The Upshot: A trip back in time to channel classic jazz, blues, gospel, and soul.
BY JOHN B. MOORE
Seth Walker may be from North Carolina, but he sounds like a New Orleans kid, born and bred. On his latest, Gotta Get Back, he’s just one horn section away from being a full-fledged member of the Marsalis family.
Gotta Get Back, Walker’s ninth, deftly marries together jazz, blues, Americana, gospel and a little bit of soul for good measure. For this one, Walker turned to his family – where he first got his start as a musician – for inspiration. His dad taught cello and Irish fiddle, while his mom was a violinist (both of his parents and sister play on the record).
While most of his releases have been satisfying, Gotta Get Back is his most consistently great record to date. Despite slipping in and out of genres there is not a weak song to be found here, whether it’s the quiet contemplation of “Home Again,” the hymn to love in “Back Around” or the wildly infectious “Turn This Thing Around,” Walker comes off as timeless and is clearly in his element throughout.
Along with his family, Walker also admits to looking back to Ray Charles, Al Green and Louis Armstrong for inspiration with this outing. The trip back in time clearly paid off as Gotta Get Back is easily Walker’s finest hour.
DOWNLOAD: “Back Around,” “Turn This Thing Around” and “Blow Wind Blow”