Featuring Tori Amos, Gregory Porter & More!!
After delighting audiences with the classical heritage of the guitar on his three previous albums, acclaimed guitarist Milos Karadaglic returns with a pleasantly surprising departure; Blackbird The Beatles Album. Performing delicate new arrangements of iconic songs by The Beatles, the charismatic, sensitive player (The New York Times) collaborates with celebrated artists from the varied worlds of pop, jazz and classical, including Tori Amos, Gregory Porter, Anoushka Shankar, Sergio Assad and Steven Isserlis.
Milos explains, Recording this album opened a door into a very different reality. It felt as if I was exploring an alter ego I never knew I had. Highlights include Blackbird, Come Together, While My Guitar Gently Weeps, Eleanor Rigby, Fool on the Hill, and Let it Be among others.
Blackbird The Beatles Album was recorded in the famous Studio 2 of Abbey Road Studios, where the Beatles themselves recorded most of their legendary songs. Further harkening back to the original sessions, this new recording also used some of the original microphones from The Beatles recordings. "The spirit, the whole magic of this space was truly intoxicating. It was a bit like they were all there," says Milos.
As a young boy growing up in Montenegro, Milos did not pay the Beatles close attention, preferring instead to concentrate on core classical repertoire. Later, he was somewhat surprised when his teacher at Londons Royal Academy suggested that he learn "Yesterday," in an arrangement by the Japanese composer Toru Takemitsu. "But then I studied the piece, and fell in love with it completely," he says.
After graduation, while working as a guitar teacher himself, Milos read in a newspaper that Sir Paul McCartney was working on a guitar concerto. "All excited, I told a friend about it and she showed me where Sir Paul lived. I pressed the buzzer outside the great wooden gates I left him my demo CD (including the interpretation of Yesterday) and a detailed letter explaining why I should be the one to play his concerto. Of course, I never heard back," he laughs. "But ever since that moment, Ive paid much closer attention to the music of Sir Paul and the Beatles."
Over the next several years, Milos explored the entire Beatles catalogue, gathering the songs that would work best for the classical guitar. He explains, "The guitar has always been the instrument which most comfortably transcends genres and straddles the worlds of classical and mainstream. The challenge with these amazing songs is to respect their own truth, while giving them a new life through a different medium. The key is simplicity."
Blackbird The Beatles Album also brought together a talented array of behind-the-scenes collaborators. Brazilian guitarist-composer Sergio Assad handled guitar arrangements on all tracks, with the exception of Yesterday which is the Takemitsu version Milos first played at university. Tony Award-winning orchestrator and composer Christopher Austin, a friend of Milos from his student days at the Royal Academy, contributed string arrangements on three tracks, and jazz bassist Chris Hill (who has worked with Jamie Cullum, Annie Lennox and others) provided improvised bass parts to several songs.
Milos is delighted at the collaborative nature of the project. "The partnership between George Harrison and Ravi Shankar was one of the most important cross culture collaborations in music. Inviting his daughter Anoushka Shankar, who is one of my absolutely favorite musicians, to join me on Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds was a no-brainer." The project also marks the first time Milos has worked with pop vocalists. "Recording Shes Leaving Home with Tori Amos was a deeply emotional experience, and it was amazing having Gregory Porter on Let It Be too. I could not have asked for more. Musically, this project has been the most fun Ive ever had."
180g Vinyl LP
Includes digital download card
2. Come Together
3. The Fool On the Hill
4. And I Love Her
5. While My Guitar Gently Weeps
6. Let It Be (feat. Gregory Porter)
7. Eleanor Rigby
10. She's Leaving Home (feat. Tori Amos)
11. Michelle (feat. Steven Isserlis)
12. Here, There & Everywhere
13. Here Comes the Sun
14. All My Loving
15. Lucy In the Sky With Diamonds