" Deft , Tasteful guitar Chops"
“Talent , Taste and astonishing technique"
...Acoustic Guitar Magazine
"Guitar Player" is renowned singer/songwriter Brooks
Williams instrumental solo acoustic guitar masterpiece! Williams tunes
are spirited and beautiful....with echoes of Fahey, Joseph Spence and
Pat Metheny. Songs include: Bakerloo, Gentle Rain, Working Dog, The
Bright Field, Jaguar, Happy Chappy, Some Other Time, The Drowsy Bee,
Triangular Situations, All That Is Gold", Jesu Joy of Man's Desiring,
Aguinaldo Jibara, Far Away, In christ there is no East of West, South
Hill and ...I Bid you Goodnight
Brooks Williams Guitar Player 2005 Solid Air Records SACD 2049
Being a singer/composer and guitarist Brooks Williams released more
than a dozen albums. Some of his albums include besides the guitar
a moving and touching voice which fully absorb one. He is an all-round
singer and his voice has many possibilities. His singing reminds one a
bit of James Taylor and his voice is warm and tender. Guitar Player is
a complete solo guitar album with originals of Brook and some covers.
His inspiration comes from players as Pat Metheny, Jobim, Phil Keaggy,
Ry Cooder but also Bach and John Renbourn among others. His style
is a mix between folk, ragtime , finger-style, country and also jazz. He
really draws from a wide palette of sounds and has a very nice groove
in his guitar playing. On this album you never get bored as Brooks has
the ability to play from a broad musical palette of styles. A wide variety
of different rhythms and composing skills are played as well with superb
techniques as well in an engaged moving sound with a beautiful signature.
Some of his pieces have that intimate sound that for instance Carlos
Jobim and Luiz Bonfa are well-known for .Brooks plays as well in
standard as altered tunings. He also uses many different guitars to get
the sound he wants to paint. The album contains 16 tracks and are all
written like poems. One feels sometimes a soothing and melancholic
sound as on Some Other Time. Triangular Situations expresses the
classical influences Vasco Martins is well-known for. Far Away by
Peter Jung also a master piece with a unique spiritual approach.
Most of Brooks own 8 compositions express a warm and passionate
groove. His outstanding talent and taste make of him a truly musical
Henk te Veldhuis
Bridge Guitar Reviews
GUITAR PLAYER NOV. 2005
"Roots Troubadour Brooks Williams"
"My career has always been about the grass-roots interconnection between
myself and the audience" says guitarist , singer, songwriter, and teacher
Brooks Williams. Over the course of 20 years, 14 albums, and thousands of
concerts, the self-described troubadour has been presenting his emotionally
austere songsin courageously intimate solo settings. His latest offering,
GUITAR PLAYER (Solid Air Records), is his first completely instrumental solo-guitar
record, and it demonstrates stylistically rich , harmonically sophisticated,
and breathtakingly beautiful fingerstyle artistry.
WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO MAKE A SOLO-GUITAR INSTRUMENTAL RECORD AT THIS POINT IN YOUR CAREER?
"When people ask me what style of music I play, I tell them I don't
know, because I'm motivated by the whole rich tradition of guitar music-jazz,
latin, blues, folk, rock, classical, and beyond. Guitar Player is my attempt
to capture the full range of styles I play, in as personal setting as possible."
HOW DID THESE DIVERSE STYLISTIC INFLUENCES IMPACT THE SONGS ON "GUITAR PLAYER"?
"Several tunes are inspired by Brazilian music, particularly the work
of the great Luiz Bonfa, from whom I learned how to play muted bass lines
against ringing chords to give the illusion of two guitarists. Another
stylistic reference is the American Primitive school of John Fahey and Leo
Kottke, characterized by ringing triads atop alternating bass thumps."
CAN YOU DETAIL OTHER ELEMENTS OF YOUR TECHNIQUE ONE HAND AT A TIME?
"I usually employ a hybrid technique, using a flatpick on the bass
notes. This way, my thumb and index together become my p my middle finger beomes the i , my ring finger becomes m , and my pinky becomes a. This
allows me to draw different tonal shades from the guitar. For example ,
I'll play rest strokes with my middle finger for a warmer sound on certain
"With the left hand, I like to hammer-on and pull-off chords on the
high strings. Add an alternating bass line on the low strings, and it gives
you this rolling effect."
DO YOU USE DIFFERENT GUITARS FOR DIFFERENT STYLES?
"I used a Yamaha classical and a Brad Nickerson Little Lion on a
songs, buy my main guitars are the small-bodied Flamming GC, and
EL, made by David Flamming. I find that the intricacies of my
lost on dreadnoughts because of their low-end woof , and the Flamming's
a tonal clarity and piano-like brilliance that has actually taught e to
differently. For example, the Bach Cello Suites inspired "The
in that single notes sustaining against one another imply the chordal
harmonies. The notes on the Flamming GC rang so clearly that I
didn't have to work
to fill the empty spaces, as if the guitar was telling me to speak
and let it do the work!"
YOU DO SEVERAL ARRANGEMENTS OF OTHERS PEOPLE'S MATERIAL ON "GUITAR
PLAYER". HOW DO YOU CHOOSE SONGS TO RE-INTERPRET FOR SOLO ACOUSTIC?
"I practice by playing Jazz standards, Beatles songs, folks tunes, whatever-
and if something seems to work, I'll present it to an audience for their
reaction. For example, the jazz-waltz version of "Jesu, Joy Of Man's Desiring"
was something fun I'd worked out for a student. On a lark , I did it as
an encore, and the audience went nuts! A good song has diplomatic immunity-it
traverses the globe, transcends time, survives different cultural interpretations
, and still moves people.
...Vincent DeMasi/ Guitar Player Magazine
Brooks Williams, "Guitar Player", Solid Air SACD-2049, 2005
fans of Brooks Williams have all known of his guitar chops as he weaves his
memorable melodies over solid playing. Like David Wilcox, Williams is a great
storyteller who adds depth and power to his tunes by layering intricate guitar
lines all through his work. Now, he's treated us all to a solo acoustic guitar
recording, "Guitar Player." It showcases why his music is remembered for
more than just a catchy phrase. Williams lays down some grooves on the opening
"Bakerloo" and "Working Dog," showing off some good thunbpicking a la Merle
Travis and Chet Atkins. He chooses to flatpick several songs, like the bouncy
"Happy Chappy," and he shows that whether it's fingers or pick, Williams
can find a melody. While giving us the J.S. Bach standard "Jesu Joy of Man's
Desiring," Williams gives it his own flavor, letting it roll more with an
alternating baseline and strummed sections countering He adds three nice
nylon string pieces - "Jaguar" slinks along in Latin rhythm, "Triangular
Situations," which is a great waltz, and a version of "In Christ There is
No East or West" which channels early Leo Kottke, but sounding a bit more
classical. My favorite piece is "All That is Gold," which seems to find that
bittersweet melody line over some dark chords voicings. To close out the
CD, Williams again adds his own spice to the traditional "I Bid You Goodnight"
with a funky turn of varied tempos. In all, it's a great guitar CD, full
of memorable melodies which have been Williams' hallmark. I hope he'll do
this solo guitar thing again sometime!
© Kirk Albrecht minor 7th
BROOK WILLIAMS / GUITAR PLAYER
There are capable Guitarist in a given style. Then there are players that
can adapt to various styles. But there are precious few that are highly
capable guitarists who can comfortably and believably span multiple
Brooks Williams is one of these. Effortlessly wandering through country
style, ragtime, classical and Spanish influenced pieces
Williams' original compositions are bright, instantly likeable and display
a proficiency of playing all too rare today. Listen closely, and there
you'll find traces of skiffle and flamenco too. A particular highlight of
the album is Williams' arrangement of Bach's 'Jesu, Joy Of Man's Desiring'
- in 6/8 time no less!
Guitar Player gives abundant evidence of a skilled craftsman at work, both
in terms of a composer and as a player; in fact he was recently
understandably hailed as one of "America's musical treasures". If either
beautiful soundscapes or flawless fingerpicking/chordal melodies are your bag,
add Guitar Player to your CD collection now.
BROOKS WILLIAMS : Guitar Player SACD 2049
Foresaking the tender folk-like songs of his past , Georgia-born and
western Massachusetts-based Brooks Williams turns his focus to his six-string
instrument with his first all instrumental effort, Guitar Player. While
he showcases his composing skills with eight original tunes, Williams proves
his flexibility with masterful renditions of pieces that range from Bach's
"Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring" and Bernstein's "Some Other Time" to Cape Verdean
songwriter Vacso Martin's "Triangular Situations" and the traditional Puerto
Rican folk tune, "Aguinaldo Jibara".
(CH) Dirty Linen Magazine
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