Reviews

The reviews and comments below are drawn from a variety of sources, from music reviewers and online purchasers of the albums.

Outstanding album from a brilliant guitarist and composer

Wow !! I was so looking forward to adding this to my collection and it has surpassed my expectations!! From the intricate and sensitive guitar work to the lush, orchestral backdrops, this album is a surefire winner in every respect. I have every one of Greg’s albums, each one a masterpiece in its own right, but this album transcends the already high standard set by its predecessors. Do yourself a favour and let the warm and passionate sounds surround you and sweep you off your feet, taking you on an emotional and spine-tingling journey during which you will be awed by the majesty and grace that Greg captures in his smooth-jazz style. Brilliant from the first track to the last. An unequivocal 10 out of 10.

Caffè Gio, the terrific new album by Greg Walker, full of soothing soft jazz sounds. A haven of real music, between all the garbage (Voice, Idols etc) that sees the light nowadays. Greg’s inspirations are clear: Lee Ritenour, Larry Carlton, Acoustic Alchemy. Even some echoes of Pink Floyd’s ‘Great gig in the sky’. However, this album is Greg Walker with his inimitable style and sound and his best album to date, which is outstanding considering his fabulous earlier albums. A must buy.

“I play End Of Summer in my car because I can play it full blast and that’s how to listen to this music. My favourite tracks are September PM and And Still the Snow Must Fall. Great to drive to along open roads, whatever the weather or time of the year. Both songs have the power to mirror and accentuate my mood – melancholic or euphoric…strange but beautiful.”

“Just to let you know that I am a huge fan of your stunning music, and that I have every one of your fabulous albums. I live in South Africa and have friends in New Zealand, Switzerland, USA, Hawaii, Spain, Australia and Iceland, all of whom I have turned on to your music – and we all look forward to a new album soon, after the beautiful Mosaic!”

“Beneath the simple yet striking packaging lies a superbly crafted, eminently listenable and thoroughly consistent album, different in mood from its predecessor, Straight From The Source 1.

UK-based guitarist and composer Greg Walker has crafted ten supremely lyrical tunes that make this the consummate second album, painting a vivid musical palette with many inspired flourishes throughout.

His guitar lines whisk my mind instantly away to Pat Metheny’s breeziest, most light-filled playing – never more so than on the intriguingly-titled Two Sugars For Louis, with its lovely harmonica/synth motif. There are even echoes of Acoustic Alchemy in the pristine The Other Side Of Here. Pete May’s contributions on piano are exquisite and guest flugelhorn/trumpet by Dave Pugh is sublime – there’s no other word for it.

Several tunes epitomise this album’s uniqueness for me, however – real standouts. Perhaps the most striking is I Should Know By Now, graced by an exquisite flugelhorn solo, which radiates a gorgeous ‘northern English’ feel, redolent of lazy afternoons in the sun. Bathes you in a warm glow, this track!

Maybe it’s the glorious As Was Wes, with subtle snare drum patterns underpinning the gorgeous piano-rich melody. Or perhaps it’s the superbly ambient And The Rain Came Down, where the mood is languid and more than a tad melancholy – who cares? They’re all delicious!”

“Infused with the subtle scent of Latino and a spray of stylish atmospherics, SFTS1 kicks off with the instantly likeable Rio Geo before transporting the listener up to the heights of Then Again…, one of the catchiest and simultaneously haunting tunes you’ll hear this side of Havana.

Then there’s Somewhere In This World – an infectious, almost commercial, snapping-fingers-in-the-air groove, with a melody that will stay with you long after the track has finished. By contrast, there is a melancholic, wistful quality to pieces like Children of the Latin Quarter, Lee’s Summit and While You’re Far Away.

“Never far away, though, is the brazilian influence which infuses these pieces with a slow-burning passion. Cool? Yes, but it is more than that – beguiling, intelligent and perhaps more importantly, extremely listenable – you’ll want to play it again and again.”

“Where to begin to tell the story of these two albums… yep, it’s a love story. Beautiful playing, restrained and tasteful, gorgeous production, lovely tunes. I have a confession – I Should Know By Now made me cry! These albums are destined to become two of my favourites and my first instinct was right – absolutely brilliant!”

“Your music is absolutely gorgeous. You have a command of making music that takes the knees and buckles them out from under you. It is amazing the lush sound you create on SFTS1 and SFTS2, it is beautiful what you are writing. I can’t stop listening, I have the hard copies, I have it on my iPod, I have it in the kitchen cd player, you know, everywhere your music!”

“My favourites on the first cd are Then Again… (great bass!), Children of the Latin Quarter (hints of Acoustic Alchemy and Special EFX), Light Years Away (my absolute favourite – adventurous, chilling, dramatic guitar solo) and Lee’s Summit (beautiful fretless bass, ‘Metheny meets Yellowjackets!’).

Though there are no weakspots on the second cd (not on the first one either for that matter), there are several standouts. My favourites are As Was Wes (most beautiful melody line, modest yet very expressive), Baleriac (exciting, my tune for the coming summer), Degrees South (punchy), After All This Time (great arrangement, great horns), I Should Know By Now (great keyboards, ‘Chris Botti meets Larry Carlton!’) and And The Rain Came Down (very laid back).

These are no small jobs done. The production, especially of SFTS2 is breathtakingly multilayered. Pete May’s piano playing on both albums is outstanding, Dave Pugh’s trumpet and horn playing on the second is no less than amazing. To cut it short: I simply love these CDs.”

“Well, finally I’ve come to terms with Greg Walker’s two MAGNIFICENT CDs, SFTS1 & 2. His influences are clear. I hear a lot of Larry Carlton, some George Benson, Wes Montgomery, even Joe Pass, Chuck Loeb, the Yellowjackets and more. And of course there are more than a few ‘hints of Metheny’.

Luckily (for me at least) Greg’s crossover compositions, although greatly US influenced, sound particularly British, sometimes a bit like Acoustic Alchemy, very crisp and crystal clear. Those musicians mentioned are all great names and to acknowledge that Greg has flavoured his compositions with these influences is a great compliment.

Having said this, no mistake about it: he has definitely ‘made his own albums’, full of slow and romantic melodies, spiced with punchy compositions. Both albums are quite sunny, so let the summer begin!”

 

“I purchased this CD here on CDBaby, and I am very glad – Greg Walker’s CD moves beautifully, and reminds me why I love jazz, this is simply, beautiful music, produced very well, clear, crisp, and I just love it.

I hope other people take a chance, you can hear from the samples it is lovely. Thanks Greg, your comps are margaritas on the beach – with big sailboats with white sails gliding by!”

“I purchased Greg Walker’s Straight From the Source 1 and was really impressed. This was money well spent. Greg’s CD should be on the shelves in all of the music stores! This is a jazz CD with a nice latin feel to it.

Some of my favorite cuts are Lee’s Summit, Some Day, While You’re Far Away, and Denouement. However, all of tunes stand out because this is a great CD! It’s the perfect stocking stuffer for jazz fans.

I am definitely looking forward to Greg’s next release! People, this is good music!”

“I’ve played the CD several times now and I’m seriously impressed. This is so good to listen to. Greg’s music makes me feel as if I’m in a hammock on a tropical beach!

It’s very relaxing but… occasionally he hits you with something very deep, and then brings you back in the relaxed state again. Very cunning! My absolute favourite is While You’re Far Away, that touches something very deep inside. Thank you!”

“Liking the album very much – we’ve been playing it pretty much all the time over the past week or two and are really enjoying it – when’s number 2 coming out?!”

“I’ve listened to SFTS1 four or five times now – I particularly like the first cut, Rio Geo – you’re a fine player!”

“Hello Greg – after I came back from Argentina, I had a great surprise: your CD. It’s a great work – are you a famous artist and I didn’t know!? Your Cd has been in my player for the last three days, I love it!”

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