Support All About Jazz

All About Jazz needs your help and we have a deal. Pay $20 and we'll hide those six pesky Google ads that appear on every page, plus this box and the slideout box on the right for a full year! You'll also fund website expansion.


I want to help
390

Royce Campbell: The Art of Chord Solo Guitar

John Patten By

Sign in to view read count
Royce Campbell: The Art of Chord Solo Guitar Royce Campbell's The Art of Chord Solo Guitar extends his considerable collection of solo guitar releases, this time working on a series of standard tunes.

Campbell's extensive résumé includes stints with everyone from Marvin Gaye and Eddie Harris to Henry Mancini, and it's clear he's used his professional time to gain the skills necessary to create interesting and fresh arrangements on these tunes. Harmonizing such pearls as "In a Sentimental Mood" or "The Girl from Ipanema" requires an extensive knowledge of chordal harmony—and, to keep the music interesting, an ability to hear the possibilities for improvisational lines around the melody.

All of which Campbell does very well. His "Girl from Ipanema" mostly forgoes the bossa beat to focus on the possibilities in the harmony, which he exploits with Joe Pass-inspired II-V figures. The result is an arrangement that feels familiar without riding clichés.

Campbell uses such devices from Pass, Barney Kessel-informed double stops, and other approaches popularized by the genre's masters to show why chord solo guitar is such a rich field in which to work. Few instruments, and fewer instrumentalists, are capable of providing melody, harmony and bass accompaniment simultaneously.

It's easy to fall into repetitious fills, however, but Campbell generally avoids such trappings, in a collection that doesn't fully exploit the bass possibilities, but focuses, instead, on melody lines and chordal harmonization.

His take on John Lennon and Paul McCartney's "Yesterday" should be transcribed by any student studying chord solos. Without adding too many fills or straying too far from the familiar melody, Campbell shows what is possible with six strings (an improvised version can be seen in the video below).

The quality of Campbell's guitar work is sterling, although the set list suffers a little from a lack of rhythmic variety. This is common on releases intended to be listened to as background music, but doing so here would miss out on Campbell's virtuosity. Another shortcoming is the inconsistent recording settings: tracks vary noticeably in noise reduction settings and volume.

Overall, Campbell should find many more fans with his Art of Chord Solo Guitar. It's a terrific representation of working standards and the state of the art.


Track Listing: In a Sentimental Mood; The Girl from Ipanema; Laura; Yesterday; Summertime; The Days of Wine and Roses; Moon River; Stella by Starlight; Tenderly; All the Things You Are.

Personnel: Royce Campbell: guitar.

Year Released: 2010 | Record Label: Moon Cycle | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Related Video

Shop

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
[no cover]
Vista
Timeless Records
2012
buy
[no cover]
The Beginning
Timeless Records
2012
buy
[no cover]
All Ballads And A...
Timeless Records
2011
buy
[no cover]
Make Me Rainbows
Timeless Records
2011
buy
The Art of Chord Solo Guitar
The Art of Chord Solo...
Moon Cycle
2010
buy
Solo Trane
Solo Trane
Moon Cycle
2010
buy
Bill Evans Bill Evans
piano
Dave Brubeck Dave Brubeck
piano
George Kahn George Kahn
piano
Joe Pass Joe Pass
guitar
George Benson George Benson
guitar
Lee Konitz Lee Konitz
sax, alto
Charlie Haden Charlie Haden
bass, acoustic
Ron Carter Ron Carter
bass
Enrico Rava Enrico Rava
trumpet
Larry Coryell Larry Coryell
guitar

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus
Support our sponsor

Sponsor: Motéma Music | BUY IT  

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.