How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.
There's something refreshingly honest and personal about Java St. Bagatelles. This solo guitar recording is the first release by James Beaudreau, who has appeared as a sideman with The Billy Nayer Show and Grand Mal. The CD was recorded in the kitchen of Beaudreau's former apartment on Java Street in Brooklyn, and the music has a warm, homey feel that's rarely found in early 21st Century music.
Most of the 24 tracks were improvised and throughout Beaudreau shows an impressive inventiveness, with beautifully shaped notes and interesting chordal choices. The tunes are wonderfully lyrical, but moments of dissonance and unexpected endings keep the listener on their toes. The brief, haiku-like titles"Walnut Star," "Plum," "Maple Moon"point to the music's delicious ephemeral quality. Although each song is unique, the gentle, lace-like melodies weave into a cohesive whole.
Beaudreau plays with a refined delicacy that creates its own unique world. There's no frills or pretense in this music, but that doesn't mean it's not rich. We live in such a noisy world and this gentle CD of solo guitar music is what's needed to refresh our spirits and senses.
Track Listing: Welcome; Pressed Grass; Meadow March; Hare; Plum; Nebula; The Unexpected Guest; Tea and Scone; Piano Roll; Tangerine; Blimp; Northward Vale; Maple Moon; Overhedge; Daffodil; Wheelhouse; August; Walnut Star; The Robot Prince; Spanish Moss; Under the Tree on the Hill; Twilight Time; Wafer Bridge; Fort Tryon.