VOICES Notes and news on Contemporary Jazz releases
18 NOV 11 JONATHAN WIDRAN
With the release of Roseland, Acoustic Alchemy's debut release on Heads Up in conjunction with the band's newly formed Onside Records, the brilliantly melodic and rhythmic British guitar duo of Greg Carmichael and Miles Gilderdale has been the core of the group for as long as Carmichael vibed with founding member, the late Nick Webb.
While Carmichael believes the dynamic and eclectic 13-track set represents an entirely new chapter for AA, it also marks nearly a quarter century since he and Webb helped define the early days of New Adult Contemporary Music, the genre which morphed into smooth jazz via classic albums like Red Dust & Spanish Lace and Natural Elements. Roseland celebrates the renewed spirit and distinct electric edges AA has embraced since Carmichael stepped into the co-lead role from his original spot as backing guitarist.
The brooding, contemplative "Templemeads" perfectly captures the way the duo integrates their dual acoustic core with fiery electric crackle. The track is Carmichael's ode to his daughter, who received her master's in chemistry from a school in the Templemeads area of Bristol, England.
Along the easy rolling journey to "Roseland," AA mixes up exotic grooves with bluesy Hammond B-3 (courtesy of Ricky Peterson) on "Marrekesh," gets sly and sassy on "One for Shorty," goes gently tropical with "Sand In Her Toes," eases into pedal steel country on "Stealing Hearts" and delves into trippy electric reggae on the uniquely titled "The Ebor Sound System." Roseland was recorded in Gilderdale's newly constructed home studio in York, England, a place where the band could explore these many territories without the pressure of a ticking clock.