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Acoustic Alchemy - Thirty Three and a Third

Posted by April Galenzoski on 2018/12/31

England’s first foray into the world of smooth jazz in the late 80’s was spearheaded by  none other than Acoustic Alchemy.  First formed by the late Nick Webb, Simon James along with guitarist Greg Carmichael in 1987, together the group developed a unique contemporary blend of steel and nylon guitar that is distinctive to this day. Guitarist Miles Gilderdale has been an important part of the band since Webb's passing in 2000.  

The harmonious compositions of their latest album, 33 and a 1/3rd,  pay tribute to their beginnings with this original vinyl format. Things kick off in high gear with the hypnotizing cut, 'East Of Babylon' - full of gusto, Arabic rhythms and effective electric guitar.  The brisk tempo of 'Carmen's Man' reflects the infuences of  Pat Metheny, Larry Carlton and Bob James - all with a wonderful clarity.  The band's signature catchy guitar hooks  and  the solo work of David Gilmour make the title track stand out- it's orchestral, yet with some real flair.  The exuberent 'Winter’s End' paints a vivid picture with two guitars.  

The composition, 'The Girl With A Plan', reflects the simplicity of Sting's songs.  Must be a British thing!  Artists like Al Stewart and Peter White all seem to write extraordinary melodies. The last three tracks, 'Allemande', 'Prelude In D Minor' and 'The Wind Of Change' (solo version) all just focus on guitar,  as Acoustic Alchemy always has.  Guitar for the soul!

Gary James
Host of ‘The Night Show”
94.7 FM HD2


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