The Guitar Player was Graham's first full-length album, released a year after the EP 3/4 AD. The EP had introduced his talent as a folk guitarist, and with The Guitar Player he showed further what he could do. It cannot be comfortably be put under any one genre, being a fusion of folk, jazz and blues, but it is worth noting that The Guitar Player leans heavily towards jazz, and is surely the jazziest album in his discography. As of such, it showed that he wasn't limited to the conventions of folk music and was willing and able to jump across genre boundaries. The twelve songs were instrumental readings of popular jazz and pop numbers. Whilst on his EP he had performed alone, on The Guitar Player he was joined by drummer Bobby Graham, adding a new dimension to his sound. Most importantly of course, his finger-picking talents were clearly second to none, and this album proved that he was the best acoustic guitarist around, equally adept in a jazz setting as well as a folk one.
The 2003 CD re-issue featured eight bonus tracks, and it is these extra songs which really show the full scope of his talent at this early stage. Whilst the original LP was mostly jazz-based, the bonus tracks represent a more diverse pallette of sounds. In particular they show flavours of flamenco and classical music. They feature two live recordings, and a new version of his classic instrumental "Anji", with some acoustic bass backing. The eight bonus tracks come to thirty minutes in length, so I have compiled them as a seperate album. If The Guitar Player is a more consistent record when taken as a whole, the bonus tracks are where the genius of Davy Graham's guitar playing is truly revealed for the first time.
3/4 AD (1962) <|> Folk, Blues & Beyond (1964)
More from Davy Graham