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By Myself

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Customer Reviews

A unique guitarist/composer

Charley Rich’s new CD, “By Myself” is, as Frank Zappa used to refer to himself, by “a composer who plays the guitar.” Zappa was a distinctive guitarist, and so is Charley. At times you can hear echoes of Joe Pass, John Mclaughlin, Jerry Garcia and Ralph Towner, to name but a few of Charley’s sonic influences, and yet, you always know it’s Charley, from the first note. When a composer plays all the instruments as Charley does here, you get a real window into the mind and ear of the composer.
Charley is a poignant melodist, something you rarely hear in modern music. His guitar playing is intimate, and he often favors back phrasing, bent notes, slides, and a variety of interesting timbres and touches. His electronic arrangements are like an aural version of an impressionist painting, with a jazz beat blended in.
Some of the tracks included are:
‘Wondering”- a swing tune with polytonal riffs.
“Time Again” – Cool congas, tympani and bass behind Charley’s haunting lead lines.
“River Falls” – Feels like an early Paul Simon folk instrumental.
“Mythology” – Crazy horns slip sliding and swinging with Freddie Greene/Basie-like comping. A great contemporary bebop tune. Reminds us of Weather Report and late Miles Davis. And here, Charley on one guitar trades fours with Charley on another.
“Friend”- twin Allmann Brothers-like guitars over a Bossa Nova.
“If The Sun Don’t Shine, The Squirrels Don’t Dance.” – A pretty theme moving into some fun funk.
Disoholirag- A rag based groove with a melody that would make a great French movie theme.
One can imagine these electronic orchestrations played by a real orchestra, and that might be an interesting idea for Charley to pursue in the future.
This would be a good CD to have in your ears when you’re hiking in the back woods. Kind of like nature with a groove. Meditative, but with lots of movement.

Jonathan L. Segal

Sublime Guitar Tone

Ok, Basically there are two kinds of guitar instrumentals these days. The kind guitarists listen to and the kind the kind regular folks listen to. The guitarists type is usually riff based as opposed to compositional and a lot of noodling which for most folks is basically unlistenable. The regular folks type of guitar music is usually smooth Jazz or maybe a Spa type ambient, again riff based but more accessible.
Charlie's music is a little of both, but with a very strong compositional approach using carefully developed melodies and swirling harmonies that create a kind of surreal tonal palette from which he weaves in and out of.
For us guitar players he has command of a clean guitar sound that is in your face but still very warm. There is a purity in his tone that comes from a technique few electric players possess, that is the ability to set the string in motion without actually striking the string but gently pressing and releasing it. Concert level Classical Guitar players use this technique on Nylon string instruments.
One of Charlie's most accessible songs is the first tune titled Disholirag, it is kind of a 21st century acoustic country style rag with a few twist and turns, a little jazzy at times. A simple rememberable melody and a nice relaxed groove. If you purchase this one I guarantee you will want the whole album.

All Aboard

A deft touch and gentle fingering technique that coaxes a soft, understated but powerfully deliberate clarion tone that at times drips like syncopated honeyed wine; and seems a half beat behind the languid compositional melody to pleasurable effect. At the best of times the guitar is a conveyance device, and with Mr. Rich at the helm, the journey is adventurously exotic and satisfying

By Myself, Charley Rich
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Customer Ratings