists in American music.
Noon also finds the duo joined by Phish drummer Jon Fishman on five tracks, including a bopping low-key cover of Prince’s “Alphabet Street.”
The return of an American guitar legend, Noon marks Leo Kottke’s first studio record since his last collaboration with Gordon, 66 Steps, though he’s continued to tour constantly. Kottke virtually invented his own school of playing with his distinct, propulsive flatpicking. As a co-founder of Phish in 1983, launching a solo career in the early ‘00s, Gordon’s own big-eared musical vocabulary has created both a boundary-pushing discography of studio and live releases, and helped shape a generation (or two) of improvisers.
Kottke credits Gordon for the album’s total picture, and says, “We were trying to get to that place that we get to in a little room, just chasing each other. We’ve found that at sound checks, and at my place, or his place, or some motel room. We wanted to get that late night feel. It’s a more intimate record than the others are, I think there are depths to it.”