Guitarist Presberg finds inspiration in improv
Guitarist Teddy Presberg is a Midwestern musician inspired by coastal culture. Originally from St. Louis, Missouri, Presberg lived on Oregon's coast for eight years before returning to the Midwest earlier this year to tour with his new album, "Blueprint of Soul." On his Milwaukee stop, he plays at the Jazz Estate Sunday with The Red Note Revivalists at 9:30 p.m.
The album is an improvisational stream of 10 tracks recorded in one take. Presberg, inspired in the moment, prefers expression through improv rather than a studio-produced sound.
"I wanted to create something from the soul, a sound based on first impressions and inspired by the moment," says Presberg. "I was going for something fresh, honest, and most of all, something funky that I could really dig into."
For Presberg, inspiration is from everywhere and in everyone.
His sound blends blues and soul mimicking Stevie Ray Vaughan but mixes in the improvisational jazz style of MMW yet occasionally inserting the electric garage guitar of the White Stripes. Presberg's songs range from melodic adventures to technically precise jazz riffs. For a solo artist, with only the accompaniment of guest performers, Presberg certainly is a complex musician.
"All of the songs were written on the spot. All of the tracks and overdubs were done in one take only," says Presberg.
His outlook on music is very much reflects the intricate culture of Portland, Ore., a city oozing with eco-friendly liberalism, artistic cultivation and bohemian intellect. Likewise, Presberg prefers improv to produced, charity to profit and development to attainment. Through his music, Presberg expresses not only his ability on the guitar but also a philosophy of sustainable living and charitable good will.
"Music is a reaction," muses Presberg, "so why not keep your reactions as pure and natural as they can be. I'm not knocking the idea of a 'second-take,' I just wanted to go with my first response."
In Portland, Presberg turned his dining room into a home studio and invited an eclectic slew of musicians to collaborate on recordings that would eventually become "Blueprint of Soul." Presberg pays homage to this city of stimulation by using Portland street names for song titles.
The album was initially released in late 2007, but after acclaimed praise, Ropeadope Records picked it up and recently re-released a remixed version to a worldwide audience.
In appreciation of the community that motivated him, Presberg gives back to the environment. Presberg is donating one percent of album sales to 1% For the Planet, an organization benefiting the Organic Farming Research Foundation in Santa Cruz, Calif. Likewise, Presberg has made donations to The Climate Trust in order to negate the greenhouse gas pollution caused by record production.
"It doesn't matter what our profession is, we have a personal responsibility to reduce the negative impacts of our actions," says Presberg.
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