The Walter Earl Group

Fillmore Connection

Walter Earl, piano, Fender Rhodes, strings, vocals; Keith Silverman, guitar; Marcus Phillips, bass; Thomas McCree, drums

Walter Earl takes us on a journey incorporating a musical mix, smooth Jazz and soulful string sounds with this wealth of original material. There lies an overall melancholic feel to a lot of the tracks. "Crazy" has the guitar and bass winding round each other, the drums marking a steady pulse as Earl's voice drifts in and out; an interesting, unsettling piece. "A Better Tomorrow", lifts the tempo to become almost perky, allowing the guitar to pluck and plonk with some zest. "Peace of Mind" puts us in our place again by starting off with an air-raid siren as Earl sings his pleas for a kinder world; through "Searching", and a more melodic "Given", Earl convey a gentle anguish in his music; quite often using some tricky electronics to convey his feelings. Keith Silverman on guitar and Marcus Phillips on bass perform splendidly, and the steady pulse of Thomas McCree is always there for them. The final track "Boom Boom Boom", starts with the group playing over dialogue, but at over eight minutes the track goes on too long. An interesting CD, heartfelt in its message; but it is not one to lift the feelings.

by Ferdinand Maylin

Copyright Jazz Now, April 2004 issue, all rights reserved

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