Last album review of the year folks! And it’s a goodie – the debut album from British guitarist David Buckingham The View.
Whilst you may not have heard of David previously, I can promise you that he is no slouch. After studying in Seville, Spain with some of the finest exponents of flamenco guitar in the world, David returned to the UK to release The View. He was also selected by The Gipsy Kings to be the Guitarist in their show Zorro The Musical, touring the UK with the show before the West End opening at The Garrick Theatre performing 8 shows a week for 9 months! Epic! David then toured Europe with the show and recorded the U.K. Soundtrack in London and the U.S. soundtrack in Salt Lake City.
Following Zorro, David spent time as an in demand “sideman” for such artists as Leslie Garrett and Russell Watson in the UK and Juanito Makandé and Rafael Amargo in Spain before returning to Seville.
So it’s fair to say he knows his way around the guitar, and knows how to work hard!
And this is very much reflected in The View. The album is fantastic mix of jazz-inflected flamenco, jazzy pop, poppy jazz, and contemporary jazz and flamenco-influenced classical styles. There are both original compositions on there and great arrangements of some well-known pop tunes such as Wonderful Tonight and Streetlife (I love the smooth jazz into to this track and flamenco flavour added in). My favourite of the pop arrangements is You Are The Sunshine of My Life. The arrangement sits so well on the instrument, has a wonderful laid back, summer afternoon, jazzy feel to it, played with a lovely warm tone and supported by some light percussive sounds indicating David’s flamenco background.
I also really the second track on the album, Brisa Flamenca. David is clearly at home with this jazz-influenced tune, featuring some exciting flamenco rasgueado and rhythmic flamenco percussion in the middle and towards the end. A great piece expertly executed.
My favourite track on the album is undoubtedly the eponymous track, The View. This jazz-influenced flamenco piece (or flamenco-influenced jazz piece?!) really rocks along in a laid back manner if that doesn’t sound like an oxymoron. It has a fantastic Iberian pulse and drive, with some lovely chord progressions emphasised by subtle flamenco-inspired percussion and flamenco vocalisations.
I’d love to hear some more of David’s traditional flamenco stuff. From the taster experienced on this album I reckon it’d knock my socks off. I reckon it’d knock your socks off too.
If there is one criticism I have of the recording, and it’s really very minor in face of the wonderful arrangements and virtuosic flamenco-jazz-classical playing presented here, it’s that I’d like to hear some greater variation in tonal colour in David’s playing. That’s very much my own personal preference however and I’d encourage you to make your own mind up.
Have a sneak-peek listen here: http://www.worldguitarist.com/audio.php
And be sure to head over here: http://www.worldguitarist.com/cd.php to grab your own copy of The View in CD or mp3 download.