John Fahey's recordings spanned four decades and a stylistic range from traditional blues fingerpicking to avant-garde "industrial guitar." But even in a such a widely varied context, Old Fashioned Love was a unique recording. One side consisted of three intricately wrought duos with Woody Mann, a then-precocious youngster who in later years went on to forge his own considerable reputation as a fingerstyle master. Side two was dominated by arrangements for an ensemble of L.A.-based jazz musicians that included such luminaries as Britt Woodman, Joe Darensbourg, and Nick Fatool. Hearing these sophisticates join in on the chorus to "Boodle Am Shake" is delicious fun that only John Fahey could have conceived. The program is rounded out by two solos in Fahey's best "American primitive" style. Sam Charters has contributed entertaining and insightful new notes for this long-awaited reissue.
The late John Fahey may still be best known for his guitar primitivism and solo reworking of everything from bleak rural blues to industrial abstraction but his 'orchestral' recordings deserve to be much more widely heard. 'Old Fashioned Love' was made in 1975 and features the same balance of poised, beautifully played guitar instrumentals and jazz orchestral works as 1973's 'After The Ball' (Reprise K44246) plus many of the same jazz stalwarts in support (Britt Woodman, Joe Darensbourgh, Allan Reuss, Jack Feierman and Johnny Rotella). While these jazz sides evoke the kind of New Orleans to Swing-Era dance and palais bands so beloved of Woody Allen movie soundtracks, the guitar instrumentals are either in the solo, introspective primitive style (the wishful thinking of The Assassination of Stefan Grossman and the timeless Dry Bones In The Valley) or sparkling duos with fellow guitar ace Woody Mann (In A Persian Market, Jaya Shiva Shankarah and Marilyn).
by John Crosby