A DIFFERENT TAKE

A Different Take

Gruca White Ensemble

Robert Gruca classical guitar
Linda White concert, alto, bass flutes

Release Date: November 13, 2020
Catalog #: BR8964
Format: Digital & Physical
21st Century
Chamber
Flute
Guitar

If variety is the spice of life, A DIFFERENT TAKE adds a bowlful of zest to the idea of standard repertoire. On their debut album, the Gruca White Ensemble’s creative programming and energetic performance lead listeners on a journey through intermingled genres and out-of-the-box renditions of well-known tunes.

Comprised of classical guitarist Robert Gruca and flutist Linda White, the Gruca White Ensemble draws from countless musical cultures, local composers, their own multifaceted experience as performers, and their unbridled creativity to create a unique blend of classical, world and rock music. A truly dynamic duo, Gruca’s colorful guitar tone and White’s command of a variety of flutes perfectly complement each other throughout every track.

Keeping well in step with the vision of Big Round Records, A DIFFERENT TAKE leaves virtually no stone of genre unturned. The Gruca White Ensemble deftly tackles miniatures inflected with David Byrne grooves and traditional Japanese, African and Balkan music, with their interpretations of hits by such pop luminaries as Bill Withers and Stevie Wonder peppered in for good measure. Whether listeners are fans of funk, jazz, classical, or good-old rock and roll, this album is sure to satisfy.

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Track Listing & Credits

# Title Composer Performer
01 From Honey to Ashes (Excerpts): IX. The Hotel Kempinski Stephen Goss Robert Gruca, classical guitar; Linda White, concert, alto, bass flutes 1:13
02 From Honey to Ashes (Excerpts): X. Tango Brawl Stephen Goss Robert Gruca, classical guitar; Linda White, concert, alto, bass flutes 1:02
03 From Honey to Ashes (Excerpts): XI. The Ajman Stephen Goss Robert Gruca, classical guitar; Linda White, concert, alto, bass flutes 1:58
04 Klezmer Suite: III. Dreams of Yesterday and Tomorrow Carl Dimow Robert Gruca, classical guitar; Linda White, concert, alto, bass flutes 7:59
05 Soledad Patrick Roux Robert Gruca, classical guitar; Linda White, concert, alto, bass flutes 6:08
06 Use Me Bill Withers Robert Gruca, classical guitar; Linda White, concert, alto, bass flutes 3:16
07 Balkan Songbook: No. 7, The Shepherd's Dream Alan Thomas Robert Gruca, classical guitar; Linda White, concert, alto, bass flutes 5:52
08 Chamber Music Ballaké Sissoko Robert Gruca, classical guitar; Linda White, concert, alto, bass flutes 4:50
09 Homage to the Harvest Moon Masamitsu Takahashi Robert Gruca, classical guitar; Linda White, concert, alto, bass flutes 8:31
10 I Wish Stevie Wonder Robert Gruca, classical guitar; Linda White, concert, alto, bass flutes 4:37
11 Lake Effect Marshall Griffith Robert Gruca, classical guitar; Linda White, concert, alto, bass flutes 5:01
12 Suite for Flute & Guitar: Bossa Blue Stephen Stanziano Robert Gruca, classical guitar; Linda White, concert, alto, bass flutes 3:24
13 Black Magic Woman Peter Green Robert Gruca, classical guitar; Linda White, concert, alto, bass flutes 3:58

Recorded February 7, 14, 21, and 28, 2020 at Audio Recording Studio in Cleveland OH

Track 13 recorded February 14, 2020
Murbo Music Publishing Inc., BMI

Recording Session Producer Robert Gruca, Linda White, Bruce Gigax
Recording Session Engineer Bruce Gigax

Cover photo, all other photos Femi Kareem
Recording studio shots Gail Perusek

Executive Producer Bob Lord

Executive A&R Sam Renshaw
A&R Director Brandon MacNeil
A&R Jacob Smith

VP, Audio Production Jeff LeRoy
Audio Director Lucas Paquette

VP, Design & Marketing Brett Picknell
Art Director Ryan Harrison
Design Edward A. Fleming
Publicity Patrick Niland, Sara Warner

Artist Information

Gruca White Ensemble

Gruca White Ensemble

Ensemble

Expanding the boundaries of the standard classical experience, the Gruca White Ensemble engages audiences with their creative programming and energetic performances. Featuring music from multiple cultures and genres, they seek out rarely-heard works from around the globe, foster their connections with local composers, and create unique renditions of rock, world, and Latin music.

Learn More

Notes

From Honey to Ashes (2007) is a set of eleven contrasting miniatures by composer and guitarist Stephen Goss. This recording features the last three pieces of the set, which are played without pause and give the impression of a whirlwind trip through far-away lands. The Hotel Kempinski uses part of a groove by David Byrne, founder of the American new wave band Talking Heads. Tango Brawl is a homage to Argentinian composer Astor Piazzolla, and The Ajman is infused with Arabic influences.

— Linda White

Dreams of Yesterday and Tomorrow (2013) is part of the Klezmer Suite by composer, flutist, and guitarist Carl Dimow. Featuring the rarely-heard bass flute, it is built around a rhythmic groove which is common to both Jewish and Middle Eastern musical traditions. This piece includes a substantial improvised section known as a taqsim. Dimow sees this piece, with its crossover between Jewish and Arabic music, as a kind of prayer for peace in the Middle East.

— Linda White

Soledad (1997) is written by composer and guitarist Patrick Roux. This piece expresses hopes, fears, losses, and dreams felt in moments of solitude. Like many of Roux’s works, this piece has the unmistakable influence of Argentinian composer Astor Piazzolla.

— Linda White

Use Me is from Bill Withers’s 1972 album titled Still Bill. It’s a funk tune known for its repeated bass figure and heavy percussion. Both Gruca and White contribute to the percussion effects to drive the groove.

— Linda White

The Shepherd’s Dream (2014), from the Balkan Songbook, is written by composer and guitarist Alan Thomas. The composer states “While perusing a folk song collection, I came across a little tune labeled ‘Croatian Lovesong.’ Though only eight bars long and extremely simple in its rhythmic and melodic construction, I became somewhat obsessed by the haunting beauty of the melody. I am often troubled by these ‘earworms,’ and as I sang the melody over and over in my mind, an image began to form of a shepherd on a hillside in the still evening air, playing variations on the melody as he drifted off to sleep.” The alto flute lends its voice to the dreamy nature of this piece.

— Linda White

Chamber Music is the title track of the 2009 CD by Ballaké Sissoko, from Mali, and Frenchman Vincent Segal. Improvisatory in nature, this album brought together the sound of the kora, a traditional West African plucked string instrument, and the cello. While the two instrumentalists come from very different musical traditions, they created a unique hybrid sound. Gruca White’s interpretation replaces the cello with bass flute, and uses a unique guitar tuning created by South African guitarist Derek Gripper to imitate the kora.

— Linda White

Homage to the Harvest Moon (1982) by Masamitsu Takahashi is written for two traditional Japanese instruments: shinobue, a small seven holed flute made out of bamboo, and koto, a large plucked instrument with 13 strings and moveable bridges. Gruca and White are playing their modern Western instruments, but imitating the unique characteristics of these traditional instruments. The title refers to a mid-autumn festival in Japan known as the Harvest Moon Festival, in which the moon is celebrated and admired at its brightest appearance of the year.

— Linda White

I Wish is a soul tune by musical icon Stevie Wonder. It was released as a single in 1976, then again on his award-winning album, Songs in the Key of Life. Stevie Wonder’s recording shows the full sound of Motown; the catchy electric bass, synthesizer, horns and vocals.

— Linda White

Lake Effect (2007) by pianist and composer Marshall Griffith was originally written as part of a larger work titled Jazz Impressions of Cleveland. The title Lake Effect refers to winter snow storms common in the Great Lakes region. Written in a lead-sheet format, the debut performance featured a jazz quartet with the composer at the piano and White as the flutist. In setting this piece for guitar and bass/alto flute, Gruca’s guitar serves as the melodic instrument portraying the swirling, descending snow.

— Linda White

Bossa Blue (2017) by composer and bassist Stephen Stanziano is part of a four-movement work, Suite for Flute and Guitar, which was written for the Gruca White Ensemble and debuted in 2017. The suite was created with the idea that any of the movements could stand on their own as miniatures. The sultry sound of the alto flute in the opening leads to the typical Bossa Nova pattern in the guitar, but with a twist: whoever heard of a bossa in 5/4 time?

— Linda White

Black Magic Woman by Peter Green of the band Fleetwood Mac, was released as a single in 1968. It was made even more popular by Carlos Santana’s recording released in 1970. Gruca White’s take uses bass flute which imitates the quality of male vocals and complements the blues rock characteristics of this popular tune.

Special thanks to The Music Settlement, Gabe Pollack, Ruth Ann Ritchie, Bruce Gigax, and all of the family, friends and fans that have been with us since the beginning!

— Linda White