Album – Above the Clouds – Greg Smith

Posted by admin on November 29th, 2006

Although the artist himself considers this as jazz, albeit smooth jazz, it’s not the genrethat comes to my mind when I listen. This is a very laid back, virtuoso guitar style of music, that reminds me greatly of Gordon Giltrap, a guy who came out with a simply stunning album in the 80’s called Perilous Journey. There’s a lot of really great influences, from musicians to countries and it really goes to create a very interesting album indeed. I like to think of it more as guitar folk, than jazz, but I suppose it’s all a matter of subjectivity.

The album opens with the title track, “Above the Clouds” , which really does manage to evoke that sense of flying through the skies. The guitar playing is wonderful and atmospheric. This is the longest track on the album, at a tad over 5 minutes, but it really is a joy to listen to, especially if you want to get some headphones and plug yourself in.

As I mentioned before, there’s quite a few influences, both in musicians and also countries. The title track has a very Australian vibe, running beneath and there’s no need to tell you the country of influence on the track, “Stop Sign in Brazil”

With 14 tracks on the album, all predominately featuring the acoustic guitar, this can be a difficult album to put on, unless you are specifically in the mood. I think it would have helped a bit if there, were around 9 tracks, but that’s not a failing of the album, more my own personal preference.

The title track and “Figaro Tree” would have to be my favorite on the album. The album finishes as it began in the clouds, but this time “Postlude: Back in the Clouds”.

Conclusion : If this is the kind of music you enjoy, then it’s an absolute belter. For the casual listener, it may be a tad too long, but all the same, it’s a CD that features some wonderful melodies and showcases some excellent guitar playing.

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