Born: July 16, 1942 Primary Instrument: Saxophone
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 McCann.
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 Grover Washington.
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.