Menchu Apostol

Papa's Bag

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In 1999, Philippine male guitarist Menchu Apostol released Papa's Bag. Menchu Apostol is a well-known guitarist and arranger in the Philippines, and has participated on many artists' albums. This is his own first album. Menchu Apostol is accompanied by a number of talented instrumentalists with whom he has worked on many projects, and these include Elmir Saison on piano, Tots Tolentino on saxophone (on the remake of the international 1950s hit "Tequila"), and drummer Roy Mercado. Menchu Apostol is an excellent guitarist and has an elegant, graceful touch. His nimble, single-note guitar work is reminiscent of the legendary Wes Montgomery, and one also hears the influence of Pat Metheny. Menchu Apostol often uses a single-note approach when playing the melody, and also plays two or three strings when performing the melody. He adds graceful rhythm guitar to the proceedings. Eight songs are instrumentals, while two others feature vocals. The songs with vocals also have plenty of guitar fireworks. Overall, the album has a contemporary jazz ambience. Menchu Apostol often plays the melodies in a highly recognizable manner, but also uses the songs' chord changes for exciting improvisation, as heard in the opening "Feelings" and others. He mostly plays acoustic guitar, but also plays soft electric guitar interspersed with sharp electric guitar punctuations. The album contains five foreign remakes and three Philippine-composed numbers. All songs have something to offer. The remake of Billy Preston's "Will It Go Round in Circles," called "Circles" here, features an acoustic rhythmic ambience similar to that purveyed by Tuck and Patti. This is a fine, enjoyable album.

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