Smooth jazz outfit ACOUSTIC ALCHEMY was formed in the early 1980s by Nick Webb and Simon James. With a small audience in the UK, the dueling guitar group pressed several records, but at considerable loss. In the mid 1980s, James left the band to form Kymaera, a Latin oriented band. Webb then discovered Greg Carmichael, a guitarist playing in a local pub band, who became James’ successor.
The new pairing worked as an in-flight band on Virgin Atlantic flights and sent their demo to MCA – who put out Alchemy’s first album, “Red Dust and Spanish Lace.” The project saw them joining forces with lik- minded musicians such as Mario Argandona. The album was a success and two more albums followed with MCA before the band signed with GRP. Six more albums followed including a cover of Dave Brubeck’s “Take Five,” a fan favorite.
“Positive Thinking” was to be Acoustic Alchemy’s last album with Nick Webb, who had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and had become progressively worse throughout the project. Webb’s death in 1998 was followed by critical acclaim of the album.
Carmichael brought in Miles Gilderdale as his playing partner and moved the band to EMI’s Higher Octave. Their first record on Higher Octave, “The Beautiful Game” brought dramatic changes – including keyboards by Anthony “Fred” White. AArt was released in 2001 and nominated for a Grammy. Several albums followed and a documentary entitled ”Best Kept Secret” was released in 2006. Their new album “Roseland” is set for release this summer.