For those who like me don't know the entire Torn saga, he's a guitarist renowned for his texturalism and his ability with electronics and effects. A former student of Leonard Bernstein, John Abercrombie and Pat Martino, Torn has been laying low since an early Nineties health crisis.
Assisted by saxophonist Tim Berne, Torn's performance at Joe's was all about manipulating sounds, mostly feedback via an effects rack he had in a case, up on a chair. "Noodling" is the word that comes to mind. "Knob-twisting" is another. Neither are meant as compliments. I don't know if I'd go so far as to say "wanking" but for much of the evening Mr. Torn was not far off. Sorry, call me old fashioned but I need some sort of song structure. Fusion encourages rampant indulgences. Now when Torn actually got down and played, he was killer. But there was way too little of that. Proof yet again that every eagerly anticipated, rarely seen legend ain't really worth the trouble.