Acoustic Alchemy - Positive Thinking
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Acoustic Alchemy - Positive Thinking

Artist: Acoustic Alchemy
Title: Positive Thinking
Year Of Release: 1998
Label: GRP Records
Genre: Contemporary Jazz / New Age
Quality: FLAC (image + .cue, log, artwork) / MP3
Total Time: 52:21 min
Total Size: 305 MB / 127 MB
WebSite:

Tracklist:

01. Passionelle
02. Rainwatching W. I.
03. Cadaques
04. The Five Card Trick
05. Positive Thinking
06. The Better Shoes
07. Vapour Trails
08. Augustrasse 18
09. Time Gentlemen Please
10. Limited Excess

Personnel:

John Parsons (guitar, electric guitar);
Greg Carmichael (acoustic guitar, steel guitar);
Miles Gilderdale (electric guitar, programming);
Caroline Dale (cello);
Rainer Bruninghaus (keyboards);
Dennis Murphy (bass guitar);
John Sheppard (drums);
Mario Argandona (percussion).

Acoustic Alchemy's appealing mix of subtle world rhythms, improvisational steel and nylon string textures, and crisp pop and new agey melodies practically defined smooth jazz in the genre's early days. When co-founder Nick Webb -- who passed away in February 1998 from pancreatic cancer -- took his final turn for the worse just as recording was about to begin, longtime band accompanist John Parsons, a steel string master in his own right, stepped in. Fortunately, Parsons and Carmichael work up a striking chemistry of their own on Positive Thinking. Webb and Carmichael's final compositions feature recall some of their most beloved songs; the opener "Passionelle" begins with a sparse, gently percussive dual-strumming segment, building gradually in intensity before the rhythm section joins in for a soaring chorus, much like the title cut from 1990's Reference Point. Simple, caressing ballads like "Rainwatching W.I." and "Vapour Trails" recall two of AA's most memorable melodies, "Caravan of Dreams" and "Sarah Victoria." The colorful reggae and Latin rhythms and snappy repartee of "The Five Card Trick" recalls their first hit "Mr. Chow," but also incorporates a dash of wah-wah. "The Better Shoes'" slick production carries its '70s soul vibe to the extreme, emphasizing Carmichael and Parsons' punchy repartee. The album also features Webb and Carmichael's flamenco and classical guitar stylings; the elegiac title track (featuring a crying cello solo by Caroline Dale) and the fiery jungle percussion-driven jam "Limited Excess" incorporate both. "Limited Excess'" energetic spirit finds Carmichael expressing to his late partner that he will be sad for some time but will focus celebrating Webb's life forever. ~ Jonathan Widran
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