Royce Campbell,
Gypsy Soul
(Moon Cycle, 2006)

For those expecting an album of fast-paced gypsy-style music, you will be disappointed, but with well over a dozen albums and a reference list that reads like a who's who in the entertainment world, the title of Royce Campbell's newest album Gypsy Soul is very appropriate as a description for his musical career.

Campbell began playing guitar at age 9. After high school it wasn't long before his reputation as a quality musician was well known. His first professional gig was a two-year stint with soul legend Marvin Gaye. Then what started out as a three-performance fill-in for Henry Mancini turned into a 19-year engagement. Along the way, Campbell has played with such notable artists as Dave Brubeck, Sarah Vaughn, Mel Torme, Rosemary Clooney, Gerry Mulligan, Bob Hope, Liza Minelli, the Drifters, Luciano Pavoratti, Andy Williams, Perry Como, Julia Andrews and many many more.

On his newest album, Gypsy Soul, Campbell demonstrates the quality of his musicianship with a collection of 10 jazz tunes. The simplicity of instrumentation on the album -- only a bass and drum play with Campbell -- allows Campbell's expertise on the guitar to shine through.

Gypsy Soul allows the listener to either just sit back and relax -- to chill out -- or for the guitar enthusiast to follow along and listen in to Campbell's style of playing. Gypsy Soul is the type of CD that's good as a multi-purpose album -- from everything from background music at a dinner party to working to learning some new riffs or techniques.

by Sherrill Fulghum
19 May 2007

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