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PIPE SGT GORDON J. WALKER "Worlds Greatest Pipers Vol 13"
Lismor LCOM 5252

Gordon Walker is the piping world's best kept secret. Few outside of the tight knit piping community will have heard of him, yet he is undoubtedly on of the world's top pipers. The major prizes he has won would fill this review alone, and those have all been achieved while still a serving soldier. If I was only allowed to listen to a recital by one piper it would be Gordon because he can do it all - Piobaireachd, Competition March, strathspey and reel, and kitchen. Normally I cringe when I see "Mrs MacPherson of Inveran" or the "Highland Wedding" on a CD but not in this case, because Gordon quite simply provides the definitive versions of these classic tunes. Gordon covers the full range of time signatures from competition 2/4 through 3/4, 6/8 strathspeys, reels and of course jigs and hornpipes a plenty. There is even a lullaby "Mo Gra's Lullaby" written by Gordon. I love the thought of playing the bagpipe in an effort to get someone to sleep!

Throughout the CD Gordon is in complete command of a beautifully toned instrument with fingering that is absolutely pristine. Gordon's strong technical ability is never allowed to impede on expressing the tunes. An perfect lesson for all aspiring pipers.

The piobaireachd "The MacKays Banner" closes the CD and Gordon's grasp of the tune provides a delightful end to a marvellous exhibition of how to play the Great Highland Bagpipe.

As with all WGP series CDs it is one piper, one pipe and material which is perhaps of a more conservative nature than some of the folkier CDs. That doesn't detract from a masterly performance which anyone with a serious interest in the Great Highland Bagpipe should not be without.

Chris MacKenzie

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This album was reviewed in Issue 18 of The Living Tradition magazine.