Re-inventions (Best of the Vanguard Years)
This is a collection of eight tracks culled from four albums, (1963-72) composed by one of the finest guitar players of yesteryear, Sandy Bull. If you have not heard his music before, his style ranges from classical, eclectic, fusion, to world music, played on instruments like acoustic and electric guitars, bass, banjo, and oud (a stringed Middle Eastern instrument). Besides the style, he covers varied material too: There is Chuck Berry’s “Memphis, Tennessee,” “Manha De Carnival” by Luiz Bonfa (a considered master of Brazilian music in the 50’s), German classical composer Carl Orff’s “Carmina Burana Fantasy,” and French music from the 14th century “Triple Ballade.”
Perhaps to set the stage he opens this collection with the twenty-two minute guitar piece improvisation “Blend,” which is not psychedelic or majorly technical, but dynamic and spirited. “Little Maggie” is played on banjo in bluegrass style, and to contrast, “Gospel Tune” is played in vibrato style on electric guitar. I like this album for its eclecticism and flavor, besides its compelling guitar (and other stringed instrumental) parts. If you like instrumentals and classics, check this out; you won’t be disappointed!