Late 2003 to early 2004

Fretless Guitar – Archive from Dec 2003 to May 2004

2004 news

May 31st

Tom Baker June 5 – Seattle, Washington. There will be a very special show at Polestar Music Gallery in Seattle: a memorial to Matthew Sperry on the one-year anniversary of his death. Tom will be doing the 8:00 opening set (doors 7:45). There will be lots of other performers and plenty of great music. More info at:

May 29th

Andrzej Izdebski (baritone fretless guitarist) and his band have been invited to play at the Warsaw Autumn festival this year. They will be performing on September 17th at the first official improvised event in history of the festival! More info on: Iziphonics Improvised Music

May 28th

GUITAR magazine – UK’s GUITAR magazine, July 2004 issue, page 9, “Web Watch” features – thanks guys, we are chuffed to bits.
There’s a scan on our Pro / Disclaimer page, near the bottom.

May 19th

Ratko Zjaka – His eagerly awaited fretless guitar CD; Shades of Spirit, is now released. You can hear the seven minute track La Caldera De Taburienta on his website.
Full review on Unfretted.

Michael ATONAL Vick will be performing at LOWE MILL, 2211 Seminole Drive, Huntsville, Alabama, Saturday June 12th @ 10pm – Until whenever, on the set of Billy Dee Williams’ New Film w/ MusicaMundana.TV see Lowe Mill and be impressed.
***** SHOW UPDATE Benjamin FUNK Johnson will also be performing with MusicaMundana.TV @ Lowe Mill Saturday June 12th. B-Funk will be coming from some Gospel Gigs he is doing in Florida that week to come & thump-out against MAV in a BASS-FIGHT! *****

May 8th

Timucin Sahin – Back in Europe after a successful tour of New York. Upcoming gigs…
14 May – Amsterdam/NETHERLANDS at Karnatic Lab Festival with Hein vd Geyn: Bass and Owen Hart Jr: Drums
21 May – Sjuhuis Utrecht/NETHERLANDS with Annsi Lehtiovari: Drums and Dion Nijland: bass
12 June – Istanbul Akbank Culture Centrum/TURKEY Timucin Sahin Omen Real Time (Solo e.fretless guitars with live electronics)
16 June – Istanbul Akbank Culture Centrum/TURKEY Masterclass & concert with Owen Hart Jr:Drums and Udo Pannekeet:E.Bass
17 & 18 June – Nardis Jazz Club istanbul/TURKEY with Owen and Udo

May 5th

Fareed Haque – Forthcoming gigs….
May 21: The Cabooze, Minneapolis, MN.
May 22: Wise Fool’s Pub, Chicago, IL.
May 28: Morseland Music Room, Chicago, IL.
More info:

May 2nd

Tom Baker – Forthcoming gigs….
May 7 – San Francisco, California. Solo show at the Meridian Gallery in downtown SF. More info: He will be doing some solo improvisations, and a new piece (a requiem/concerto) for fretless guitar and pre-recorded sounds.

May 9 – Western Oregon University. Solo concert.

May 10 – Masterclass at Western Oregon University in Monmouth.

May 14-16 and 21-23 – Seattle, Washington. “What Remains”
Tom is very excited about this show which will run for 6 nights in Seattle. It is a collaboration with choreographer Corrie Befort, who he worked with last year on a piece called Fold Upon Fold. They have now teamed up to make a new full-scale work, which will be shown at Velocity MainSpace Theater, 914 Pine Street, 2nd Floor Tickets: $14 at the door, $12 with reservation, $10 groups + students. Info tel: 206 324-6780. What Remains is a work for 13 dancers with an electronic musical score. More information for this at:

June 5 – Seattle, Washington. There will be a very special show at Polestar Music Gallery in Seattle: a memorial to Matthew Sperry on the one-year anniversary of his death. Tom will be doing the 8:00 opening set (doors 7:45). There will be lots of other performers and plenty of great music. More info at:

July 16 – Gooding, Idaho. This is a solo show in Tom’s hometown, at the theater where he went to see movies as a kid. It is his first concert on this rather hallowed ground, and he is looking forward to it very much. The sponsor is the Western States College, info:

For more info, contact Tom on:

April 30th

Michael ATONAL Vick AKA VVV performing on whatever he wants w/ Ryan Shah on Tablas & Drum Kit This Tuesday May 4th @ ZANZIBAR located behind La Hacienda on King Street in DT Charleston, SC. The show starts @ 10 pm with Sex On The Beach Drink Specials All Night Long + FREE-BANANAS!!!!!

April 27th

French Invitation : Concert F.VIGROUX / S.PAYEN / M. BLANC
Franck VIGROUX (guitares) Stéphane PAYEN (saxophone) Michel BLANC ( batterie) seront en concert le 7 mai – La Balle au Bond, Quai Malaquais (Paris, 6éme) et aussi le 29 avril – Nancy ( Music Academy International) + le 1er Mai – Gaillac d’Aveyron.
si vous désirez une invitation renvoyé simplement votre adresse postale

April 19th

Franck VIGROUX – will be playing for Ashdown Amps at the London Guitar Show, Wembley Conference and Exhibition Centre, UK, on Saturday / Sunday, May 8th / 9th.
Not to be missed!

April 17th

Tim Donahue – is about to release some 1993 archive material on a an album called STILL SCREAMING. It’s all instrumental, 100% fretless, and is some of the nastiest stuff he has ever done…

Meanwhile with Madmen & Sinners still hot off the press Tim has already begun pre-production work on MADMEN 2.

Read an interview with Tim at it may help if you speak a little French.

April 12th

Fuze (David Fiuczynski) is about to rock Europe (well, bits of it) with his band,
Screaming Headless Torsos. Dates, venues as follows:

Saturday, April 17th – Fuze Clinic and SHT Concert — Ritmo y Compas, Madrid, Spain
Sunday, April 18th – Gene Lake Clinic at Musicians Institute, Madrid
Monday April 19th – Studio Athanor, Bruxelles, Belgium
Tuesday, April 20th – New Morning, Paris, France – Live Filming for Mezzo TV Station!
Thursday April 22nd – SHT Clinic — Music Academy International, Nancy France
Friday April 23nd – Terminal Export, Nancy, France with Juan Rozoff
Saturday April 24th – Moods, Zurich, Switzerland
Monday April 26th – Lucerna, Praha, Czech Rep.
Tuesday, April 27th – General Musik Direktion, Graz, Austria
Thursday April 29th – Reigen, Vienna, Austria
Saturday May 1st – AMR, Geneva, Switzerland
Sunday, May 2nd – Melkweg, Amsterdam, the Netherlands

See full details at David (Fuze) Fiuczynski’s website

Ned Evett’s is back on line after a short break in service. The shopfront for Fernandes Fretless Guitars now features an acoustic model.

April 4th

Andrzej Izdebski is touring Russia with drummer Michael Gos, Tray Gunn and Pat Mastelotto. More info on Iziphonics Improvised Music looking forward to more news on his return.

March 22nd

Tim Donahue – his long awaited “Madmen and Sinners”, Tim’s seventh fretless guitar solo album, is released March 24th.
This worldwide release on EMI features a Vigier Guitar / Madmen polo shirt giveaway as part of the promotional campaign.
Full info on:

See the first Madman and Sinners review on:,
Do go visit this site, the album recieves a stunning review, worthy of the mammoth effort Tim has put into the Madmen and Sinners project. You can also listen to excerpts from all the tracks on We hope to feature a full review as soon as we get our hands on M&S.

March 14th

Timucin Sahin the fretless maestro is abroad with the following dates:
23 March Dizzy Jazz Club Rotterdam, Netherlands c/w Kai Eckhard: e.bass, Owen Hart: Drums.
25 March masterclass at Amsterdam Conservatory with Kai and Owen.
26-27 March recording with Kai & Owen.
25 April at 55 bar New York with Armando Gola on bass, Obed Calvaire on drums.
27 April in Knitting Factory, NY Club with Armando and Obed.

More info on:

March 10th

Fareed Haque Group (FHG) will be performing at the Pioneer Inn on both Tuesday, March 23rd and Wednesday, March 24th. 9:30p or 10:00p showtime, as standard. Cover TBA. The Tuesday night show will feature local baddass Kirwan Brown on bass, as FHG’s usual bassist has something else going on. Wednesday will be the full FHG.

February 26th

Timucin Sahin is back in Turkey on Sunday for a short tour, has upcoming concerts in the Netherlands and masterclasses in Amsterdam conservatory. In April he is in New York performing at the Knitting factory and 55 bar. Dates to follow.

Timucin is soon to be recording a new album with Kai Eckhardt on e.bass and Owen Hart Jr. on drums. More info on:

February 24th

Pickwick Records will be distributing the new album Evett/Vigroux plus Franck Vigroux’s entire catalog in the UK, contact them at:

David Fiuczynski’s KiF are playing every Monday night, tour schedule allowing, at the Lizard Lounge, 1667 Mass Ave, Cambridge, Near Harvard Sq, MA, USA. Like many fretless gigs, you have to be over 21 to get in. Also features Steve Jenkins on bass and Lyndon Rochelle on drums.

January 27th

Tom Baker with his fretless guitar and special guests are playing the
Polestar Music Gallery, 1412 18th Avenue at East Union, Seattle on
Saturday February 7th. More info on:

January 25th

Edward Powell is out and about in Austria:

Feb.13, 2004 Bluesand, Zum Kuckuck, Linzerstrasse 1, 3300 Amstetten, Austria
March 03, 2004 Blind Dolphin, 8385 Mühlgraben 146, Burgenland, Austria
April 02, 2004 Oriental Improvisation, Freiberg Ludersdorf 30, 8200 Gleisdorf, Austria

More info on his Website Calendar

January 23rd

Fuze (David Fiuczynski) is on the road with his band, Screaming Headless Torsos:

Wednesday Jan 28th, Joe’s Pub, NYC.
Friday Feb 6th, Brooklyn Academy of Music Café
Saturday, Feb 28th, Tonic, Manhattan’s Lower East Side.

David is touring in Italy, February 13-20th with saxophonist Maurizio Giammarco.

Screaming Headless Torsos are touring Europe in April and Mexico in May.

See full details at David (Fuze) Fiuczynski’s website

January 21st

News from Ned Evett that he is touring in the USA with Frank Vigroux in February 2004. Tour dates are currently posted on – Once there a search on “Evett” that should bring up the coast to coast tour.

Timucin Sahin has started a short tour of Turkey – sorry, no details so far.

Andrzej Izdebski’s new website Iziphonics Improvised Music is now on line and is also linked from the Artists Page.

2004 musings

Pre-Easter Rant – Has anyone noticed the strange phenomenom of the sixth track of a CD? Perhaps I’d better explain. My in car CD system does not display track names, just numbers. So I got pretty good at selecting favourite tracks by number, while avoiding trees.

Now that is not where it ends, because I found out a secret. In most cases, track six is the best track on the CD.

Why? I don’t know, it just works 90% of the time. The bizarre thing is, when track six is not the best track, it is a howler.

I recommend the use of this knowledge in record stores, “Play me track six”, it does startle some shop assistants, perhaps those that only count on one hand. Try it out, let me know, does it work for you?

Ides of March – Just when I thought things were stabilising and most of the fretless world sat just where it should sit with nice compartments for Jazz, Experimental, ambient etc. along comes Underground. Now the last time I did Underground was in the sixties and I don’t have enough drugs to get back there.

Now it is all going on at which is not only an amazing guitar resource but also has a lot of fretless players contributing to the forums. Michael Vick was kind enough to introduce us and you can see Michael’s pictures in the Gallery.

One puzzle about the Underground scene is the high number of artists sporting bizarre headware, yes I know wearing a steel saucepan stops the government’s mind rays getting through to your brain but what protection does a lampshade offer? I suppose I’ll have to go and find something to wear, maybe a tea cosy.

Last days of February – We just got back from a two week break researching music in far off climbs. So a major rehash of the menu system was in order, hopefully you won’t miss any of the items that were previously hidden in dark corners or hastily shoved under unfretted duvets.

A big welcome to Tellef Øgrim, a fretless player from Norway who’s moody sounds can now be sampled at his new website

Sadly the reviews section is now more of a waiting list waiting to happen. Our professional reviewer is working on some CDs which should be posted by the next review date. Trouble is, he’s given me back all the Avant Garde stuff, which must be about 40% of the material, with the words “I don’t do Avant Garde”. Why not? “Well I’ve got nothing to reference it to, so I don’t know if its good or bad.”

It then dawned on me, how can we judge when we don’t know the subject?

An example came to mind: We once rented this really nice house from a modern arts painter, Regi Bardavid. Her works were hung all around the house and while the images were very interesting to look at, we didn’t know what was going on. At the rear of one picture was an instruction “This Way Up”, when we pointed this out to Regi suggesting that the picture was perhaps upside down, she said “Heavens above, can’t you see the phallic imagery?”, well we had missed it completely, and continued to miss it, although still very much enjoying her work. Regi is at the forefront of her craft with paintings hung all around the world. Thankfully we can now more fully appreciate her art and the same must be said for the Avant Garde musicians expressing their creativity through performance.

We only hope that any CD reviews can do the music justice, please forgive us if we don’t know which way is up.

First days of February – We finally got in touch with Sándor Szabó and now have the correct link to his new website, so if you saw the old one, the new one is even more interesting. Sándor plays an eight string fretless and has three 16 string guitars.

So we may well be in need of a special section on the website, for exceptional guitars perhaps?

Now here’s a question: What makes a fretless guitarist? and: Are fretless guitarists more likely to have other exceptional stringed instruments?

Last day in January – Just when we thought January was over and closed, up comes an
e-mail from Erik Hinds, those of you who read to the bottom of the artists link page may remember we were looking for Eric, well he found us! While Erik played fretless for many years, he is now playing quartertone fretted guitar.

Now here comes the problem, Erik played fretless, but he now plays a guitar with twice as many frets as normal. Where do we stand? In addition the quartertone fretting means many of the notes on the fretless guitar are acheivable on this instrument. So the more frets, the more notes and the closer you get to being unfretted. There must be a mathematical rule that says as you approach an infinite number of frets, you become unfretted.

So the jury is out, what do you think? In the meantime check out Eric’s pictures near the end of the Gallery and the Erik Hinds profile.

Very Late January – Got around to thinking about how to categorise the fretless artists that we know and have listed on the site. Into which catagory does their music fall? Certainly the field is split into three; Jazz, Experimental, and Eastern / Asian. There are also a couple on the fringe of heavy / nu-metal.

So where are the rest? What about Country? (OK so they have pedal steel guitars, but there must be a place for fretless guitar in the poor bands who cannot afford a pedal steel.) What about the blues? (Woke up this morning, someone stolen all my frets.)

English folk music uses every stringed instrument under the sun, some more painful than a fretless guitar, but no takers here.

Pop, Estrada, Rock, Soul, Rap anyone?

If you know the answer – you know who to call.

Late January – Finally realised that the recent news section was becoming a blog with little real news so this got split into the Site Blog you are reading now and the exciting stuff got put into a Fretless News page.

After some nashing of the teeth the Hall of Sounds page has finally been released. Once again it is many thanks to Edward Powell for his kind donations and gentle proding that have let this see the light of day.

Mid January – At long last we get listed on Google! 14th Place for a search on “Unfretted”, 25th place for a search on “Fretless Guitar”, and a staggering 1st place if you search on “Unfretted Fretless Guitar”, OK its a bit unlikely, but its a start.

Early January – its been a busy month so far with the inclusion of Hints and Tips and The Gallery, a hastily constucted batch of images very kindly donated by the key artists in the genre, and more to come. Many pictures cannot be found anywhere else on the web, and when we figure out how to display them, they may even get categorised. All pictures are gratefully received and posted.

Already we are receiving MP3 samples, once more everything we post is donated, we don’t trawl and post material. Watch for the Hall of Sounds page coming soon.

The Reviews page is ready and just awaiting copy from our demon reviewer, trouble is we have lost our copy of Ned Evett’s Circus Liquor, so it may take some time to get a review for that one. It is a fine album, proving Ed can write lyrics and sing and songwrite and everything else. (Now you know why we have an independent reviewer)

A couple of people have asked why we have not submitted the site to Google, so that more people can locate and use the resource. Well we did at the end of December, to quite a few sites, maybe we did it wrong. The big search engines do say it takes six weeks to get registered, or you can pay and get express recognition. You may guess that we don’t have the money to register everywhere as the site is not intended to generate revenue.

2003 musings

December – Quite a lot added this month including VG-88 patches, submitted unfretted to lots of search engines 30th / 31st of the month so expect an increase in traffic.

Stuff is shaping up and we hope to get some MPEG4 files showing fretless guitar techniques next month.

This is the pre-launch test phase, full launch with T shirts in January.

November – Not a lot got done fretless guitar-wise as we had a complete rebuild of the studio. Sadly we had to join the rest of the world and install a meaningful PC et al. Not the best move timewise as the build had to be super silent.

Then the OS upgrade meant some PC driven studio gear didn’t work anymore and other stuff had to be implemented to mesh in digital recorders and extra audio sources. When we’d finished tearing our hair out we went broadband to handle the websites better. Then the art room needed an upgrade to match, then a new printer, then the scanner don’t work with the new OS. You can guess the rest

Octoberfest and earlier – Book the domain and feel guilty about doing nothing with it. Drink a lot of beer.

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