Greg Walker,
Straight from the Source 1
(self-produced, 2004)

Straight from the Source 1 is an upbeat, Latin-infused collection of original instrumentals from England's Greg Walker. He calls it "ambient, Brazilian-flavoured jazz" -- either way, his music could flow straight from the source of any Brazilian river you cared to name. Walker plays an enticing range of Godin, Taylor and Burns Brian May guitars, and is joined by Pete May, an expressive and eloquent pianist.

Two of the songs on this album reached the final stage of the prestigious UK Songwriting Contest a couple of years back, and it's easy to see why -- "Then Again" and "Children of the Latin Quarter" are stylish pieces of considerable compositional depth, and typical of the quality of all the music on this album.

Walker produces beautifully light-filled, airy music that would invoke nostalgia in many a Pat Metheny fan, whisking you back to Metheny's Brazilian era with devastating panache! "Light Years Away," "Somewhere in This World" and "Denouement" reveal Walker's more soulful, ambitious side -- his electric guitar is excellent, and resonates with bluesy expressiveness. "Then Again" makes very effective use of voice, as does the excellent "Some Day." On "Lee's Summit" you see exactly why Walker draws so heavily upon the soloing abilities of Pete May.

However, it's Walker who ultimately holds sway -- his thoughtful, crafted guitar playing, together with very ambient programming, command your attention throughout, and it's clear that he pays massive attention to both harmony and melody. This album is brimful with beautifully lyrical tunes; the Latin rhythm provides an easy, yet strong sense of flow, allowing guitar and piano to weave in and out with melodious ease.

You can listen to and purchase all of Walker's work via

by Debbie Koritsas
31 December 2005

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