Michael Thompson | The Sleepy Gypsy

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Andrés Segovia Chet Atkins Michael Hedges

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Michael@FarmJazz.com

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United States - North Carolina

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Classical: Chamber Music World: South American Moods: Featuring Guitar
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The Sleepy Gypsy

by Michael Thompson

Acoustic guitar tapestry of dreamy melodies woven with exotic rhythms, echoes the gypsy's footsteps. New Orleans, the Caribbean, South America.
Genre: Classical: Chamber Music
Release Date: 

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Tracks

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1. Drume Negrita - AfroCuban Lullabye
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4:10 album only
2. Ojos Brujos - Eye of the Wizard
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1:59 album only
3. When Your Heart's on Fire / Sweet Lorraine
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6:38 album only
4. Mysterious Habitats
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3:33 album only
5. Choro Para Olga
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2:32 album only
6. Gymnopedie I
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3:21 album only
7. Paracho Joe
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3:59 album only
8. Affair on 8th Avenue
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4:03 album only
9. Quajira Criolla
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3:25 album only
10. ZigZapateado
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3:21 album only
11. A Jacqueline Ansermet
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1:10 album only
12. Maple Leaf Rag
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4:38 album only
13. Reflections
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4:14 album only
14. Corrente
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2:33 album only
15. When Night Falls
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5:05 album only
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ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Michael Thompson's Musical Sojourn

Down South, at the 1974 Union Grove Music Festival, a young "fingerpicker" took first prize with a dazzling rendition of Scott Joplin's "Maple Leaf Rag," showcasing what many would simply define as Travis-style guitar. Already, Michael had become a musical Huck Finn of sorts, exploring ragtime, Delta and Piedmont Blues, mystical folk melodies, and the uptown swing of Duke Ellington. However, one would quickly detect in the repertoire of intricate arrangements and chops that highlighted his tenure as North Carolina's longest running "artist in residence" deeper influences.

Classically trained by Jesus Silva, a student of Andres Segovia; and as UNC-Chapel Hill's first guitar major, his affection for music of older worlds and times would lead him far from his native home. The Sleepy Gypsy showcases what is both a departure from the familiar and a return to his creative source: musical sketches from his land of dreamy dreams.

In another decade the gypsy would be walking the streets of New Orleans, waiting to board a three year stint on the Mississippi Queen Riverboat. This confluence of influence is magically evident in the choruses of "Sweet Lorraine" where the whole band goes to work on a single guitar. And even further south, after excursions into the islands and across the Gulf of Mexico, the eclectic journey continues with an Afro-Cuban lullaby and folk songs that bring us rich tonalities from other latitudes--refreshing attitudes. Hey Paracho Joe, what are you doing with that guitar in your hand ?


… And when night falls, who knows where the gypsy sleeps ?
But when he awakes…


Reviews


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william Zane

Ear Buzz Review
With caressed classical guitar in hand and subtle strings supporting the fine playing of the instrument, Michael Thompson's CD, "The Sleepy Gypsy", becomes one of the finest instrumental albums of any genre on earBuzz.com. The opening track, "Drume Negrita", is reflective of the slight reverbed beauty of a John Williams recording with deft emotional interpretation and flawless lyrical playing. The medium open-tempoed performance is relaxing and musical - and a perfect opening to a satisfying listener experience. Track 2, "Ojos Brujos", introduces more minor-scaled and reflective writing. Thompson's dynamic ability to separate top melody from chordal accompaniment is that of a dedicated guitarist - wonderful. The double stopped ascension at the end of the two minute piece is perfect. Track 3, "When You Hearts on Fire/Sweet Lorraine", is another sweet offering - this time combining pop chord melody with classical sensibility. Track 4, "Mysterious Habitats", utilizes percussive accents with a Hedges locomotive and soft arpeggiated movement. The always classic, "Gymnopedie I" by Satie reserves Thompson, initially, to chord painting as the melody is delivered by flute. Thompson further displays versatility with track 8's, "Affair on 8th Avenue" as slide steel string is employed on what sounds like Dobro. Track 12, "Maple Leaf Rag" continues in the vein of justifiable showing-off - Thompson Travis-picks his way to one of the finer examples of ragtime interpretation as we've heard on guitar. The final track, "When Night Falls", is a fitting end to a great collection of guitar music. Michael Thompson lulls us to smiles in this beautiful and gypsy-sleeping contagious melodic delivery. Brushed snare, key-clicking Rhodes single key lines, and frequency-filling bass end the album as nicely as it began. This is a complete work, by a masterful instrumentalist. He, thankfully, has the insight to record these musical pieces he has chosen to master with dedication the compositions and songs they are derived from, with plenty of technical prowess to satisfy even the most discerning instrumental critic - excellent record