"Simply stunning and somewhat Spanish! Jeff Barlow certainly knows his way around a guitar, and Adornos is the strikingly lovely result. The album's title is Spanish for 'adornments', which means things that adorn or beautify. In this case, the name is perfectly appropriate!" ... "You need not, however, be a die-hard flamenco fanatic to love Adornos. The flamenco aspect adds a unique twist to the gorgeous acoustic guitar, and anyone who enjoys great guitar music will get a kick out of this holiday offering." ... "Adornos will adorn your holiday season with great guitar. It's pluckin' perfection!"
--Carol Swanson - CHRISTMAS REVIEWS
"Jeff Pike Barlow's take on holiday music deserves a closer listen. Adornos is a CD-R compilation of Christmas guitar music played in a very unique style. Classic Christmas and seasonal songs are played using fingerstyle, classical, and flamenco techniques (cross-pollinating the three disciplines where appropriate)." ... "The songs sound fresh, and for that, we have to tip our hat to Mr. Barlow for an excellent idea, superbly executed."
--GUITAR NINE RECORDS - The Undiscovered
Two songs (O' Holy Night, and Pachelbel's Canon in D) from Adornos were selected for the 2004 Coldwater Creek Christmas compilation. Go to www.coldwatercreek.com and search "Christmas cd" for more info.
ABOUT THE SONGS
We Three Kings - Written by John Henry Hopkins in 1857 in the USA.
God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen - Traditional English carol*, originally sung by the waits of old England. It is believed to reflect the sentiments of the common folk who wanted to express their true feelings not expressed by the somber music of the church.
Silent Night - Music by Franz Gruber (1787-1863), words by Joseph Mohr (1792-1848). There is some disagreement over this, but recent evidence suggests Gruber may have written the music a couple of years after Mohr wrote the words. Mohr wrote the poem "Stille Nacht" in 1816. Friend and church organist Franz Gruber composed the music on Christmas Eve day in 1818, in time to be performed at Midnight mass.
Prelude - An original composition in the flamenco form of "Tarantas". This form evolved from coalminer's songs in the province of Almeria, Spain.
Pachelbel's Canon in D - By Johann Pachelbel (1653-1706). This baroque piece has been interpreted and re-interpreted by many. "Canon", or "Kanon" in music means a type of counterpoint style where different voices elaborate on the same melody in succession.
What Child is This? - The music is the traditional English piece "Greensleeves". The words are from "The Manger Throne" by William Chatterton Dix (1837-1898).
Ave Maria - Music by Franz Shubert (1797-1828). The words to "Ave Maria" are from the Gospel of St. Luke, and form a prayer to the Virgin Mary. This prayer was adopted for use in the Roman Catholic Rite in the 16th century.
Snowfall - An original composition played in the flamenco form of "Granainas", a free form rendition of the "Fandango" originating in Granada, Spain.
The Little Drummer Boy - The most recent of all these songs. Written by Katherine Davis, Henry Onorati, and Harry Simeone, 1958.
* In the 14th century, caroling was well established throughout Europe. Many of todays carols were written in the 16th century when the Reformation took place. With the Renaissance that preceded and the French Revolution that followed, the Reformation ended the medieval way of life in western Europe and began the era of modern history. But in 1647, the Puritan English Parliment officially abolished Christmas and all other festivals. It wasn't until 1822 that the collections of the old carols were published, and the caroling tradition was revitalized.
In 1985 during my college years in San Diego I saw Paco De Lucia in concert, 5th row center. What I saw him do with his guitar was awe-inspiring to say the least, and I'll never forget that performance. It took 10 years, but in 1995 in Guanajuato Mexico that inspiration finally took a hold of me when I met my first flamenco guitar teacher and took my first "lessons". They were very informal, as is often the case, but it was enough to get me motivated. In subsequent years, I studied with two different teachers in nearby San Miguel. I don't think I'll ever forget any of these early teachers either. All three were fantastic guitar players in their own way. I think what they all imparted to me was the love of pure flamenco.
I love the sound of raw flamenco guitar, but I am also very intrigued by the possibilities that exist in using flamenco to play other types of music. This cd is just that; a cross-pollination of traditional Christmas music played using flamenco rhythms and techniques, but also using alot of straight fingerstyle and some classical to bring out the melodies.