Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Guitar Player Plus
Genres: Country, Folk, World Music, Jazz, Pop, Rock, Metal
2003 reissue of the UK folk/blues legend's classic 1963 debut album features 20 tracks including eight bonus tracks, 'She Moved Thru' The Bizarre/Blue Raga' (Live), 'Misirlou' (Live), 'Hey Bud Blues' (Live), 'Anji', 'Finge... more »
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2003 reissue of the UK folk/blues legend's classic 1963 debut album features 20 tracks including eight bonus tracks, 'She Moved Thru' The Bizarre/Blue Raga' (Live), 'Misirlou' (Live), 'Hey Bud Blues' (Live), 'Anji', 'Fingerbuster', 'La Morena', 'Happy Meeting In Glory', & 'Suite In D Minor'. Always held in awe by his peers, this album still sounds as breathtakingly fresh today, as it did forty years ago! Castle.
There's a storm a-brewin'!
Elliot Knapp | Seattle, Washington United States | 02/16/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I've heard Davy Graham not-so-humbly describe his sound as "like a force of nature." After listening to this, his debut album, you might just agree. This guy's got chops, and he's not afraid to bust them out. Not only is he a force of nature, but he's also quite a force of influence, inspiring contemporaries from Roy Harper to Bert Jansch to all points in between. Graham is not unlike contemporary John Fahey, insofar as he plays solo finger style acoustic guitar (I guess it's not completely solo, since he's accompanied by a drum kit on all the original album songs). However, whereas Fahey mastered his technique, his brilliance was most astounding in his skills as a composer/player, bending the genres of blues, classical, and just plain bizarre, Davy Graham is a straight up performer--he only wrote one of the songs on the original album, and his amazing strength is in his nimble ability to play blindingly in all genres, from jazz to blues to flamenco to surf to classical to raga.
The Guitar Player, surprisingly (in accord with Graham's reputation), is mostly jazz. He covers a number of standards, like Brubeck's "Take Five," and "Cry Me A River." At first I wasn't sure about the sparse combo of drums and acoustic guitar--I'd usually prefer either just solo guitar or at least a bass along with the drums. After a few listens, though, it works pretty well, and the drums help provide a rhythmic counterpoint and keep Graham in time. The guitarist rips through the 12 songs, swiftly picking through a lot of colors, moods and textures, as well as deftly providing himself a bassline to go off of and solo--sometimes it sounds like there HAS to be two guitars playing. In a way, it reminds me a bit of Joe Pass on an acoustic.
I never thought I'd find myself saying this, but I think the bonus tracks really make the album. "She Moved Thru' The Bizarre/Blue Raga" is probably the coolest track on the album, blending folk with raga and foreshadowing the less jazzy work he'd become known for later. "Miserlou," the classic surf instrumental sounds great on solo acoustic, and it's pretty sweet to hear him do a little Spanish guitar and classical as well. Without the bonus tracks, The Guitar Player wouldn't have as much diversity, and it probably wouldn't make the listener as curious to check out his later, more experimental work.
I highly recommend this album to any fans of solo acoustic players with astounding chops, fans of Fahey and Pass, but also to fans of folk and jazz--you might be a fan of solo acoustic and not even know it! Hope you like it."
The beginning of a legend
William M. Feagin | Salem, MA | 01/16/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Davy Graham passed away on Dec. 15, 2008, at the age of 68, after losing his battle with cancer. He will be missed for sure, and this album, his first, is proof of what the world has lost with his death.
Davy recorded this album for the British label Pye Records in 1963--his only one for that label, as he moved on to Decca afterward--and it's likely the only one in his catalogue that's entirely instrumental. It's a great recording, and even with the bonus tracks, it still flows along quite neatly from start to finish. His original piece, "Anji," later covered by Paul Simon on Simon & Garfunkel's second album, Sounds of Silence (1966), and by Bert Jansch on his own second album, It Don't Bother Me (1965), appears here in a truncated live version as one of the bonus tracks--Davy didn't officially put it on one of his records until the third one, Folk Blues & Beyond (his second for Decca, from 1964). "Anji" was, in so many ways, the shot heard round the world--or at least, in England, among the burgeoning fingerstyle-guitar community--as he proved to be influence and inspiration for such as Bert Jansch, John Renbourn, Jimmy Page, Al Stewart, and so many others who followed closely after. As the other reviewer correctly notes, he was a contemporary of John Fahey, and he was Britain's analogue to Fahey (in terms of pioneering a style, however, not in terms of having a record label--Fahey started Takoma Records, which featured Robbie Basho and the debut recordings of Leo Kottke and Peter Lang in its catalogue).
All in all, The Guitar Player is a pleasant, atmospheric recording; perhaps a little bland in its presentation, given that Davy sang on subsequent albums, up to and including his final recording, 2007's Broken Biscuits...but this isn't necessarily a negative quality. Definitely worth hearing, and owning. I have the CD."