Fred Walker, A native
of St. Louis, Mo., has been threatening this CD for quite sometime. He's
keeping his promise to his many fans whose been waiting for this new C D
release which is something different. Enter, Michael Nicolls. Michael,
an accomplished drummer/ percussionist/ producer, introduced Fred to
"LOOP" technology and began a collaboration that would soon
yield "Ten Plus". Fred calls this new music "POP
JAZZ". Of course it's difficult to categorize exactly what it is,
so we'll just let the listener make that determination. ...Michael
operates a small studio in Millstadt, Illinois and during the recording
sessions would enlighten Fred on the ins and outs of recording.
Recording, mixing, compression, equalizing and so on. Fred was soon
cuttin' and a pastein' and with the help of some good friends, Brenda
Foster on keys and Brian Simms on guitar and bass gave this effort
momentum and added credibility. ...ENJOY!
Brian Simms: is one of those "Gifted" individuals. He has a
wide range of talents. Brian is at home on keyboards, bass, guitar,
drums or vocals. He produces in his own studio and is one of those
musicians that Is always in demand for studio work. Whenever he's there,
everyone is at ease as he is always "in the pocket" and what
he plays always seems to be relevant ….After spending some time on the
road, Brian settled in and became the bassist for the St. Louis based
group, Mystic Voyage. During his lengthy stint with the band, he
contributed three songs on Fred's first CD "BLUES IN A RED
DRESS" where he exhibited his writing and vocal skills. Brian can
be seen and heard around the St. Louis area performing private and
public gigs with his duo group, "Exclusively Yours" featuring
the piano and vocal stylings of Ms. Denise Atty.
Brenda Foster Appears as a courtesy to Fred. She is considered the piano
players piano player. She is always in demand for concerts, both private
and public and especially studio work. Brenda is one half of the team of
"Stevens & Foster" where she accompanies the very
accomplished vocalist Naomi Stevens. ...Brenda is as at home with a
synthesizer interlude as she is with a Tyner style solo. You will
appreciate her smooth lines on "Ten Plus" and her lilting
moves on "Loping". Some of her favorite influences include
such notables as Ahmad Jamal, Oscar Peterson, McCoy Tyner and Les
Fred Walker has become somewhat of a one-man army. With the success of
his first effort “Blues In A Red Dress”, Fred stays on the front
line with his second CD, “Ten Plus”. Fred has the impressive ability
to blend traditional and contemporary jazz styles simultaneously
attracting a youthful following without alienating older jazz
aficionados who yearn for the sounds of John Coltrane, Gene Amons or a
The thing that sets Fred apart from the some other jazz artists is his
ability to put his own stamp on every song on this CD. As long as Fred
does what he’s been doing, his music will never get old.
Any Fred excursion is worth listening to and “Ten Plus” is his finer
outing. The opener “Dark Crystal” takes us on a mid tempo groove
which leaves no doubt that he’s an interesting talent.
“Ten Plus” the title track has a beautiful Caribbean sound for
summer. This gem sneaks out of the speakers as if another Pinacolada or
Marguerita has just been ordered.
On “Motherland Groove”, the sound that we are so familiar with is
represented beautifully. This is a wonderful midnight cruiser that is
one of the album’s many highlights.
Fred pulls one out of his hat for the old school rappers. If you
remember Salt and Pepper’s “Shoop”, “Me and E. McGhee”, makes
me want to…. you know. Then he breaks it all the way down.
There are so many wonderful tracks on this CD that it is an essential
addition to your own collection if you don’t have it already. …Adult
Contemporary Jazz or as Fred calls it “POP JAZZ”, at its very finest
and comes highly recommended.