Review Summary: A versatile, eclectic band cover the ground from southern rock to jazz.
Those more familiar with everything connected to New York City say that Brooklyn is one of the key melting pots around. Maybe that is one of the reasons why Giant Flying Turtles who hail from those parts named their recent album Waltz to The World. But it could also have something to do with the fact that on it they try almost anything that ticks their fancy at the moment, from some sophisticated pop/rock, through swing, rockabilly or even bluegrass.
The do all that through the sounds and ears through some of the most accomplished artists of the Seventies, or early Eighties, like Grateful Dead, Little Feat and Peter Gabriel circa his first few albums. But any such musical melting pot can sound like a mismatched hodgepodge in hands of musicians who may have good taste, but no real chops to back it up. Luckily for their listeners, Giant Flying Turtles can actually fly. At least as far as the music goes.
Take for example “One of s Kind”, one of the best tracks on the album. It starts off like a good digest of anything Grateful Dead did on their jazz-inspired album From The Mars Hotel, chips in some CSN&Y style harmonies, goes back to Grateful Dead and then launches into a true Allman Brothers guitar workout. Before and after it you can bask in the sounds of Peter Gabriel doing Little Feat on the opening “No Turning Back”, the swing seen through the eyes of Steely Dan of “The Devil In Me” or the Asylum Records style California rock of the early Seventies of the “Rivers Run Dry”, the Allmans/Little Feat workout on “The Train Song” or the bluegrass goof off of “Banjo”. Oh, somewhere along the line you can hear something you thought you might not have heard in a long time but needed to anyway.
The key reason why all this actually works is the fact that the band members are not only thoroughly familiar with the origins of every musical bit that they play on Waltz to The World but that they actually are so seasoned to be able to do so. Oh, and one more thing - they obviously love every single sound bite they chipped in, adding that essential ingredient that makes any music work.