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Alex de Grassi 10/19/1999

Review

New age giant Narada Records has in recent years cultivated other genres like world beat/flamenco, Celtic, and good old-fashioned guitar fingerstyling. The concept here is can't miss. Grammy nominee De Grassi is one of the world's premier fingerstylists, and he's tackling solo -- putting a bluesy slant on -- the works of Ellington, Gershwin, Monk, Hoagy Carmichael, and others. If you are into improvisational solo guitar, this might just fascinate you. But 13 tracks of even some of the greatest tunes of all time -- including "Round Midnight," "Goodbye Pork Pie Hat," and "Georgia" -- can get a little repetitive and run together when there's no outside instrumentation. "The Man I Love," in particular, wanders a bit off the melody and gets too far into noodling territory. On the plus side, De Grassi does his best to try to keep things interesting by varying his tones; on "Georgia," he creates a slow seduction using a deep, low chordal tone throughout. Part of the problem is that his arrangements are often of the ballad variety, and this makes zippier tracks like "Goodbye Pork Pie Hat" stand out like a crazed dancer amidst an all night waltz. Ironic as it sounds, De Grassi is most interesting on -- don't laugh -- the "Woody Woodpecker Theme," which allows him to pluck and dance around that famous riff. But isn't it strange when a cartoon theme stands out among new arrangements of such great classics? ~ Jonathan Widran
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  1. # Track Artist Length
  2. 1 It Ain't Necessarily So Alex de Grassi 4:28
  3. 2 The Man I Love Alex de Grassi 4:43
  4. 3 Hey! Bo Diddley [Variations] Alex de Grassi 4:8
  5. 4 You Go to My Head Alex de Grassi 4:24
  6. 5 Little Rootie Tootie Alex de Grassi 1:52
  7. 6 You've Changed Alex de Grassi 3:59
  8. 7 Georgia on My Mind Alex de Grassi 3:27
  9. 8 Bess, You Is My Woman Now Alex de Grassi 4:44
  10. 9 Darn That Dream Alex de Grassi 3:28
  11. 10 Goodbye Pork Pie Hat Alex de Grassi 3:35
  12. 11 The Woody Woodpecker Song Alex de Grassi 2:24
  13. 12 Come Sunday Alex de Grassi 3:22
  14. 13 'Round Midnight Alex de Grassi 3:53

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