Miloš Karadaglić

Blackbird: The Beatles Album

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Quite a few of The Beatles' songs are based on harmonically sophisticated guitar parts, so it's surprising how few treatments there are for classical guitar. Guitarist Miloš Karadaglić helps fill the lacuna with this collection, which has many straightforward treatments that work well. All the arrangements are by the Brazilian player Sergio Assad, although they are not specifically Brazilian in style. Karadaglić excels in the title track, and you could sample track 2, Come Together, for a novel but natural treatment in which Karadaglić reproduces the blues percussion rhythms on the song on the body of the guitar. Several tracks are rethought more extensively, such as All My Loving (track 14); these are also effective. Guest stars of the celebrity of Tori Amos may help to sell albums, but the steps necessary to incorporate them detract from the overall quality; the arrangement of She's Leaving Home doesn't make any sense, and that of Let It Be, featuring Gregory Porter, indulges in a sentimentality (true, it's there in the song itself) that Karadaglić mostly avoids. In The Fool on the Hill (track 3), there is a subtle, barely-there string accompaniment that works well, but Eleanor Rigby and Here Comes the Sun suffer by comparison with the originals. Of the guest-star turns, only the final one, with Anoushka Shankar contributing an Indian aspect to Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds (not, interestingly, to one of the more heavily Indian-influenced Beatles tunes), works really well: it keeps Karadaglić in the foreground in a real duet with Shankar. Generally Karadaglić is strongest when he plays solo or accompanied by just a double bass; these pieces have a lived-in quality that reflect the years of study and experimentation Karadaglić put into them. Recommended, and superbly recorded at (natch) Abbey Road Studios.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 02:32
2 02:23
3 03:09
4 02:36
5 03:32
6 03:16
7 02:31
8 03:02
9 03:03
10 04:15
11 02:34
12 02:48
13 03:02
14 02:20
15 03:48
blue highlight denotes track pick