Vermont Composer/Multi-Instrumentalist Dustin Glass Constructs Instrumental Wonders Via ‘The Space Between’ (ALBUM REVIEW)

Vermont musician Dustin Glass follows up his debut 2018 album Canvas with an impressive collection of original instrumental compositions onThe Space Between.

Recorded in Glass’s home studio, The Space Between features a rawness to the sound that seems to work well for this collection of tunes. Glass handled all the guitar, bass, keyboard duties, but guitar is typically in the limelight across the album.

While his debut album called upon the use of things like audio loops, overdubbed horns, and a variety of different guitar tones, The Space Between has more of a focus on consistency. In Glass’s own words, “I took a bit of a more scaled-back, minimalist, approach with this album, using the same gear setup and instruments on each song. Even though the album is just me, I wanted to try to capture the vibe and sound of a band jamming at a party in a basement or in a small jazz club”. 

Glass cites influences that include Phish, Khruangbin, Medeski Martin, & Wood, Julian Lage, and John Scofield, and inspiration from those artists clearly seeped their way into the songs on The Space Between. Bouncing between funk, jazz, and rock, The Space Between features creative and catchy melodies across the album’s twelve tracks.

Songs like ‘Twisted Pines’, ‘Rising Tide’, and the album’s energetic closer, ‘Tarrazu’, bring in elements of 70’s funk, while songs such as ‘Colored Marbles’ and ‘Zandernova’ shine as jazz songs. The bouncy and happy-sounding ‘Sunflower’ would feel at home alongside Grateful Dead’s songbook, while the soulful ‘Honeycomb’ is highly approachable to fans of world groove outfits like Khruangbin.

‘Acadia’, one of the album’s most ambitious and standout tracks, draws inspiration from early-day Phish compositions, featuring an intricately composed section that gives way to a lengthy guitar solo. Slower songs like ‘Brighter Days’ and the short and sultry ‘Citrus Notes’ serve as a nice respite to the overall upbeat feel of the album.

Overall, The Space Between is a real compelling collection of songs that fans of instrumental and improvisational music will really enjoy. And for the album’s name? Dustin Glass clarifies that “It’s a combination of an old quote by French Composer Claude Debussy –  ‘Music is the space between the notes’, and the beer ‘The Space In Between’ from one of Vermont staple breweries Lawson’s Finest Liquids, which kept popping up when I was trying to decide on the album’s name”.

Certainly, some very talented and under the radar composers/guitarists lie within The Space Between as well. Case in point- Dustin Glass.

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