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Gordon Giltrap - The Peacock Party CD (album) cover


Gordon Giltrap

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4 stars It's been a while since I've listened to this - man is it good. Gordon Giltrap has always been a favorite, but this is my personal "stranded on an island" album from him.

The melodies and performance and writing are a perfect blend of light and dark. The Giltrap sound prevails on each selection. BUT! the highlight to me is the additional musicians on the recording. It's a who's who of prog/folk legends, and especially John G Perry. Combined w/Ian Mosley on drums, it is a perfect fit for the playful, yet introspective compositions that Giltrap offers up.

It's good to see that Gordon Giltrap is still quite active, and touring w/Rick Wakeman some. Would love to see that!

If you love that trad English/folk/classical/progressive group effort, done with expertise and grace, this is a perfect addition to your collection.

Report this review (#289089)
Posted Sunday, July 4, 2010 | Review Permalink
5 stars GORDON GILTRAP is probably one of more unknown and underrated artists by the prog fans community. Since 1968 in activity, counting with 12 studio albuns and only 18 ratings in totality. In counterpart RICCARDO ZAPPA ( another solo guitarist from Italy) only for his first album "Celestion" count with 19 ratings ( one more which Gordon's whole discography). This is lamentable, due to Gordon's virtuosity and his great composer quality, besides that he is always surrounded by great musicians (your latest studio album "From Brush and Stone"" from 2009 is a partnership with RICK WAKEMAN) and in "Peacock Party" Giltrap counts with the collaboration of Ian Mosley (Marillion) on drums and has as mentioned in my vinyl cover Richard Harvey (Gryphon) on recorder and krunhorn (althoughr don't appears in line-up from P A) for mention only two famous musicians The album in question is between that I have heard one of my favorites Giltrap's works.

The music mix festive moments ( as the title suggests ), in the folk/country's style as for instance the tracks - 2 "Magpie Rag" , 4 'Turkey Trot - A Country Bluff" and track 8 "Jester Jig", where Giltrap can exhibit his "arpejos arsenal" and a incredible "fingered-style" similar to Steve Howe , with very melancholic moments as in the track 6 "Black Rose - The Raven" with a orchestral strings accompaniment , tubullar bells and acoustic/electric guitar combination and track 7 " Birds of a Feather" with a remarkable brass section. I wish to make mention which in spite your virtuosity, in Giltrap's albums he gives large space to the other musician's, like in the above mentioned track 2 "Magpie Rag" - Bass, percussion , wind instruments and keyboards also leads the musical theme not like secondary instruments and in track 5 "Tailor Bird" where the guitar divide the space with a fantastic chamber music arrangement . My adivise to that P A collaborators is "Take more attention to Gilgtrap's work, like "Perilous Journey", "Visionary", "Fear of the Dark" and "Airwaves"; they are phenomenal !!! My rate is 5 stars !!!

Report this review (#561463)
Posted Wednesday, November 2, 2011 | Review Permalink
5 stars The Peacock Party is one of my absolute favourite albums. It's so much fun listening to this bunch of unchained and exuberant folk musicians, led by master guitarist Gordon Giltrap, who keeps astonishing the whole world with his viruosity. And then there are these woodwind players Bimbo Acock, who is as good on any woordwind instrument and Gryphon mastermind Richard Harvey, who shows once more that a recorder can be one of the most exciting instruments if you play it well.

I can listen to Headwind-The Eagle ten times in a row, without getting bored. You just keep discovering new details every time you play the song.

The drumming on the album is also of first quality, but that shouldn't amaze you, if you consider that they are taken care of by none less than Ian Mosley. The keyboards are played by Rod Edwards and Eddie Spence, who can also be heard on that other underestimated English sypmphonic rock album by Strangedays, called "9 Parts To The Wind".

The diversity on this album is amazing, you can enjoy ragtime pieces on the guitar, both funny and beautiful melodic pieces on the flutes and full symphonic themes on the keyboards and the electric guitar, but we should keep in mind, that Gordon Giltrap is in the first place one of the worlds best acoustic guitar players.

I would like to invite everyone to this fantastic Peacock Party, because it's such a great place to be. The drawings in the booklet are also fun looking at, so you don't want to miss this one!


Report this review (#825536)
Posted Friday, September 21, 2012 | Review Permalink
Symphonic Team
2 stars Smiler

With this album, Gordon Giltrap shifted focus and presented us with something jazzier. The first few notes of the opener remind of Al Di Meola's distinctive style, and shows promise, but it soon becomes clear that The Peacock Party is a definitive step down from the previous trio of Visionary, Perilous Journey, and Fear Of The Dark, and that it is also a lesser album compared to the subsequent Airwaves. In short, this album is clearly the least good of Giltrap's progressive period of the late 70's and early 80's, and in all honesty, I couldn't call this Prog.

The Peacock Party reminds me of Rick Wakeman's awful Rhapsodies that was released in the same year. The album consists of a set of short (most are under three minutes) and cheerful instrumental tunes with jazzy, folky, bluesy, and Classical elements. The music is very well performed throughout, but has a naive, almost childish, feel. As such, I think it lacks substance and depth. Several songs would work very well to introduce some children's programme on TV! Also, some of the instruments, the brass instruments and some others, have a cheesy sound.

Only for fans this one

Report this review (#942555)
Posted Thursday, April 11, 2013 | Review Permalink
Prog-Folk Team
3 stars One becomes known by the company one keeps, and one GORDON GILTRAP might be considered on the periphery of prog rock if only because of his musical friends on this 1979 effort, Bimbo Acock, Ian Mosley,Morris Pert, Ric Sanders are just a few of the household names breaking bread here with the august ace of the axe.

I am not super familiar with Giltrap's exploding inventory but I am intrigued by his shot in the dark commercial success of the late 1970s, his eclectic resume, and his indisputable status as survivor, playing as he is now with a couple of generations of the WAKEMANs, and appearing on tour with the likes of BARCLAY JAMES HARVEST. I know that he issued at least a few albums with vocals, and that my general impression was not favourable. On this instrumental disk, some of the same weaknesses are exposed, mainly that he just is not a composer. Moreover, many of the tracks here sport an uncomfortable tackiness or lack of character. The keyboards and flutes on tracks like "Hocus Pocus" recall mediocre new age music,

Still, can this guy play guitar, especially the acoustic variety. At his best, I can only compare him to another even more obscure Brit, PAUL BRETT, whose album "Eclipse" is as good a reference point for the more imposing numbers here. Those would be the progressive uptempo opener "Headwind-The Eagle", the lively yet dignified romp "Tailor Bird", the more serious "Black Rose-The Raven", the aptly named "Dodo's Dream" which subtly reprises the Eagle theme during one of his more succinct lead guitar solos, and the bonus cut "Octavius". All of these exemplify sparkling English folk and all participants shine. A special shout out to Ric Sanders' work.

While the influence of prog is everywhere here, it's rarely predominant. Nonetheless, this is an album that's at its best when it combines the folk with the prog and steers clear of new wave banalities. 2.5 stars, rounded up because, well, when you have GORDON GILTRAP fanning out his fretted feathers, you at least have the makings of a party in your ear.

Report this review (#947216)
Posted Sunday, April 21, 2013 | Review Permalink

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