As one of the “first generation” of American free improvisers, born in Oakland, California, on 19 September, 1952, Mr. Kaiser has helped unfetter the guitar from the conventions of genre-bound techniques, but his instrumental virtuosity and technological breakthroughs are always deployed in the service of deep and immediate personal expression. Likewise, he has developed a highly individual, inimitable style from an uncommonly varied range of influences. Some of his musical sources include traditional blues, East Asian, Classical North Indian and Hawaiian music, free jazz, free improvisation, American steel-string concert guitar, and 20th century classical, but like any probing artist he also draws creatively from other abiding interests, which for Mr. Kaiser include Information Theory, experimental cinema, mathematics, experimental literature and SCUBA diving. (He was employed for the last 15 years as a senior instructor in Underwater Scientific Research at the University of California at Berkeley. Sadly, Berkeley’s excellent scientific diving program was terminated in the summer of 1996.)
Since taking up the guitar in 1972, Mr. Kaiser has built an ever-mounting reputation as one of the foremost musicians of his time. The respect of his peers has earned him membership on the advisory board of Guitar Player Magazine, and the appreciation of his creativity by the music, film and television industries has kept him in command as a composer and producer. He scored the weekly television series, Secrets & Mysteries, and has assisted dozens of artists from Ali Akbar Khan to Richard Thompson with their recording projects.
Guitar players and devoted fans can dive deeper into Mr. Kaiser&instrumental and philosophical approaches to music via Eclectic Electric, Exploring New Horizons of Guitar and Improvisation a very unusual 97 minute guitar instructional video released by Silver Eagle/Backstage Pass/Music Video Projects.
Henry Kaiser recordings:
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