Critics consider Andrés Thor to be one of the finest Icelandic jazz guitarists of his generation. His music combines the eloquence of the guitar-led jazz tradition with a zesty, rock-imbued drive. On “Ypsilon,” his 5th album as a leader, he presents original compositions that blend his positively ambrosial tonal palette with elegant harmonic substance and incisive, ornamented cross-rhythms. The album features collaborators from Denmark, Iceland and the renowned drum virtuoso Ari Hoenig, from the U.S.A.
Andrés began his musical studies at age 12 in his hometown Hafnarfjordur, a little harbour town nearby Reykjavík, Iceland. At first, his influences were glitter rock and hippie rock bands such as Led Zeppelin, The Doors, Jimi Hendrix, and Bon Jovi. Andres first heard the music of John Coltrane and Pat Metheny while in his teens, leading him to be fascinated with jazz music. Soon, he started studying with some of Iceland's finest jazz educators at the FIH music school. After graduating, his musical quest brought him to study at the Koninklijk Conservatorium (The Royal Conservatory) in The Hague, The Netherlands in the year 2000. Andres finished his BM in spring 2004, and his Master's degree in the spring of 2006. In Holland, Andres studied under the guidance of Wim Bronnenberg, Peter Nieuwerf, Eef Albers, John Ruocco and Hein v/d Geyn as his main teachers. He also attended workshops and masterclasses led by musicians such as Michael Brecker, Kurt Rosenwinkel, John Abercrombie and Avishai Cohen, as well as performing at a concert held in the City Hall in The Hague, with the late great Michael Brecker and the Royal Conservatory big band.
Living and studying in the Netherlands led to the first CD featuring Andrés as a co-leader — It Was a Very Good Year (WW&T 2004), by the organ trio, Wijnen, Winter & Thor, and featured songs by Andrés and organ player Bob Wijnen, in addition to a collectively composed piece by the trio.
Since then, Andrés has been working in and out of Iceland, and has released five albums under his own name. He has also released a handful of albums in collaboration. Andrés has been active in various collective projects, and as a sideman with bands like ASA trio, Icewegian, The Viking Giant Show, BonSom, Andreas Dreier quartet, and Music with Z, to name a few. Andres Thor has been an active performer and educator in Iceland, and has performed in Scandinavia, Europe and the USA. He continues to perform as a session musician in studios, at concerts, and in theater productions, where he doubles on mandolin, banjo and steel guitars.
Photo Credit: Alexander Schwarz
What They Play
- Neck Material:Mahogany
- Fingerboard Radius:12"
- Neck Profile:Traditional Even "C"
- Nut:Bone 1 3/4"
- 1st Fret String Height:.022"
- 12th Fret String Height:Bass .078" & Treble .062"
- Fretwire:22 Medium Jumbo Jescar 47104
- Scale Length:25"
- Body Style:14" Thinline
- Body Dimensions:14" x 1 3/4"
- Body Top:Solid Maple
- Body Back/Sides:Solid Mahogany
- Truss Rod:Single Acting
- Binding:Body, Neck, Headstock
- Binding Material:Flamed Maple
- Logo:Pearl Headstock
- Inlay:Pearl Dots
- Hardware Color:Nickel
- Bridge:Gotoh Tunomatic
- Tuners:Gotoh SG301-04
- Knobs:Amber Speed Knobs
- Neck Pickup:Lollar Custom Wound Imperial Humbucker
- Bridge Pickup:Lollar Custom Wound Imperial Humbucker
- Pickup Height:3/32" bass side, 3/32" treble side
- Pickup Frame:Black Plastic
- 3 Way Switch:Switchcraft
- Switch Tip:Amber Switchcraft
- Potentiometers:500K AudioTaper
- Output Jack:Switchcraft
- Strings:D’Addario NYXL .010 - .046
- Case:Hardshell Case