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Music  >>  CDs  >>  International

Sandy Bull

Fantasias For Guitar & Banjo

Sandy Bull Fantasias For Guitar & Banjo
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Multi-instrumentalist Sandy Bull’s debut, Fantasias for Guitar and Banjo, was for all intents and purposes the beginning of the “world music” movement. And if that seems like a bold claim, keep in mind that while many classical composers had borrowed folk motifs throughout the centuries, the mélange of folk, jazz, blues, classical, gospel, and even rock ‘n’ roll that this record offered—back in 1963!—was simply unprecedented. It all comes together on the album’s first track, a 21 minute and 51 second stylistic odyssey appropriately entitled “Blend.” Backed by jazz drummer Billy Higgins, Bull improvises in a fashion akin to jazz, but his guitar style displays elements of folk, and the droning quality and raga-like climax echo aspects of Middle Eastern and Indian music. The rest of the album is no less peripatetic, offering interpretations of German composer Carl Orff, English Renaissance composer William Byrd, a Southern mountain tune, and a gospel song. Nowadays, of course, this kind of stylistic leapfrogging is commonplace; but Bull was so far ahead of his time in 1963 that the record predictably did not sell well, though it did attract an avid cult following and gained praise from the New York Times and Down Beat. Now, Real Gone Music takes great pleasure in bringing this groundbreaking recording back into print for the first time ever on CD, with notes by Richie Unterberger supplementing Nat Hentoff's original notes and remastering by Joe Tarantino. One of the great lost treasures of the ‘60s, ripe to be rediscovered.
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