Guitara/La 1105


fye.000000400168925496 11/1/05 Used

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    Guitara/La 1105 Vanguard

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Review Text Men have long made a big deal out of their prowess as guitarists, choosing modest group names like the Great Guitars and picking low-key album titles like The Poll Winners and The Incredible Guitar of .... It's perhaps not surprising, then, that women guitarists have traditionally steered clear of all of this testosterone. But the state of things, as Vanguard's La Guitara: Gender Bending Strings reveals, ain't what it used to be. In folk, jazz, world, and blues guitar, women have proliferated and held their own in a growing, eclectic field. Badi Assad creates a rich mix on "Preludio e Toccatina" by combing classical and flamenco traditions; "Mimi Fox," on the other hand, follows in the jazz tradition of players like Joe Pass on "Lady Byrd." Patty Larkin (who also helped produce the project and better known as a singer/songwriter), unleashes a haunting, lovely piece titled "Bound Brook," while Wu Man's Eastern-flavored "Invocation" is quietly meditative. There are funky pieces -- Kaki King's "Kewpie Station" -- new age -- Vicki Genfan's "Joy" -- and blues -- Rory Block's "Guitar Ditty 1." Many of these compositions are performed acoustic solo without vocals, while a few receive fuller arrangements and one includes a form of vocalese. Although varied, the vitality of La Guitara gives it unity. The only real disharmony comes with the inclusion of much older pieces by Elizabeth Cotten and Memphis Minnie. While these pieces are great by themselves, and the women are undoubtedly predecessors to today's female guitarists, they appear jarring in this context. There's also the rather bizarre inclusion of Jennifer Batten's electric assault on "Wammy Damage," which -- on this album -- is the equivalent to inviting Eddie Van Halen to the Newport Folk Festival. These are small mars, however, on a beautifully conceived and executed collection. La Guitara represents the healthy state of female guitar players today, and guarantees an even healthier one in the future. ~ Ronnie D. Lankford, Jr.

Track Listing

CD: 1

  1. 1. Invocation - 2:24
  2. 2. Catedral: II Allegro Solemne - 3:16
  3. 3. Bound Brook - 4:03
  4. 4. Let's Go to Town - 3:10
  5. 5. Lady Byrd - 2:36
  6. 6. Kewpie Station - 2:14
  7. 7. Sidu (Grandmother) - 6:48
  8. 8. Prelúdio e Toccatina - 3:58
  9. 9. Bear - 3:29
  10. 10. Joy - 3:23
  11. 11. Rumores de la Caleta - 4:43
  12. 12. Guitar Ditty 1 - 1:18
  13. 13. Whammy Damage - 2:32
  14. 14. Wilson Rag - 2:37

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