The Gregory James Band -
acoustic guitar is a very popular instrument. It plays a dominating
role in modern instrumental music and contemporary jazz. Many acoustic
guitar players are influenced by the flamenco
music. The difference between a Flamenco guitar and a classical
guitar is explained by Derek Hasted as followed:
"Many of the larger builders offer
Classical and Flamenco Guitars. Flamenco Guitars often have a slightly
smaller body so that they can be sat higher on the lap. They tend to
have a teardrop scratch plate for the golpe and other percussive
strokes. They tend to have a more percussive tone, in which the energy
you put into the strings comes out louder, over a shorter period. This
allows better articulation of the rasgueado and rhythmic strokes,
together with a high degree of clarity when playing quickly."
"In contrast, the Classical guitar often has a larger soundbox -
many now call themselves Concert Guitars. The sustain is better and
the sound more mellow. But they can be a little woolly when playing
From time to time I have reported about albums
of musicians with a certain affininity to the Flamenco music like Antonio
Lopez and more. Gregory James is one of them. He
plays Flamenco Blanca and Negra guitars. But he also finds inspiration
in classical ethnic music of Northern India and in the music of
Afro-Cuba, as well as the spirituality of Persian poetry.
Gregory James music is unique. One can
find on his albums elements of contemporary jazz, flamenco sound,
urban grooves combined in a very individual style. Reincarnation,
his newest release from 2001, bears witness for his creativity and
means a fresh embodiment of a person. Especially in the believe of
Buddism sin must be gradually worn away in
a series of reincarnations upon earth. The title tune is mystic and
In contrast to this more aetherical piece
stands the following For The Ride,
on which Craig Easley is recitating from his poem "For
The same rhythm goes on Brain
Melter. A funky bass
plays a steady loop on which Gregory
James expands his guitar solo.
If Not Now, When? Gregory James reveals
a beautiful flamenco flower, Baron Shul adds an intimate sax.
Are You Ready?
is not a question, but anew the funky bass mixed with Gregory's
Flamenco guitar sound quickly fading away. To combine scratching with
drums and digital drums into a rhythm mélange is surprising.
On Between Two Worlds
Catie Murphy reads from Shakespeare, Sonnet 14 and from Behind
The Cage by Lulu Magdangal, Craig Easley reads from
his poem Schizophrenia.
After this unique spoken words project Gregory's
mellow dreamy acoustic guitar floods along in Blues
For Chas on a rhythm background, which is bursting in
hundreds sparkling tones.
a rhythmic frame buildt by drums and bass in which Gregory
grounds an extensive guitar solo.
the queen of ancient Egypt; wife of Ikhnaton(XVIII dynasty) and
aunt of Tutankhamen. She seems to have been divorced by Ikhnaton late
in his reign. The exquisite limestone bust of Nefertiti (Berlin Mus.)
has given rise to the tradition that she was one of the ... Gregory
perfectly catchs the charm and beauty of the ancient queen
in his guitar music. Jenny Scheinman's violin intensifies the
The Awakening is
a love poem by Rumi, read by Catie Murphy. This piece
has a strong Indian character.
is a further love poem by Rumi, recited by Catie Murphy. Gregory
plays the incidental music. Listening to this music words like
transcendental and esotherical comes into my mind.
Las Dos (Rondena)
, the final tune is a classical Flamenco piece. In the tradition of Ramon
Montoya Gregory showcases anew his mastership on the
If you are a lover of this instrument and curious enough to listen to
mysterious combinations of music challenging your brain, give this
album a try.