Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Gordon Giltrap's "Visionary"
Trevor Butler | Raleigh, NC USA | 07/27/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Visionary was Gordon Giltrap's first album to explore the progressive rock orchestra sound which appears on his late 70's releases. It is full of lush guitar, mostly acoustic, layered with synth, bass, and strings to form complex rhythms and sound. This marked a departure from the folk vocal music of his early albums. Visionary is an instrumental effort - save for a lone female vocal on the "Revelation" track. A remake of "Lucifer's Cage" from Giltrap's first album is included, which is well worth a listen, as it greatly expands the original with cool synth swells and a tight rhythm section. Always showcasing excellent musicianship, Giltrap plucks the guitar strings so fast it is amazing. The other musicians are equally adept, delivering incredible performances, often in unusual time signatures. A favorite track is "Night", which is dead last on the record. This masterpiece begins slowly with acoustic guitar and flute, and slowly builds to a climax with drums, bass, synth, and orchestra making for a very pleasant listen. In, fact, this reviewer used this track as the processional at his wedding! It is great to see _Visionary_ available on CD again - better grab it before it goes out of print for good!"
Good music but Live At The BBC was better
Chris 'raging bill' Burton | either Kent or Manchester, United Kingdom | 01/18/2003
(3 out of 5 stars)
"My introduction to Gordon Giltrap was Live At The BBC (Amazon doesn't stock it - I don't know whether or not its an official release or a bootleg but I highly recommend you get hold of it if you can). I was blown away by the amazing instrumental music it contained. I knew I had to get more by Giltrap, and since about half the songs here are on Live At The BBC I figured that it would be a good place to start, where I was familiar with some of it already.There is no doubt that the musicianship here is top-notch, as is the songwriting, but the performances seem to lack the energy that they had on Live At The BBC. Also, there is a lead guitarist on ...BBC who plays very good leads that are not on here, and in my opinion were a great part of what made those versions of the songs so good. Gordon's playing also seemed to be tighter and more impressive on ...BBC and as the songs were recorded live there was greater energy and emotion in the playing from all musicians that is not present in these studio versions (especially on From The Four Winds and Revelation). Not only are the ...BBC versions of the songs better, but those from this album are definately the best from this album. The songs here that are not on ...BBC are the weaker ones on offer, meaning that as the owner of both albums I have little incentive to bother listening to this one.On the other hand, these arrangements are certainly more orchestral, giving the songs a different sound and sense of melody. Had I heard this before Live At The BBC I may have been far more impressed with it. If you cannot get hold of Live At The BBC then get this album for the music here is very good in its own right, but I simply cannot find much praise here because none of these recordings match up to the first time I heard them live. I do feel saddened - I was looking forward to hearing this so much, partly because I thought it was recorded with an orchestra. A few horns here and a few violins there is not an orchestra. While these are different, they are not so different that I can overlook (what is in my opinion) their inferiority. I suppose what I'm saying is that the newer versions on ...BBC improve on the originals more than they offer a different version of them.In conclusion, this is good music in its own right but if you are thinking of buying this based on Live At The BBC then don't bother."