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Legato blues

David Johnstone plays assorted music for solo cello,
reviewed by

Zeta    JM 03 CD

Virtuoso pop-classic and jazz-classic music for solo cello, performed by David Johnstone. © 2003 Zeta Soluciones Audiovisuales S L

The British cellist David Johnstone, a product of the Royal Academy of Music in London, now lives in Spain where his music business thrives. His website ( provides an impressive list of his concert appearances, though without dates, and describes him as cellist and creative musician. Well, that may be so, but the most recent of his (so far) three CDs, a solo recital made with the intention of giving the cello a voice in the popular, non-electronic, repertoire, doesn't do him too many favours.

It is true that his performance of Ten American Cello Etudes by Aaron Minsky demonstrates some very lively technical studies, but like his own arrangements (Joan Baez and the Beatles) and his four compositions, there is little of musical interest beyond the technique.

There are twenty tracks lasting about an hour (though no timings are given), among which is a curious and dreary transcription of a Suite ('I'd rather be in Philadelphia') by Pete Rose, originally written for a solo recorder. The performances are not always flawless, and there is some disturbing background noise. Maybe the best of the tracks is Johnstone's own 'Legato Blues' [listen -- track 20, 3:04-4:02], but it wouldn't get me joining the rush to the music store.

Copyright © 6 November 2004 Patric Standford, Wakefield UK


Virtuoso Pop-Classic and Jazz-Classic Music

JM 03 CD DDD Stereo NEW RELEASE 60'09" 2003 Zeta Soluciones Audiovisuales SL

David Johnstone, cello

Aaron Minsky: Ten American Cello Etudes (Popular American Pieces); Trad/Joan Baez/David Johnstone: Swing Low, Sweet Chariot; The Beatles/Johnstone: Fantasia on 'Yesterday'; Marcos Andres: Ensueño; Pete Rose: Jazz Suite 'I'd rather be in Philadelphia'; David Johnstone: American Cello Dance; Fantasy on a Brazilian Theme; Pizzicato Blues; Legato Blues


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Record Box is Music & Vision's regular series of shorter CD reviews