Carl Weingarten | Panomorphia

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by Carl Weingarten

An instrumental deep space jazz album featuring slide guitar, bass, drums and trumpet.
Genre: Jazz: Jazz Fusion
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. The Simian River
7:40 album only
2. Tango (feat. Michael Manring, Celso Alberti)
13:16 album only
3. Flow of Stars
11:10 album only
4. Bluescapes (feat. Michael Manring, Celso Alberti, Jeff Oster)
5:13 album only
5. Panomorphia (feat. Michael Manring, Celso Alberti)
11:37 album only
6. Tapper (feat. Jeff Oster)
6:20 album only
7. The Ship the Dream
10:37 album only


Album Notes
A few years ago, one of my favorite musicians had a guitar solo on a major movie soundtrack. The piece was just a few minutes long, but it was absolutely brilliant. I spoke to a friend of his, who joked to me that the guitarist had actually recorded the song in his home studio, and it had likely taken him less than a half hour. “Yes”, I said, “but it took him 40 years to get there.”

Panomorphia actually took several years to produce, but the music is rooted in the tape delay improvisations I explored three decades ago. Looping, as it’s called now, is the music technology that allows the artist to generate multiple layers of sound on sound, stacking melody and rhythm on the fly, creating spontaneous compositions. But the method can be unforgiving. As the music builds and takes shape, each new layer is critical. A note out of key, a strum out of time, a phrase out of context can send the music in a different direction, spoil the mix entirely.

For me, looping is just the starting point. It’s the paved road, but not the journey. In late 2008, I recorded a series of electric guitar improvisations. The recordings were made, usually late in the evening, directly to a stereo recorder. During each session, I did my best to put the day behind me, and play without expectations. With electric guitar, it’s always tempting to go for speed. I tried that at first, but the results were always predictable. So I went the opposite direction and instead took a slow motion, paint brush like approach to the guitar. By emphasizing tone and sustain, I was able to keep the music open and expressive. Like a simple meal, with lots of flavor. Afterwards, the new tracks were set aside for several months, in order to come back with the freshest ears possible. The best tracks were selected based on those moments when I didn’t recognize my own playing, where perhaps, I had forgotten the recorder was running, and found myself at the end of an hour long space walk.

Next, in came drummer Celso Alberti, bassist Michael Manring and trumpet/fluegal horn player Jeff Oster, who recorded live to each loop performance. Sometimes responding to the ebb and flow of the music, or finding a pulse and driving home their own orchestral groove. I continued writing, adding new parts of my own, building structure and melody. With each layer, the song evolved into something new, but all in keeping with the spirit of the original performance. --CW April 2012



to write a review

Raj Manoharan (

The RajMan Review
The new album by guitarist Carl Weingarten goes beyond the expectations of traditional guitar music, resulting in a sonic treat not only for guitar fans, but for anyone interested in a unique listening experience.

The CD features seven tracks that are primarily situated in the New Age subgenre of ambient space music. Weingarten plays slide and other guitars through digital delay loops and is joined on four numbers by Michael Manring on fretless bass, Celso Alberti on drums, and Jeff Oster on trumpet and flugelhorn, resulting in a far out space jazz ensemble. The other three compositions are Weingarten by himself on guitars and loops, creating entrancingly hypnotic timbres that sound like they were constructed by synthesizers.

The key to the success of this album is the fact that Weingarten refrains from playing bop or fusion lead lines and instead uses his guitars and loops to generate textural atmospherics, evoking the impression of aural paintings. Over this expansive canvas, Weingarten provides just enough of a hint of his slide guitar flourishes to emphasize the human element behind the sleek technical sheen of the recording.

Sounding very much like sci-fi music with a sense of the mystery and the excitement of the unknown, this CD will yield revelatory rewards to those who seek out its tantalizing sounds.

Michael Diamond (

Review excerpt from Music & Media Focus
As one of ambient music’s most innovative guitarists, Carl Weingarten has been crafting his unique sonic tapestries for three decades. In fact, the San Francisco Chronicle referred to him as "one of the truly great indie musicians working today." To call Carl’s music “innovative” and “unique” borders on understatement. While his recordings are guitar-based, he often takes the instrument in expansive and experimental directions that defy categorization. In addition to electric and acoustic guitar, he has charted new territory on traditional instruments such as dobro and slide guitar, which he taught himself to play after becoming enamored with the blues early on. However, there is nothing traditional about the context Carl uses them in, which can be quite atmospheric and gives some of his work the feel of an impressionistic soundtrack, with the guitar creating lush clouds of sound that could easily be mistaken for synthesizers.

Part of his sound comes from the use of electronic effects, which are essential ingredients in the mix. Among those are echo and delay, which he has been experimenting with since 1980. Also in his arsenal is a technique known as “looping,” that allows the artist to generate multiple layers of sound on sound, stacking melody and rhythm on the fly, creating spontaneous compositions. “Panomorphia” consists of seven tracks, three of which are layered solo performances and four that are collaborations with some of the most talented musicians in the Bay area including drummer/percussionist Celso Alberti, world-class bassist Michael Manring, and award-winning recording artist Jeff Oster on trumpet and flugelhorn. The description of the music as “deep space jazz” hints at its direction which also includes elements of ambient and electronica, with occasional excursions into more exotic and esoteric terrain. There is really no one else who sounds quite like Carl Weingarten. His style is adventurous, exploratory, and intriguing, and to be able to create a distinct sound in today’s crowded music market is quite an accomplishment in itself. I have no doubt that fans of Carl’s music will be excited by the release of “Panomorphia,” and that those who may not be familiar will find it an entrancing introduction.

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