Best of the Capitol Years

Best of the Capitol Years

by Leo Kottke
     
 

The first of two discs (released simultaneously and sporting nearly identical covers) recaps Leo Kottke's early years from 1970-1975 when he recorded for the Capitol label. As is indicated by the title, this features only Kottke's amazing fretwork, bypassing the vocals that much of his audience dealt with in a grin-and-bear-it fashion. There is no previously… See more details below

Overview

The first of two discs (released simultaneously and sporting nearly identical covers) recaps Leo Kottke's early years from 1970-1975 when he recorded for the Capitol label. As is indicated by the title, this features only Kottke's amazing fretwork, bypassing the vocals that much of his audience dealt with in a grin-and-bear-it fashion. There is no previously unreleased material (as there is on the companion disc Instrumentals: The Best of the Chrysalis Years), but many of these tracks are difficult to come by on CD, and having a compilation of Kottke's instrumental music -- much of it totally solo -- makes for a cohesive -- some might say definitive -- portrait of the guitarist's jaw-dropping skills. Incorporating strains of country, blues, folk, bluegrass, gospel, and even classical (his version of Bach's "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring" is astonishing), Kottke's style is immediately recognizable and totally distinctive. Sure, he's fast and technically proficient, but the emotion and soul communicated through his acoustic guitar is mind-blowing. Even on "June Bug" from Mudlark, his 1970 debut Capitol release, the guitarist's intricate finger-picking/hard-strumming sound is established. Although his approach would ultimately lead others to new age, there is nothing here that is atmospheric or merely background music. Beautiful, difficult, quirky, but never flashy for the sake of show, Kottke's singular style remains vital and influential to everyone who picks up an acoustic guitar. With all six of the albums recorded for Capitol more or less equally represented, this is as good a place as any to start a Kottke collection. Considering his 30-plus-year career though, there is lots more to explore.

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Product Details

Release Date:
02/11/2003
Label:
Blue Note Records
UPC:
0724354231223
catalogNumber:
42312
Rank:
50476

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