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Remembering Paco de Lucia

Posted by Rick Frystak, February 26, 2014 12:45pm | Post a Comment

Paco de Lucia

Today, the world lost a giant of music, as Maestro Paco de Lucia passed away, at 66 years young, from a heart attack at a resort in Mexico. “Paco lived as he wished and died playing with his children beside the sea,” said a statement from de Lucia’s family published on the websites of Spanish newspapers.

Paco took the Flamenco style and tradtition of the elders in the genre and blasted off into his own universe, to some early criticism, owning every note of his huge legacy and backing up all his moves with incredible chops and technique. I had many unforgettable chances to see Paco in person doing his thing, each a unique and unpredictable experience, except for the sheer technical mastery of his instrument always present. I also took away from these shows Paco’s palpable confidence, his air of “badass”-ness that deservedly asserted his own internal awareness of what he was doing in the moment. I lament his passing, and will miss him tremendously. Adios, Paco.

Fortunately we have much in the visual and audio realms  to see and hear Paco, and to mark the absolutely inimitable place that Paco held in the music landscape. The 2-CD set, En  Vivo Conciertos, won a Grammy and is a most enjoyable album, displaying Paco’s genius live, and represents the last tour he did almost exactly. Amoeba has some true gems of Paco’s here.

(photographer unknown)

Congratulations to the Winner of the Gibson Flying V Guitar

Posted by Amoebite, January 16, 2012 01:14pm | Post a Comment
Gibson Guitar Winner
Congratulations to Brandon, the lucky winner of our Gibson Guitar contest! Brandon won a limited edition Gibson Silverburst Flying V guitar with a case and a $50 Amoeba gift certificate.

Thanks to our friends at TrueTone Music and Gibson for the guitar!

And thanks to Brandon's family (Karen, Cisco, Sophia and Alex) for their patience listening to him wail out on his brand new axe.


gibson guitar winner     gibson guitar winner

gibson guitar winner with family

Happy Birthday Gábor Szabó!!

Posted by Whitmore, March 8, 2010 09:22pm | Post a Comment
Gabor Szabo 
According to legend -- and we always print the myth around here -- while growing up in Budapest, the Hungarian born jazz legend Gabor Szabo was inspired to pick up the guitar after seeing a Roy Rogers singing cowboy feature. He started playing at about fourteen and at the age of twenty, on the eve of the anti-Communist uprising, he and his family escaped the Iron Curtain for sun saturated California.
 
After attending Berklee College (1958-60), he joined Chico Hamilton’s celebrated quintet featuring Charles Lloyd. Gabor Szabo would develop into one of the most original guitarists to emerge in the 1960s, crafting a singular and distinctive sound. From about 1966 on he would lead his own bands (that year alone he released four albums including the stellar Spellbinder and Jazz Raga -- with one of the coolest looking album covers ever printed!). Unlike most every jazz guitarist of the day, Szabo almost always played an acoustic guitar, specifically a Martin Dreadnought guitar, usually the D-45 or the D-285. I suspect Szabo, for the most part, was never taken as seriously as he would have liked in the jazz world, what with his mixing of jazz, commercial rock and pop, folk, Hungarian and gypsy music, it just didn’t fit the program. But Gabor Szabo was always the iconoclast. You can still hear his influence on modern guitarists today.
 
Szabo’s career was relatively brief. He died just short of his 46th birthday back in Budapest in 1982 from liver and kidney disease while on a visit there. Today would have been his 74th birthday. Happy birthday Gabor Szabo!





Zak Wilson Discusses Guitar Pick Collecting And The New Amoeba Music Guitar Pick

Posted by Billyjam, March 4, 2010 07:15am | Post a Comment

The new, cool looking line of Amoeba Music guitar picks may be priced at just 50 cents per pick, but in the world of guitar pick collecting some avid collectors will pay many times that amount for a heavily desired pick. As reported by the Pick Collecting Quarterly about a month ago, one guitar pick collecting fanatic forked over $1063 in an eBay auction for a Kiss (circa 1974) black on white Ace Frehley / Pastore Music guitar pick. Yes, as any serious guitar player will tell you, guitar pick collecting can become AC/DCas much of an obsession as guitar playing itself.

Guitar picks, which are a type of plectrum designed for use on a guitar but often used to play other string instruments too, such as mandolin or banjo, come in all kinds of shapes, styles, and are made from numerous types of materials including plastic, rubber, felt, glass, tortoiseshell, and stone, and can range in price accordingly. Although picks have been around for centuries (early ones been made out of bone, shell, wood, metal, amber and other materials), it wasn't until the 1920's that they were mass produced. A relatively more recent phenomenon is the customized pick. Traditionally made by rock bands, with Rick Nelson of Cheap Trick been one of the first to famously toss out dozens of them during concerts, more recently entities such as Microsoft, MTV, Verizon, and Budweiser, have all emblazoned their names on guitar Metallica guitar pickpicks. Right now there are thousands upon thousands of customized guitar picks out there with legions of avid collectors following them.

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Villanova Junction

Posted by Whitmore, August 18, 2009 10:05pm | Post a Comment

One of my favorite reads in any blog is the unquantifiable absolute statement ... "this is the consummate, best bla bla bla since the invention of sliced bread and Pepto-Bismol..."; well, 40 years ago today, August 18th 1969, the absolutely greatest blues jam ever captured on celluloid, bar none, absolute fact and sure as shit Sherlock-- Jimi Hendrix at Woodstock and a tiny, minor keyed, mellow and oddly intimate piece, only about three minutes long, so profoundly perfect I don’t think such artistry has been witnessed in western civilization since the days of Johann Sebastian Bach.
 
Hendrix was the headliner at the Woodstock Music & Art Fair but didn’t hit the stage till after the scheduled festival, Monday morning at dawn. The delay was due to the bad weather and an infinite number of logistical problems. By the time he arrived on stage, the audience, which had peaked at over 500,000 people, had dwindled to somewhere between 60,000 to 160,000 people, still a hell of a crowd. Hendrix would play a two hour set, the longest of his career. The official, historic, climax of the set was obviously his rendition of the "The Star-Spangled Banner," probably --and here is one of those absolute statements again -- the greatest musical pyrotechnic blast of the entire crazed decade of the 1960’s, hell, make it the entire second half of the 20th century, life was just never the same after detonation. But as far as I’m concerned the gem of the whole set, and the last song before the encore, is the Hendrix's free form, breathtakingly beautiful, soulful modal blues, "Villanova Junction." And yes, at times the piece has brought me to tears, what can I say, I tear up easily ... watch and listen.

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