Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - 68

COLUMN Fretprints
throw in crossover. There's an
unpretentious exotic tinge to
Eric's style that blends Caribbean-island sounds and world
music with American urban
blues, jazz, pop and soul -
sometimes in the same song,
as in "Sara Smile" and "Red
Ground." The case is further
made with the nouveau
calypso-cum-soul in "De
Rabbit," the reggae of Negril
(1975) and songs like "ClockA-Pa," the rock edge coloring
his guitar work in "Forecast,"
"Wait Until the City Sleeps"
and "Feelin' Alright," the
jazz-informed commercial
R&B of "Touch of Silk," the
European-flavored "When
Tokyo?" and jazzier Latininflected "Mako D'Amour,"
the soulful balladry of "Dindi
and "She Is My Lady," and
the gospel-rock of "Oh! Mary
Don't You Weep" and "97th
and Columbus." Over these
varied backdrops, Gale's
guitar voice, with its immediately recognizable tone,
bluesy phrasing, nuanced
attack, and unique melodic
conception, typically soared
and was an essential factor
in a tune's success.
Gale crafted his melodyconscious approach based
on alternate sources - characterizing his conception as
thinking like Ray Charles or
John Coltrane if they'd played
guitar. He favored pentatonic
and blues-based elements
expanded with harmonicallyaware jazz allusions, sophisticated applications, and modal
Funk, and by extension funky jazz, revels in
varied articulations emphasizing staccato attack,
melody, all abundantly evident
this vamp - a constant repeating pattern and/or
dynamics, string bends, slurs and purposeful puncon "Gibraltar" on Stanley
progression. In "Thumper," a standout track from
tuation. His virtuosic side is displayed in the 16thTurrentine's Salt Song. There
Multiplication and featured piece on the 100 Years
note triplet phrases throughout and the jazzy fourth
was subtle virtuosity in his
of Jazz Guitar box set, Gale takes a definitive solo
intervals and triad arpeggios in the rising sequence
improvisations, incidental to
(3:28) on a repeating G#m7-C#7 progression. Many
of measure 7. His phrasing variations of a single
the overriding R&B intent,
signature traits are in evidence; G# minor-pentaton- repeated note, an understated staple of his sound,
in tracks like "Thumper" on
ic melodies arranged in memorable phrases, a pow- using contrasting rhythms, attacks, and juggled
Multiplication, Stuff 's live
erful funk feeling in rhythms and placement, and
unisons on adjacent strings are heard in measure 9.
"Signed, Sealed, Delivered, I'm
Yours" and others. He freely
added flurries and double-timed runs to fills and syncopated rhythmic phrasing and dynamics infinite phrasing variations. His catchy, in-the
solos, and decorated taut blues licks, informed and articulation changes. He was fond of us- pocket single-note playing influenced countless
by the notes choices, string bends, and soulful ing trills as ornamentation and applying licks players in the '70s and beyond.
delivery of B.B. and Albert King, with funky, arranged as repeated figures embellished with
Gale had a developed chord vocabulary,

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68

October 2017


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open

Contents
Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - Cover
Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - IFC
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