- Liz Publika
Album Review: All Over the Map by Steven Allen Gordon
Steven Allen Gordon’s recent album All Over the Map is a thoroughly beautiful and truly eclectic collection of music.
His “goal is to take the listener on a diverse and rich journey featuring music from different eras, instruments, and musical expressions.” And Gordon doesn’t disappoint, using works from a lot of different genres in one impressively well-arranged collection. The fact that he is also able to create seamless transitions between tracks that were popular during different time periods makes the album that much better. He accomplishes this by understanding the tempo, progression, and delivery of each number in a way only a skillful musician with a sincere respect for music can.
"My vehicles are the viola, the instrument I've played professionally for thirty-five years, and the guitar, my childhood sweetheart…” The extensively trained musician holds a B.A. in Music from the University of California, a M.A. with a focus on violin and viola from the California Institute of the Arts, as well as a Ph.D. in Historical Musicology from UCLA. He has performed with numerous orchestras and chamber ensembles, enjoyed a successful run in the recording industry, and appeared on countless film and television scores. His career highlights include working with John Williams, Danny Elfman, Ray Charles, Celine Dion, and Rod Stewart, among many others.
Gordon’s elaborate experience is quite evident on All Over the Map. Aside from the beautiful work he does with classical numbers, such as J.S. Bach’s “Suite In D Minor For Solo Viola” (originally composed for cello) or Heitor Villa’s “Prelude No. 1 In E Minor” (classical guitar), he also incorporates modern twists to these popular classics.
Using electric guitar on J.S. Bach’s “Prelude in D Major,” Gordon reminds me of Led Zeppelin’s slower songs, with their elaborate compositions and intelligent arrangements that honor traditional music theory. Throwing in Francisco Taregga’s “Capricho Arabe” into the mix, Gordon awakes my dormant appreciation of the beauty of Spanish guitars and their ability to create a unique ambiance. And, the skillful delivery of Laurence Juber’s “Breaking Point” immediately brings to mind Heart’s acoustic intro to “Crazy on You," which may be one of my favorite tracks, ever. Over all, All Over the Map is a wonderful auditory experience that I thoroughly enjoyed.
Check out more from Steven Allen Gordon here.
Note* Album provided for objective review by our partners.