FOX/GIMBEL: Killing me Softly : LIVGREN: Dust in The Wind: CETERA : If You Leave me Now: HENLEY/FREY/FELDER: Hotel California: KNOPFLER: Sultans of Swing: JOHN/TAUPIN: Song For Guy: LENNON: Imagine: HODGSON/DAVIES: Give a Little Bit: FAGEN/BEEKER: Do It Again: SIMON: Mrs Robinson: COLLINS: Another Day In Paradise: KING : You’ve Got a Friend: CLAPTON: Tears in Heaven: PORCARO/BETTIS : Human Nature: JAGGER/RICHARDS: Angie : O’SULLIVAN: Alone Again Naturally: HARRISON: Something: GIBB: Massachusetts: GONZALEZ/ VALACARCEL/AQUILINO: Celtic Dream: MEDLEY.
Pedro Javier Gonzales (and uncredited musicians providing the accompaniment)
Konga Music: CXCD195 (Double CD)
If this player’s name doesn’t mean anything to some of you, then it really should. Now a quick glance at the track listing will make you think that this is a compilation of the worst sort, for you might think, yes all very much background music, not well played, and boring as anything. Well, you’d be very wrong. Born in Barcelona, Gonzalez has, over the years played a huge variety of musical styles and played along artistes such as Victoria de los Angeles, Tommy Emmanuelle, BB King, John McLaughlin, and Pat Methany to name but a few. He has released 13 albums, two of which are here combined into one double album of his versions of some very well-known songs, very few of which you won’t know. With tracks by the Beatles, The Rolling Stones, James Taylor, Elton John, Eric Clapton, Simon and Garfunkel, The Bee Gees, Gilbert O’Sullivan and Phil Collins , you will certainly be in familiar territory.
The main factor about this pair of CDs is that the arrangements are brilliant, and certainly not schmaltzy and awful like so many albums of this type. The playing by Gonzalez is superb, and full of wonderful touches that keep you involved throughout, and the accompaniments too are really interesting and very well done. Stand –out tracks are hard to pick because there really are no boring, uninteresting tracks here, but Sultans of Swing is a real eye, and ear opener, because he manages to recreate the original guitar part effortlessly, and it does come across as a great piece of playing. I am not going to go through any more individual tracks, because they really are a superb listen, and anyone who likes wonderful guitar music and particularly hearing the guitar fronting some excellent arrangements, and then this CD pair is definitely one you should go searching for. The recordings are clear and very well done throughout too.