Rick Washbrook has been playing the guitar for thirty years. Over that time he has acquired and mastered his technique that brings a strong creative bend to his music that enchants in many ways.
Washbrook's style comes in the way he uses his right hand. His fingering is unique, aided by the use of the index finger joined lightly with the thumb to play a single note phrase. He does not use a pick, yet has trained his index finger to work as one. He also uses the lute technique where the index finger and thumb alternate. That should be enough on the technical side to offer one reason why Washbrook's music is so appealing. The other is his compositions, eight of which are included on this recording.
There is a healthy dose of Latin American music including the originals "Red Rose Samba and "Argentinean Tango. Washbrook showcases his commendable approach on the first, playing the single note lines of the melody while adding a smooth bass line. His chords are chunky, the stream of notes fertile, and hard accents give it a throbbing body. He captures the rhythm of the tango on the second through a gradual build-up. Washbrook defines the tune through different emphatics; the stop and go thrust, the melody dancing against the beat of the bass, the change in tempo, and surging chords that redirect the pace. It's a winning combination.
Washbrook embellishes the melody of "Manha de Carnaval lightly. He infuses a warmth and gentle passion into the tune, and as he improvises on the melody, ups the meter just a bit and adds some flamenco runs. His coherence and logic are impeccable. "Craving expands Washbrook's approach. His hands come into play in other ways as he slaps the rhythm on the guitar, before the lilt of the captivating melody captures the moment. The waltz is most becoming and with the staccato slaps and the whirling chords, this is another triumph for Washbrook, who warrants attention.
Track Listing: Gate 403; Red Rose Samba; Argentinean Tango; Manha de Carnaval; Cabana gypsy; Orange Sunset; Roncesvalles Tango; Gentle Rain; The Girl From Ipanema; Craving; Petite Waltz; Beth.
Personnel: Rick Washbrook: guitar.