Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

141

Acoustic Alchemy: Positive Thinking

Robert Spencer By

Sign in to view read count
Nick Webb is dead; the Acoustic Alchemy guitarist succumbed to pancreatic cancer not long ago. In the months before he died, his longtime partner Greg Carmichael worked up these tunes with him. He wasn't able to play on the album (he is credited with "composition, arrangements and inspiration"), so John Parson was recruited to take Webb’s place as Carmichael's guitar other half and foil. Miles Gilderdale plays electric guitar and takes care of the programming; Dennis Murphy is on bass guitar, John Shephard on drums, and Rainer Bruninghaus, Mario Argandona and Caroline Dale chip in with keyboards, percussion, and cello and string arrangements, respectively.

Perhaps because of the circumstances, there seems to be a bit of a melancholy edge on this one, cf. principally "Rainwatching W.I." Even the peppier numbers, like "Passionelle," "Cadaqués," and even the title track, sound a little gloomy. But the playing is as flawless as Acoustic Alchemy fans will expect: Carmichael and Parsons don't miss a beat in taking up where Carmichael left off with Webb; it's hard to tell where one begins and the other ends.

Kudos for the tasty ostinatos on "Passionelle" and "The Five Card Trick." The title track puts on a brave face and teases with an anthemic mood; certainly it sounds like a venerable tune, heavy with honors. We don't arrive in funkville until "The Better Shoes," which has the advantage of the sound of all these acoustic guitars skittering out over the heavy machine beat: a bit of refreshment over the tired arrangement. "Vapour Trails" sounds a little like "Wind Beneath My Wings," and "Augusträsse" is Kraftwerk Unplugged.

"Time Gentlemen Please" may be the most melancholy segment of a melancholy set; by the time "Limited Excess" begins, the birds are chirping. We seem to have arrived at dawn at a flamenco of sorts. As a tribute, this is a touching disc. As an Acoustic Alchemy offering, it is competently executed and tasty as ever. Nick Webb, RIP.

Title: Positive Thinking | Year Released: 1998 | Record Label: Mood Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Shop for Music

Start your music shopping from All About Jazz and you'll support us in the process. Learn how.

Album Reviews
Read more articles
Roseland

Roseland

Heads Up International
2011

buy
 

This Way

Mood Records
2007

buy
 

American / English

Mood Records
2005

buy
 

Radio Contact

Mood Records
2003

buy
 

Aart

Mood Records
2001

buy
 

The Beautiful Game

Mood Records
2000

buy

Upcoming Shows

Date Detail Price
Jun26Wed
Acoustic Alchemy
Rams Head On Stage
Annapolis, MD
$45
Jun29Sat
Acoustic Alchemy
CGI Rochester International Jazz Festival
Rochester, NY
$30
Jun29Sat
Acoustic Alchemy
CGI Rochester International Jazz Festival
Rochester, NY
$30
Jul2Tue
Acoustic Alchemy
Jazz Alley
Seattle, WA
Jul3Wed
Acoustic Alchemy
Jazz Alley
Seattle, WA
Jul5Fri
Acoustic Alchemy
Jazz Alley
Seattle, WA
Jul6Sat
Acoustic Alchemy
Jazz Alley
Seattle, WA

Related Articles

Read Caldera / Sky Islands Album Reviews
Caldera / Sky Islands
By Jakob Baekgaard
May 25, 2019
Read Baby, Please Come Home Album Reviews
Baby, Please Come Home
By Doug Collette
May 25, 2019
Read Reckless Heart Album Reviews
Reckless Heart
By Doug Collette
May 25, 2019
Read Fire Brigade Album Reviews
Fire Brigade
By Phillip Woolever
May 25, 2019
Read Day to Day Album Reviews
Day to Day
By Paul Naser
May 24, 2019
Read Theia Album Reviews
Theia
By Jim Worsley
May 24, 2019