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James Beaudreau: Java Street Bagatelles

John Eyles By

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This album contains a series of 24 brief, home-produced solo guitar pieces, garnered from many more that were recorded over a two year period. The pieces are mostly improvised with a few compositions thrown in. Mainly, they run into each other, giving a unified, seamless flow to the music. As the album title suggests, there is a light playful mood throughout; it sounds as if Beaudreau is mainly playing to amuse and entertain himself—plus anyone else who may be listening.

Replete with rhythm, melody and harmony, the playing is conventional enough not to scare off those for whom "improvised guitar may sound alarm bells; but it also has enough pithy quirks to keep guitar and improv freaks coming back for more. By and large, it is the kind of music that you might put on as a soothing balm between bouts with other more complex musics—the musical equivalent of a sorbet between courses—light, subtle, cleansing, enjoyable.

Only when Beaudreau switches to electric guitar for "The Robot Prince does the sound acquire a greater cutting edge and the mood darken a little; but that merely acts as an interlude in the overall mood of laid-backness, heightening it by contrast. It is very appropriate that many of the track titles on this limited edition release suggest some sort of rural idyll.


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.

Personnel: James Beaudreau: electric and acoustic guitars.

Title: Java Street Bagatelles | Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: Workbench


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