Leo Kottke’s fourth LP for the Chrysalis label, Guitar Music (Chrysalis CHR 1328), was released in 1981. At this time, Kottke enjoyed playing a Gibson J-45 sunburst with extra-light strings, and many of the compositions on this recording display an ease and brilliance that is remarkable.
The opening of “Jib’s Hat” is lighter than air. It sparkles in the sun. And it sounds like the guitar is in standard tuning. Then, after an edgy transition, it becomes a hard-driving blues in open G. The delight is in the cognitive dissonance.
This detailed transcription corresponds to the original audio recording of “Jib’s Hat” on Guitar Music.
As with any composition that features characteristics of minimalism, you need to track the repeated material and the changes that let the music evolve organically. “Jib’s Hat” opens with a pattern which evolves into another and then into another. The first pattern should be played with prescience — looking forward to what will follow.