Although J.S. Bach's orchestral music has been transcribed for guitar ensemble before, notably selected Brandenburg Concertos by the De Falla Trio and the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet, this is the first recording of the four suites for orchestra that I have heard in a setting of this type; it is not a source of material that readily springs to mind for such treatment and certainly purists would decry such practices.
Christmas classics played by guitar virtuoso Joel Paterson! Season’s greetings to you all in Hi-Fi! I’ve been kicking around the idea of recording a Christmas guitar album for a while now. Every year I faced the same problem—I would get excited to play Christmas songs around the holidays, but couldn’t finish an album in time to release it before December. In 2016, I posted a series of guitar videos online counting down the days to Christmas. The response to them was overwhelming to me; it was great to know there was still a demand for classic Christmas music. So this summer I got motivated, locked myself in my music room to assemble some of my favorite seasonal songs, and started working on Hi-Fi Christmas Guitar.
Oscar Alemán is one of the great unknown talents in jazz history. A brilliant guitarist who sounded very close to Django Reinhardt at times, Alemán was overshadowed in Europe by Reinhardt in the 1930s and spent much of the rest of his career in his native Argentina, remaining well known only in that country. This 1998 double CD from Dave Grisman's Acoustic Disc label has highlights from Alemán's career, including the eight selections he recorded during his three European sessions of 1938-1939, plus music from 1941-1947 and 1951-1954. Although the settings varied (including a sextet with violinist Svend Asmussen, a nonet, and two unaccompanied guitar solos), Alemán's basic swing style stayed the same, retaining its enthusiasm and creativity and remaining unaffected by bop. Sticking throughout to acoustic guitar and taking an occasional good-time vocal, Alemán is heard in peak form. He deserves to be much better known. A definitive two-fer from a major talent.