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Jack Gates | Jack Gates: Voyage of the Troubadour

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Latin: Brazilian Jazz New Age: Ethnic Fusion Moods: Featuring Guitar
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Jack Gates: Voyage of the Troubadour

by Jack Gates

Top 10 March 2014 Zone Music reporter! Original music acoustic and electric, guitar, voice & one cover. inspired by the music of Brazil, Afro-Cuban, Jazz. 3 solo acoustic guitar pieces.,others with bass & drums.
Genre: Latin: Brazilian Jazz
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Denouement
6:21 $0.99
2. Moon Goddess (feat. Sharyl Gates)
5:30 $0.99
3. The Bright Flower (feat. Sharyl Gates)
3:57 $0.99
4. So Danco Samba (feat. Sharyl Gates)
3:12 album only
5. Hypnosis
4:24 $0.99
6. New Geography (feat. Sharyl Gates)
4:15 $0.99
7. Delay Time
5:05 $0.99
8. Animal Spirits (feat. Sharyl Gates)
4:48 $0.99
9. The Voyage
5:11 $0.99
10. The Troubadour (feat. Sharyl Gates)
6:37 $0.99
11. The Walking Stick (feat. Sharyl Gates)
5:17 $0.99
12. The Drum Song (feat. Sharyl Gates)
5:44 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes

In days gone by a musician leaves San Francisco Bay on a sailing ship that travels south around Cape Horn and along the coast of South America -- Argentina, Brazil and Venezuela -- and through the West Indies to Cuba. At every stop along the way he performs for local audiences and imparts his musical knowledge, but also picks up regional music ideas that become incorporated into his sound. This is the metaphorical concept behind guitarist Jack Gates’ latest solo album, Voyage of the Troubadour.

Gates has always loved a wide variety of different types of music, but has especially studied Latin sounds from Brazilian to Afro-Cuban over the past 20 years. On this CD (his fourth solo album), Gates takes his music through the realms of sparse acoustic new age-style guitar improvisation to the sounds of an upbeat rhythmic Latin-jazz band with stops in-between on tunes featuring just guitar and vocals (by his wife, singer Sharyl Gates), an electric-guitar-led ensemble, and various combinations of acoustic and electric guitars mixed with singing, bass and drums, often with Latin-music stylings.

“The traveling troubadour concept,” explains Gates, “was how music moved from place to place for hundreds of years. Generally the music was made with just a couple of stringed-instruments and maybe some percussion. On this album I wanted to capture that sort of sparseness with just a few instruments and occasional voice, and have the music subtly reflect different styles, motifs and rhythms that I have discovered and enjoyed playing during my career.”

Jack wrote all the music and Sharyl all the lyrics and vocalizations, except for the one cover tune, “So Danco Samba,” composed by legendary Brazilian musician Antonio Carlos Jobim (“Danco” is pronounced in Portuguese as “Don - so”). Sharyl, who appears on seven of the 12 tunes, mostly performs wordless vocals, but also occasionally sings in English and Portuguese. They are joined on six selections by drummer Phil Thompson (Carlos Santana, Pete Escovedo, Roger Glenn, Marcos Silva, Viva Brasil) and bassist Dean Muench (co-director of the Berkeley Jazz School, Liza Silva, The Rio Thing, Misturado).

(Exhaustively creative, the Voyage of the Troubadour album is a Jack Gates’ epic! It’s melodic and rhythmic sophistication covers almost every guitar music territory and beyond: jazz, bossa, samba, country, classical, avant-garde, choro, blues, rock, and even the tonal subtleties of the ragas of India.

The elegant movement of the strings combined with the warmth of Sharyl Gates voice, bridge the gap between entertainment and erudite music. The virtuosity extant in this album proves that the troubadour is not just the title of the album, but that Jack Gates is the modern troubadour himself, and when his imagination starts playing, it can’t stop.

There are millions of guitar players, but players with such a taste for melodic narration are rare. Listen…It’s time to take Gates's music seriously! )

Silvia Nakkach, musician, composer, vocal-culturist, educator.



to write a review

Helena Dee

Guitarist Jack Gates has studied Latin sounds from Brazilian to Afro-Cuban over the past 20 years, and he incorporates many of those elements into his playing in subtle ways on his new CD, VOYAGE OF THE TROUBADOUR.

Whether he is performing with a Latin-jazz band, with a female singer, or by himself on solo guitar, and whether he is on acoustic guitar or electric guitar, Jack Gates shows that he is a player with passion, verve, soulfulness and innovative ideas.

Gates wrote all the music (except for one tune by Jobim), and has a knack for working gentle Latin licks into each tune. The music has a party playfulness one moment and a spiritual persona the next. It also moves from jamming improvisation to carefully-constructed melodies offering the best of both elements from the jazz world. The first track is solo acoustic guitar with an ambience that takes it into the world of new age music, while the final tune is a rocking fiesta Latin jazz band number with post-siesta energy. This album has a bit of everything and it is all good stuff.

Raj Manoharan (www.rajmanreviews.blogspot.com)

The RajMan Review
Guitarist Jack Gates' latest album is a pleasant, engaging exploration of Latin jazz, with generous helpings of classical, fusion, and new age thrown in for good measure.

Gates plays acoustic and electric guitars, with some tracks featuring his wife Sharyl Gates on English and Portuguese vocals, Dean Muench on bass, and Phil Thompson on drums.

With the exception of the vibrant cover of Antonio Carlos Jobim's “So Danco Samba,” Gates composed the music and Sharyl wrote the lyrics, both of which are worthy of the Brazilian bossa nova greats.

This CD deserves the attention of fans of guitar and Latin jazz.