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Places Between - John Williams & John Etheridge Live in Dublin

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Album Review

It's easy to get lost in the swirl of string activity produced by this pair of virtuoso guitarists, but that's the idea: John Williams and John Etheridge dance around one another, dart in and out of the other's mesmerizing solo, then fuse seamlessly once again. Recorded, as the title says, live in Dublin, Williams and Etheridge are both sensitive and detail-oriented players sporting a strong sense of melody and dazzling technique, but neither is afraid to let loose with a scorching run that simultaneously teases the boundaries of classical guitar (Williams' domain) and approaches progressive rock or jazz fusion intensity (no doubt Etheridge's input). There's a decided world music influence here, with songs by African artists Mory Kanté and Francis Bebey in the repertoire, but a low-key but shining rendition of the Billie Holiday staple "God Bless the Child" and the three-part "Peace, Love and Guitars," written by another ace guitarist/composer, Benjamin Verdery, are also beyond stunning. Williams' natural classical leanings mesh naturally with Etheridge's electrifying steel-string, often adding up to a full-bodied sound that could pass for a full band.


Born: 24 April 1941 in Melbourne, Australia

Genre: Classical

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

The son of a guitarist, John Williams -- not to be confused with the film composer of the same name -- took his first guitar lessons at age seven from his own father. By the time he was 11, he'd been sent to study with Andres Segovia, and the following year, with the virtuoso's endorsement, he earned a scholarship to Siena's Accademia Musicale Chigiana. In 1956, Williams entered the Royal College of Music and took up piano and composition. In 1958, at age 17, he made his London concert debut at Wigmore...
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