Guitarist Jim O'Rourke is best known as half of Gastr del Sol
, one of the finest workaday avant post-rock outfits around. But O'Rourke is also a serious guitarophile, equally awestruck by John Fahey'
s open-ended takes on rural and Delta blues, and by Derek Bailey
's unwavering free improvisation. O'Rourke's Bad Timing
is replete with twisty blues plucking that spins like a series of tops winding around on a well-polished floor. The melodic lines O'Rourke concocts as a soloist on "There's Hell in Hello but More in Goodbye" are unnerving in their clarity and precision, not to mention their close-hewn structural integrity. And the rest of Bad Timing
is all about construction: building an acoustic session out of various horns, guitar, piano, hints of percussion and an ear for both ambient music and absolute sound. O'Rourke keeps enough delicacy in Bad Timing
to mark it out as safe sound-furniture, but when you listen up, the details will blow you away.--Andrew Bartlett