Guitar Soli

Robbie Basho

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Guitar Soli Review

by Richie Unterberger

Guitar Soli is a superb reissue of the cream of Robbie Basho's earliest work, mostly recorded in 1965 for his first two Takoma LPs, The Seal of the Blue Lotus and The Grail and the Lotus (one cut from a 1966 album, Basho Sings, Vol. 3, is also included). Whether you decide to use this as background mood music or thinking-person's acoustic folk, it's moving music, the constant shifts in tone and style remaining fresh and inventive. By the standards of 1965 folk, it was rather radical in form, both in its length (with cuts that usually lasted between five and ten minutes) and its breadth of styles (encompassing American, Indian, Far Eastern, and other musics). Basho's unorthodox vocal delivery, the aural equivalent of a leaf shaking on a tree, is most emphatically not for everyone, but that's not much of an issue here, as most of the pieces are instrumental. With 78 minutes of music and extensive liner notes, it's an excellent value.

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