Jim Gilmour, Great Escape, 2006
Jim Gilmour, if you don´t already know him, is the keyboard wizard from Canadian band Saga. And one who sings the occasional song too.
But as it turns out, Jim has released some solo work as well. Being quite fond of his day job, I couldn´t resist picking this up. First question obviously is, how this compares to Saga.
Well, I am happy to report he avoided the obvious routine and created an album with his own identity into it. Of course his singing is familiar (think Scratching The Surface), but musically speaking this is for the most parts different. What does resemble are the more symphonic or progressive tracks if you will. Like album opener No Sign. A very competent track, which despite having a lot going on, never loses momentum and is convincing in delivery from the first to the last second. Nice heavy guitar touches as well, but you will understand that his keyboard skills are shown in abundance.
And there are more tracks of this calibre. Algonquin is an instrumental track with a lot of soloing and riffing. Lost Along The Way is built around a piano theme which, combined with Jim´s vocal, again brings Saga to mind. Without it sounding like them, surprisingly not?
Next track Killarney Sunrise is the first track leaning to more fusion sounding workouts. Part due to the groove, but for the most part because of the chords and piano structures.
The Northwind is again a beautiful almost ballad like song. Next tracks are instrumental and even more fusion popping up here. Last track Last Portage is a welcome return to more progressive outings.
Without describing all tracks, you will have understood it is a bit of a mixed bag. For me, I like it because I don´t mind well done self indulgence and or songs that are off centre. If that describes you too, pick this up!