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Gordon Giltrap - Live At Oxford CD (album) cover


Gordon Giltrap


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4.00 | 9 ratings

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Special Collaborator
Symphonic Team
4 stars Fast approaching

This excellent live album can be summed up in a single sentence: Some of Gordon Giltrap's best and most memorable tunes from his three best and most progressive albums, performed with more energy and with more of an edge compared to the studio versions with a great band backing him up. When this live concert was recorded in the late 70's, Giltrap was at the peak of his progressive period and had just released three good studio albums in Visionary, Perilous Journey, and Fear Of The Dark. So there was never a better time for him to record a live album and the result is a very good introduction to Gordon Giltrap.

Apart from Giltrap himself, the band consists of no less than two keyboard players in Rod Edwards and Eddie Spence, John Gustafson (who was also part of the Ian Gillan Band) on bass, and Ian Mosley (who also played with Steve Hackett and later became a member of Marillion) on drums. While most of the show is instrumental, there are a few numbers with Shirley Roden on vocals. The parts on which she sings lead remind me of the band Renaissance. The similarities with that band on these parts are particularly strong due to the combination of the music's being driven by acoustic guitar and piano, backed up by a rhythm section of electric bass and drums. Add to that a female vocalist in a somewhat similar style to Annie Haslam, singing songs with folky as well as Symphonic aspects.

But there are also many electronic keyboards used and Giltrap alternates here between acoustic and electric guitars to great effect. His acoustic guitar playing is the most impressive and he showcases very well his trademark acoustic style (that influenced among others Ritchie Blackmore's acoustic playing). Giltrap's speed and accuracy is incredible, and he plays even the most complex and fast parts with such ease and makes not the slightest mistake. But unlike some other technically skilled guitar players, he never lets technicality overshadow the often gorgeous melodies. His electric guitar playing is less distinctive, but is an essential ingredient in the overall sound. Also, though Giltrap is the star, he does not steal the show and allows the whole band to shine.

Live At Oxford is a fine addition to many a Prog fan's collection

SouthSideoftheSky | 4/5 |


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