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Guitar Soli

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Guitar Soli album cover
Seal of the Blue Lotus
Mountain Man's Farewell
Dravidian Sunday
The Grail and the Lotus
The Dharma Prince
Oriental Love Song
Sansara in Sweetness After Sandstorm
The Golden Shamrock
Street Dakini
Chung Mei-The Chinese Orchid
Album Information

Total Tracks: 11   Total Length: 78:42

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this inspired new age


...and it really bugs me that new age became so new-agey and shiny-objects oriented that it forgot it's roots at the door and came to pander to the aging middle class ex-hippie living in a $750,000 house eating Thai takeout. this is where it began, along with Basho's contemporaries John Fahey, Sandy Bull, and Leo Kottke. This guy is by far the rawest and most primitive of the Takoma stable. Introspective and personal to the extreme, Basho's style wears his heart, and nothing else, on it's sleeve. The man really projected himself clearly through his guitar playing, and what emerged was a beautiful tension....a tension that he was probably dying to shed from his body and mind. His style, rough and raw, is nevertheless very compelling.

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early acoustic global fusion


Tune your guitar to all kinds of tunings, and improvise music that incorporates tonalities and phrases from countries all across the globe. Recently discovering that Robbie Basho pioneered it several decades ago was encouraging. This is the kind of thing I have been doing for about ten years and I thought maybe I was just a lone nut. This would be a better album if the guitar sounded like it was in tune. Sometimes it sounds way off. But, I guess when you are accessing higher levels of creativity with rusty old strings in a tree house, perfection is not the key. The moment and the energy are.

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from a former student and colleague of Robbie's


This is a terrific introduction to the world of Robbie Basho. Largely ignored in his lifetime, he did not live to see the flowering of world music in the West that might have earned him a higher place in the history of steel-string guitar. He studied for several years with Ustad Ali Akbar Khan (one reason why I wanted to study with Basho). Since it encompasses early works, there are many cuts here that are sub-par in performance and/or production, possibly of interest to the enthusiast only. But "Golden Shamrock", "The Grail and the Lotus", "Chung Mei" and "Salangadou" (which showcases Robbie's incredible voice) should be standards in the folk/world-fusion repertoire. They rank among the best things he ever did, and open up for the rest of us the world of vision of the spirit world that Robbie lived in.

They Say All Music Guide

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. – Richie Unterberger

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