February 21, 2005
Music Department guitarist has solo track
on Grammy-winning CD
By Scott Rappaport
Last year, UCSC Music Department lecturer William Coulter recorded
a solo guitar track for a CD titled Henry Mancini: Pink Guitar.
On February 13, the disc won a 2005 Grammy Award for Best
Pop Instrumental Album from the National Academy of Recording
Arts & Sciences.
Released on the Solid Air Records label, the CD features a
number of top acoustic fingerstyle guitarists performing a collection
of tunes by Henry Mancini--the great composer/conductor/arranger
who passed away in 1994. An icon of film and television music,
Mancini was nominated for 72 Grammys, 18 Academy Awards, and
won four Oscars for such tunes as the Pink Panther Theme,
Moon River, Days of Wine and Roses,
and Peter Gunn.
William Coulter will celebrate the release of his latest
CD with a March 19 concert at Kuumbwa Jazz Center.
of Gourd Music
Im excited, flattered, and honored to be on it,
said Coulter by phone from a Music Department studio where he
also works as the campus recording technician. "Whats
odd is that it was music that I dont normally play; I
mostly play classical and traditional folk music, so doing a
pop song was new for me. But I enjoyed the challenge.
I never thought it would win, Coulter added. It
was up against a tribute album to Luther Vandross.
Coulter was contacted for the project by Solid Air Records,
a label he had recorded for in the past. They sent him a list
of Mancini songs to choose from, but it turned out that his
first choice, Moon River, was already taken. The
labels producer suggested instead Baby Elephant
Walk, a tune from the 1962 Howard Hawks adventure/comedy
film Hatari starring John Wayne.
I had never actually heard the tune before, said
Coulter. So I got a couple of versions to listen to and
came up with an arrangement that fit. I enjoyed doing it; it
took maybe a week.
Coulter added that Solid Air also released a DVD and book containing
the music for all the tunes on the CD, plus a five-minute mini-lesson
from the artists about their particular song.
I recorded the whole thingboth the tune and the
lessonin my backyard studio, Coulter said. I also
wound up using different parts of the tune in my teaching.
Coulter began teaching on campus in 1995 after earning a masters
degree from UCSC in ethnomusicology with an emphasis on traditional
Irish music, language, and song. He will celebrate the release
of his latest CD, The Road Home, at a March 19 concert
to be held at the Kuumbwa Jazz Center. The event, presented
by his record label, Gourd Music, will feature Coulter on guitar
plus Barry Phillips (cello, tabla), Shelley Phillips (harp,
winds), Lars Johannesson (flute), Neal Hellman (dulcimer), and
Deby Benton Grosjean (fiddle).
Coulters new CD includes pieces from Ireland, Brittany,
Norway, Portugal, and the United States, as well as a number
of original compositions, and a solo arrangement of Neil Youngs
After the Gold Rush. The recording concludes with
the title cut, The Road Home, a track composed on
the Irish whistle by McHenry Library reference specialist Laura
McClanathan, and named by Coulters son, Evan.
The Road Home and tickets to the March 19 Kuumbwa show
are both available at Gourd Music: www.gourd.com
or by calling (831) 425-4939. The Grammy Award-winning CD, Henry
ManciniPink Guitar, can be found at www.acousticmusicresource.com.
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