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Gordon Giltrap - Airwaves CD (album) cover

AIRWAVES

Gordon Giltrap

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SouthSideoftheSky
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Symphonic Team
3 stars Heroes

The Gordon Giltrap Band here consisted of Gordon Giltrap (of course) on acoustic and electric guitars, Rod Edwards on keyboards, Bimbo Acock on saxophone and flute, Chas Cronk (of Strawbs fame) on bass guitar, and Clive Bunker (of Jethro Tull fame) on drums. The music is entirely instrumental, which is the norm for Giltrap. But, as already hinted, it is not entirely acoustic as most of his subsequent albums. This album belongs to Giltrap's progressive period, which began with 1976's Visionary. But the present album is more Jazz-Rock/Fusion- oriented than Giltrap's most famous trio of albums - Visionary, Perilous Journey, and Fear Of The Dark. This jazzier direction was begun on the previous The Peacock Party.

The musicians involved are all very skilled and the album is of a high sonic quality. The keyboard sounds are varied and there is a good balance between electric and acoustic numbers. Flutes add colour to the overall sound as well, but the saxophone makes some passages a bit slick. The end result is an enjoyable listen, but it fails to leave any lasting impression on me. The compositions are decent, but not very memorable.

Still, Airwaves belong among Giltrap's more interesting recordings

Report this review (#940421)
Posted Sunday, April 7, 2013 | Review Permalink
kenethlevine
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Prog-Folk Team
3 stars Again surrounding himself with names from the social register of progressive rock, GORDON GILTRAP barely misses a beat in his successor to "The Peacock Party". Here, however, he loosens the reins paradoxically helping the band to tighten up, and "Airwaves" is therefore a more eclectic group effort, while still providing a forum for Giltrap's relatively unambitious concepts.

The pieces on "Airwaves" skirt the imaginary boundary between adult contemporary instrumental, light jazz, and crossover progressive rock, with English folk, while still high in the mix, taking a back seat a little more often. Nothing here is far above or below average, and as such it can be enjoyed to varying degrees from beginning to end, the credits outweighing the debits. I hear more of a CAMEL influence before, especially in the lively opener "Black Lightning", and the sultry "Lost Love", with Latimer like gentle lead guitar and Mel Collins-like sax by Bimbo Acock. Just to drive the point home, Giltrap presents a trilogy entitled "The Snow Goose" to close off the album. It's mostly a forum for his acoustic guitar and sensitive orchestration. The lovely piano oriented "Dreamteller" pulls a page from the Pete Bardens' playbook, but also recalls Camel's early 1990s period. The title cut is one of the more progressive with a lot of thick bass action and lead guitar and synth fills over a catchy beat.

This is not likely to come across over any local or internet airwaves with much regularity, but, provided you have a tolerance for the mellow, the pedigree, technical skill and synergy of the players all justify your attention for a spin or two over a much more intimate airspace.

Report this review (#948864)
Posted Wednesday, April 24, 2013 | Review Permalink

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