Avi Bortnick | Clean Slate

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Rock: Jam-band Jazz: Jazz Fusion Moods: Featuring Guitar
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Clean Slate

by Avi Bortnick

Groovy, funky, rockin' guitar-centric music, with catchy melodies and inventive grooves by John Scofield rhythm guitarist Avi Bortnick. THESE ARE THE LAST FEW COPIES WITH NO MORE CD PRESSINGS PLANNED!!!
Genre: Rock: Jam-band
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Clean Slate
3:47 $0.89
2. Missouri Dreaming
5:01 $0.89
3. Baba
4:43 $0.89
4. In the Thick
4:21 $0.89
5. Corvair
4:26 $0.89
6. Morning Star
2:25 $0.89
7. Leopoldina
3:16 $0.89
8. Diabolus
4:17 $0.89
9. Absinthe
5:01 $0.89
10. Anybody Got An Aspirin
2:26 $0.89
11. Well Alright
5:45 $0.89
12. Diabolus Solo
5:43 $0.89
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
"Clean Slate" is the debut CD release as a leader from guitarist/sample artist/composer/producer Avi Bortnick. Avi is best known for his musical association with jazz guitar legend John Scofield, whom he has toured with steadily since January of2000.

With Scofield, Avi has come to the forefront of the international music scene by performing hundreds of shows to packed houses and festival stages worldwide. Avi's signature funk rhythm guitar sound has become an identifiable trademark of the Scofield Band sound, and Avi has been featured prominently on two Scofield Verve CD's, "Uberjam", and "Up All Night". Avi composed material for both albums, and is also credited as co-producer on "Up All Night".

Now Avi steps out on his own with his brand new self-produced CD called "Clean Slate". Drawing upon years of diverse musical experiences, including the Scofield Band, African ensembles, Brazilian bands, jazz groups, and the underground funk sensation "What It Is", Avi creates a sonic landscape of appealing rhythmic textures and intoxicating moods on "Clean Slate".

Throughout the CD the musical emphasis is clearly on two qualities: GROOVE and FUN. Many listeners have already responded to the CD by saying that the music is "just plain fun" to listen to. Without sacrificing musical substance, Avi has succeeded in creating intelligent music that also feels good.

That good feeling was generated by a conscious effort Avi made to feature a high level of musicianship from both himself and his musical compatriots and also by a firm commitment to the rhythmic aspect of the songs in an interesting, accurate, and appropriate way for each particular composition.

In addition to the incredibly funky and grooving instrumental rock compositions on the CD, there is an element of humor on "Clean Slate". For example, on the tune "Anybody Got an Aspirin?", Avi began by sampling an actual telemarketer's message that was left on his home answering machine (which turns unintentionally and inadvertently hilarious); he then added an infectious guitar groove, and spiced up the mix with a retro organ sound. The overall result is a simple and fun tune that actually has hit potential written all over it.

Guitar fans in particular will be ecstatic to hear the versatility in Avi's playing on "Clean Slate". This is the first real opportunity Avi's growing legion of fans have had to hear the essence of his musicianship on record. While Avi's reputation has primarily been based on the fact that he is one of the world's funkiest rhythm guitarists, on "Clean Slate" listeners get to hear Avi's unique perspective on the potential of the guitar in many different areas of playing, and in much greater depth.

An aspect of music in which Avi excels, both in the Scofield Band and on "Clean Slate", is in the arena of sound. An incredible amount of attention to detail went into the making of "Clean Slate" in terms of sampling, digital sequencing and use of synthesizers, instrumentation choices, effects, and overall production techniques. A lot of care and effort was taken with the intention of serving each tune's particular needs in the best possible way.

Joining Avi on "Clean Slate" are keyboardists Michael Bluestein (Boz Scaggs, Will Bernard) and Dan Eisenberg (Ryan Adams, Shelby Lynne), and drummers Jim Bogius, (Sheryl Crowe, Ben Folds, Counting Crows), Aaron Johnston (Harry Belafonte, Thalia), Scott Amendola (Charlie Hunter, Nels Cline) and other San Francisco-based musicians.

Avi has recently been featured in several major national music publications such as Guitar Player, Down Beat, and Sound On Sound. In addition to playing in Scofield's Band, he has also performed or recorded with What It Is, Bobby McFerrin, Kotoja, Andy Narell, Jeff Narell and new keyboard sensation Harry Miller.

Avi was born in Israel and raised in St. Louis, Missouri. He started college in Madison, Wisconsin, later entering a masters degree program at the University of Florida in Gainesville. Prior to joining John Scofield's band,Avi worked as a professional acoustical consultant (when he was not performing music, that is). He currently splits his time between New York and San Francisco when not on the road.

Please check out Avi's website for performance updates and news at:

Also check out another CD here at CDBaby.com that Avi plays on - it's by keyboardist Harry Miller, and its called "Jazz Beauty Supply":



to write a review

Mauro Poli

Great and well played cd
This record it's great! Avi it's the guitarist I've always wanted to hear: solid rithms, jazzy and funky solos and sweet melodies. The record has a good sound and will keep your interested even if you're not a guitarist.

Brian Cooper

g r o o v e - laden, trancey sonic journey in the realm of funk ! !
Avi has churned out some good funky stuff on Clean Slate! The phrasing and interplay between the melody of the jazzy guitar leads and the soul of the backing instruments works well. These and the samples blend nicely with the overall sound. Interesting use of answering machine samples in Anybody Got an Aspirin? -- that track made me smile, but the entire album makes you groove. The album is FUN to listen to all the way through. The music flows very well from song to song, and the clarity of Bortnick's ideas in each song is astounding. This is not noise, somehow in this album the most minimalist arrangements express the most, musically. These thoughts are boiled down to their essence by using the fewest instruments possible, and enhanced by interesting chord voicings and melodies in the guitar with expert execution. I have thoroughly enjoyed this disc and highly recommend it to others.

Symon Michael

Great melodies, sterile drums...
All in all, this is a very entertaining CD! The melodies are catchy and fresh, and the funky B3 organ sounds are way cool and take me back to a happier time in my life.

Overall, though, many of the tracks come off sounding like nothing more than funk-styled elevator music due to the synthetic, sterile drum sounds. The rhythm tracks churn with the precision and coldness of a computer, and it sounds as if a robot were hired to pound away on a toy drum kit. More than anything else, the repetitious and uninspired drum tracks on this disk make this a mediocre offering from a world-class player and composer.

Herb Grown

Up to date & first rate
Intelectual without being heady, fun withuot being fluffy,solid without being sizemic,a contemporary funk rock pop Jazz synthesis that reminds me of what Herb Alpert might do with guitar.It's all about the lick & the kick.Thanks for the righteous chank- a- chank.The rhythm is within him! No dought ,my favorite C damn D of the year! Whoa!

Ron van der Sanden

creative, melodic, funky, It's
On this CD Avi shows he is creative and makes "cheap" drumsamples sound dope. There's nothing cheap on this CD if you listen to it. The tracks are diverse and full with cathy rythnmic guitars and themes. Next to the guitars you'll here some grumpy Hammond sounds that add even more flavour to the record. Nice to hear that Avi makes a record that's just (a side of) Avi


This cd is very good, very well played, and the arrangements are great...when I put it in the record
player, it left my house full of joy...

Gary Brandes

A funky rocking good time!!!
I love this CD! I've listened to it many times. Avi has a real knack for writing simple, catchy and fun songs that inspire the mind and the soul. Avi put a lot of work into producing this CD and it shows - great stuff! He's also on another CD here at CD Baby - by another former student of mine named Harry Miller (I teach high school music classes). Harry's CD is called Jazz Beauty Supply. Buy them both, they're great!