Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Omar Torrez on the Tom Waits Tour

highwayscribery wanted to update readers as to the progress of friend and poetic collaborator Omar Torrez as he winds his way through the American heartland and Europe as Tom Waits' guitarist on the "Glitter and Doom Tour."

These excerpts and links are taken from Omar's blog on his my "My Space" page.

Thank you Jacksonville ...

"The magic in the evening didn't solely belong to Waits himself, he's anchored by guitarist Omar Torrez and Vincent Henry, who played on double sax ...Torrez and Henry made the second half of the show, including Real Gone standout "Hoist That Rag," filled with Spanish guitar licks and jazz movements."

And from Columbus, Ohio:

"Before I start raving about Tom Waits, I'd like to take a moment to acknowledge his backup band. They were truly wonderful, and it wouldn't have been the same show without them. In particular, the guitarist and the reed man stole the show - or, at least, stole as much of the show as Waits let them have.

Omar Torrez handles a guitar like he's just releasing sounds that really want to come out - sounds that have been around longer than you or me, and which will continue to reverberate until long after we're gone. When he plays he doesn't even look like he's trying - he looks humble, unassuming and serene. His fingers are a blur and at times his sound carries the entire ensemble - and yet he manages to blend into the background as he plays. Waits couldn't have picked a better guitarist to play with him."

Also weighing in were:


"Omar Torrez, who kept his utterly delightful nastiness buried previously, started "All the World is Green" with a dextrous Spanish guitar intro. "


"Omar Torrez, the newest member of the band, seems to have learned every guitar part from every record, and then said quietly to himself, "Fuck you, Ribot, Verlaine and especially G.E. Smith. Here's how it really goes." And his acoustic guitar work on "All the World Is Green," as the red velvet backdrop changed to blue, was its own chromatic world of wonders."


"The versatile Omar Torrez added Spanish-style guitar solos and Italian-folk mandolin runs without stepping on Waits' toes or overstaying his welcome."


"New find Omar Torrez is another in a tradition of superlative guitarists to join Waits' band."


"Omar was fantastic, in my opinion. He isn't afraid to play Ribot-style and the songs are much better because he can pull it off. But he still adds his own touch and style to the overall sound. I was shocked to not see Larry Taylor behind the bass."


"The bowler hat seemed to take Tom and his unreal crack band to new heights. Tom out in front with enormous spastic energy and voice…Omar Torrez a huge standout in the band with a flamenco guitar style along with Vincent on double sax, etc. Front row, section A…I will never be the same."


"A beautiful flamenco intro by guitarist Omar Torrez led it in that, though it had little to do with the main section itself, was breathtaking enough that it didn't matter. The talented but shy guitarist of last night shone brighter today, feeling his way into bolder solos and riffs that eluded him before."


"Next up a recent live favorite among fans, Hoist That Rag off of 2004's Real Gone. Tom led it in with some hard-shook maracas, and it was the first show spot for new guitarist Omar Torrez. His off-beat solos and wildly unpredictable runs recalled old sideman Marc Ribot in the best way possible."

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