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Gordon Giltrap - Ravens & Lullabies (Gordon Giltrap & Oliver Wakeman) CD (album) cover


Gordon Giltrap


Prog Related

3.68 | 19 ratings

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kev rowland
Special Collaborator
Crossover Prog Team
4 stars It has been quite a while since I have heard new music from either Gordon Giltrap or Oliver Wakeman, so I was very intrigued indeed when I saw that this album had been released. Gordon is arguably Britain's finest acoustic guitarist, and his album 'Elegy' is so beautiful that it should be in every music lover's collection. Oliver on the other hand is probably more well known for being his father's son than for his own music, which is not right at all. The two albums he recorded with Clive Nolan are wonderful, with 'Hound of the Baskervilles' being indispensible, and the last album of his that I heard, 'Mother's Ruin', is also worth investigation. So, given what I knew of the background of these guys I expected to have an album full of acoustic guitar and piano/keyboard interplay and while there is some of that, there certainly isn't as much as I expected.

Although there are times, especially on the second disc, when it is just Gordon and Oliver there are others where it is a full band. Karl Groom has produced the album, and it is his Threshold colleague Johanne James who provides drums, while Paul Manzi (Arena, Oliver Wakeman Band) and Benoit David (Mystery, and of course he was with Yes when Oliver was with them) provide vocals, while Steve Amadeo provides bass. I have only really thought of Gordon as playing acoustic guitar but he does also venture onto an electric while Oliver of course provides all manner of keyboards.

The album is fairly fractured in the sense that some numbers are beautiful instrumental duets while others are more band based and prog/AOR but instead of coming across as a jumble of ideas the result instead is one where each style stands up very much in it' own right but also provides a stronger emphasis on the others than it might otherwise have had. It is an album of delicacy and beauty, something that showcases the instrumental prowess of all involved without saying "look at me, aren't I clever?". Over the last few years I have listened a great deal to Wakeman senior's work, an d was lucky enough last year to catch him at a piano concert here in NZ, and his style has obviously rubbed off on his son as there are times when Oliver's pianowork is just like his dad's, but it all adds to the joy of what is a wonderful album.

The version I am listening to has an additional disc that contains some additional in concert and studio work and the in concert material which feature sonly Gordon and Oliver is actually what I expected the whole album to sound like before playing it, acoustic music that combines and interplays as two great musicians create something of beauty. Overall this is a wonderful album, and I can only hope that they decide to take this journey further and record together again. For more details visit

kev rowland | 4/5 |


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