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

More Articles

Read A Dark and Stormy Day CD/LP/Track Review A Dark and Stormy Day
by Dave Wayne
Published: March 1, 2017
Read Pocono Git-Down CD/LP/Track Review Pocono Git-Down
by Edward Blanco
Published: March 1, 2017
Read Rímur CD/LP/Track Review Rímur
by Henning Bolte
Published: March 1, 2017
Read Schönbrunn CD/LP/Track Review Schönbrunn
by Tyran Grillo
Published: March 1, 2017
Read Northern Adventures CD/LP/Track Review Northern Adventures
by Jack Bowers
Published: February 28, 2017
Read Collider CD/LP/Track Review Collider
by John Sharpe
Published: February 28, 2017
Read "No Parking Any Time" CD/LP/Track Review No Parking Any Time
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: February 5, 2017
Read "Ida Y Vuelta" CD/LP/Track Review Ida Y Vuelta
by James Nadal
Published: December 30, 2016
Read "Still, Up In The Air" CD/LP/Track Review Still, Up In The Air
by Mark Sullivan
Published: March 7, 2016
Read "The High Road" CD/LP/Track Review The High Road
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 8, 2016
Read "Alto Manhattan" CD/LP/Track Review Alto Manhattan
by Roger Farbey
Published: November 15, 2016
Read "Free World Music" CD/LP/Track Review Free World Music
by Karl Ackermann
Published: July 31, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: Jazz Near You | GET IT  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!