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Fantasias for Guitar and Banjo
Sandy Bull
Fantasias for Guitar and Banjo
Genres: Folk, Rock
  •  Track Listings (5) - Disc #1

The 1963 debut album for the ground-breaking folk artist. A fusion of the most different musical forms, folk, blues, bluegrass, jazz & more, with a unique use of guitar & banjo. Includes an arrangement of the 'Carmina Bura...  more »


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CD Details

All Artists: Sandy Bull
Title: Fantasias for Guitar and Banjo
Members Wishing: 2
Total Copies: 0
Label: Phantom Sound & Visi
Original Release Date: 1/1/1963
Re-Release Date: 11/30/2001
Album Type: Import
Genres: Folk, Rock
Styles: Contemporary Folk, Folk Rock
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPCs: 8026575119529, 802657511952


Album Description
The 1963 debut album for the ground-breaking folk artist. A fusion of the most different musical forms, folk, blues, bluegrass, jazz & more, with a unique use of guitar & banjo. Includes an arrangement of the 'Carmina Burana' by Carl Orff & a version of the traditional 'Little Maggie'. Vanguard/Akarma release. Deluxe gatefold digipack. 2001.

CD Reviews

Probably the single most original performer of the early 196
Oliver | Morelia, MICH MEX | 05/27/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"The blends of Sandy Bull constitute a prodigious synthesis of antithetical idioms and one of the most lasting conquests of the vanguard folk. Away from Nashville how much him can be been, Bull didn't have anything from to divide with the dawning movement country-rock, but his lesson of creative individualism was fundamental to open new horizons to the kind that will be called " american primitivism ".

The banjoista and guitarist Sandy Bull starts as folksinger to the Woody Guthrie at the end of the 50's in Boston, where he was studying composition, but returned in New York in 1961, he became one of the fixed attractions of the clubs of vanguard soon (either folk either jazz) of the Greenwich Village.

In locals as the Gaslight Cafe, where he played since 1961 he came in contact with the dawning free-jazz and remained from there deeply influenced.

Enfant prodige of the guitar and the banjo, student of jazz and Indian music, in the 1963 engraved Bull his first disk, Fantasias For Guitar & Banjo (Vanguard, 1963) with the alone accompaniment of the drummer of Ornette Coleman (Billy Higgins), the luxury of a suite of twenty-two minutes allowing each other, Blend, for guitar granted as a banjo and battery. Influenced by the performer of oud Hamza El Din, with which had shared an apartment in 1963 to Hollywood, Blend is a synthesis of improvisations, jazz, raga syncopations, arab accords and folk melodies, a fascinating sonorous excursus that explores fabulous worlds filtered by the sensibility of a popular cantastorie alternating slow and transcendent phases to furious jam. The atmosphere being often psychedelic, two years before the psychedelia was born. Between the other passages of the disk some arrangements of classical music are distinguished for only banjo or alone guitar such as Carmina Burana fantasy.
Sandy Bull was probably the single most original performer of the early 1960s. Alas, he was 30-40 years ahead of the rest of rock music, and therefore was still neglected at the end of the century. While the Merseybeat bands were flooding the charts with idiotic three-minute ditties, Bull was already composing 20-minute long raga/jams that belonged to no known genre. These "blends" marked the first fantastic fusion of eastern and western music, even before western musicians learned what a sitar was.
Virtually no encyclopedia or history of music mentioned his name, but Sandy Bull is probably one of the few musicians of the 1960s who will be mentioned in every encyclopedia and history of music centuries from now."
Outstanding Work by a Gifted Musician
Fritz Gerlich | | 06/20/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

"It is appropriate that the album begins with a song called Blend, which takes up a full side of the LP. He was a pioneer at blending different styles from different culutres. Some of the types of music represented here include American folk, jazz, Arabic, and Indian music. Great stuff.

He mastery of the instruments is complete. He is able to play with the instruments and genres, and create something fluid. The music never fails to engage because there is so much variety to be had. It's amazing that this was recorded in 1962. I mean, he was recording 20+ minute jams/ragas in no known genre, when the rage was 3 minute Mersey beat silliness. He really deserves more recognition for his originality and adventurousness, like his British counterpart Davy Graham (who is also worth checking out).

The rhythm section consists solely of Billy Higgins, who worked with Ornette Coleman. His contribution is fantastic, complimenting Bull with great verve. Note: he doesn't appear on every track.

I have the 2009 vinyl release. It is a 180 gm slab, but it is not an audiophile release despite what the marketing dept might claim. My brand new copy had excessive scuffing, and was very dirty. It looked like a used record. After a good cleaning, I was worried that I was going to be in for a disappointment. But I was surprised that the sound quality was quite decent. The surface noise isn't bad, and the quality of the vinyl does not detract from the music.

I don't know who mastered this album for vinyl release, but they did an excellent job. It is very warm, with no clipping or distortion. The compression that exists is all analog, and it is not excessive--just enough to make the music sound full and not jarring. A very nice job indeed.

So overall, if you have any interest in instrumental banjo or guitar or world music, this is an essential album. I am so glad that Vanguard released it on vinyl."