Tosin Abasi

Mostly, I’m having one of those, “How have I not heard of this guy?” moments.

Anyway, I was, no kidding, looking through some Guitar Center catalog I got in the mail, and saw an Ibanez 8-string guitar being endorsed by this guy whose name rang absolutely no bells at all. And I kind of wrote him off, because it seemed like senseless “more is better”-ness.

And then he, and his band, Animals as Leaders started showing up in my YouTube feed.

So, what the Hell, I watched one. And then another, and then a third. And for the last week I’ve been doing occasional bits of spelunking around.

I’m not going to pretend that everything he does interest me—a lot of it would have appealed to me more 20 years ago, when I was more interested in stuff that carries a lot of aggression. But he’s wickedly articulate:

And some of the things he does solo I do find sometimes startling and beautiful (the first bit he runs through in this clinic is wonderful, the rest of it interesting but not entirely compelling to me):

And finally, he can also operate well out of his usual milieu very comfortably:

He has an album that he describes as more jazz-oriented that I’m thinking of—in the hopes that it will have more of what appeals to me and less of the noisy-double-bass-at-180bpm of Animals as Leaders that leaves me cold.