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Beautiful Game
Acoustic Alchemy
Beautiful Game
Genres: Jazz, New Age, Pop
  •  Track Listings (13) - Disc #1

Without question, this is the finest Acoustic Alchemy outing since their 1987 smooth-jazz classic, Red Dust and Spanish Lace. Back then, the current leader, Greg Carmicheal, co-led the group as a duet with his partner, Nic...  more »


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CD Details

All Artists: Acoustic Alchemy
Title: Beautiful Game
Members Wishing: 0
Total Copies: 0
Label: Higher Octave
Original Release Date: 5/23/2000
Release Date: 5/23/2000
Genres: Jazz, New Age, Pop
Style: Smooth Jazz
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPCs: 724384894627, 0724384894658

Without question, this is the finest Acoustic Alchemy outing since their 1987 smooth-jazz classic, Red Dust and Spanish Lace. Back then, the current leader, Greg Carmicheal, co-led the group as a duet with his partner, Nick Webb, who died from cancer in early 1998. With a new, expanded version of Acoustic Alchemy, Carmichael has significantly retooled the sound of the group, with the help of San Francisco keyboardist Terry Disley and Incognito member Richard Bull. The stamp of Bull's acid-jazz leanings is evident on "The Panama Cat" and "Trailblazer," while "Hats of Magic" and "Hold on to Your Heart" are two of Carmichael's prettiest guitar ballads ever. Loyal fans shouldn't fear Alchemy's change of direction; while the band seems headed more toward London, Carmichael still remembers that his first American records came from MCA's Nashville office. He does enough serious pickin' on "Kidstuff," "Tete à Tete," and the Dobro-enhanced "Big Sky Country" to help bolster the claim that jazz and bluegrass are cousins. --Mark Ruffin

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CD Reviews

A New Beginning
P. Wung | Tipp City, OH USA | 08/11/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Anytime a well established group has to regroup in order accomodate a change, the initial offering is viewed critically by their fans. With the unfortunate and sad passing of Nick Webb, Acoustic Alchemy has undergone this change. I believe that the group has indeed changed their musical direction. Not necessarily for the better or worse, but different. I personally loved the old sound, and at first listen, I know that I will love the new sound too. Greg Carmichael has assembled an ensemble of excellent players and the music is fresh and rewarding to the listener. The sound is a little funkier and more diverse, again it is different and it is a good difference. Not necessarily better or worse. If you try it, you will be rewarded amply."
This is great!
K. A. Jackson | Denver, Colorado USA | 06/22/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This is a great recording! A lot of the songs have a newer, smooth-jazz edge to them that enhances Greg Carmichael's talents and doesn't diminish from their classic sound. The new members add a nice dimension to their music, which is nice. It's touching that they were able to continue to make great music after the death of one of their founding members. I think it's a tribute to Nick Webb that they were able to continue recording without trying to recreate his musical sound, something that will never be accomplished again. I would highly recommend this to anyone who would like a great instrumental cd!"
More Acoustic Magic ...
H. J. Sandford | Yorkshire, England | 03/24/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Released Spring 2000 this is AA's first album since the tragic passing of Nick Webb. Whilst we mourn the cruel loss of such incredible talent Greg carries on the brightly light torch of the wonder that is AA. This highly acclaimed British group have a distinct style all of their own and have carved a well place niche in the hearts of many smooth jazz lover. This album is a slight change in direction for AA but then that was always bound to be the case with a change of artistic influence. It is I hasten to add a change of which I approve, not that Nick, God rest his soul, did a bad job. The spirit for good music lives on and the group have one again proved their sense of adventure, for being bold and trying the new. The acoustic guitar playing is, as ever, superb with a great beat evident throughout the album. This album truly is a "must have" for all those acoustic lovers. I was trying to work out which were my favourite tracks but it was proving impossible to do. What I will say however is that I love the increasing pace and spanish/latino feel of The Last Flamenco (track 7) and I adored the background sound track of Kidstuff (track 8 - I just love that little impish child giggle) and if this is the kind of talent we can expect of the boys in the future then I cant wait to see what it brings."