Musician, Recording Artist and Producer, Walter Hansen is originally from the Tampa Bay area and now living in the Greater Seattle area. He mainly writes and records for other artists but has a new EP freshly released, entitled “Perspective”. Walter started playing the accordion at the tender age 4, and then later began playing the saxophone and went on to Florida State University’s prestigious School of Music. He performed for the United States Navy Band located in Bagnoli, Italy, as a woodwind specialist and a vocalist, while he also exhibited his performing skills in place such as Nice, France and other festivals around Europe. Walter currently works with the Phonic Guru team in artist development with great artists such as Lewis Martinee and Bernard Jackson.
The title of the album and the music that plays is exactly that – each song has its own particular ‘perspective’. From the first catchy saxophone notes of “I Miss You” to the melodic vocals on “You” up until the last bars of “Beautiful Day”, the music does not let you go until it’s finished.
But by then, you can’t wait to start over again. All the selections are outstanding but there are personal favorites. The stand out ones for me is “I Miss You”, “My Song”, and “Beautiful Day”. I could listen to these tracks over and over again, which I have done.
Over and above its importance in jazz, the saxophone used to be such a popular instrument in pop and rock music, during what I call the golden era of music – or rather when all things were still analog, and digital was only a chimera for most. Ever since, it has lost it’s footing, as has many other organic instruments in modern pop music, with most new artists leaning towards artificially generated instrumentals.
I won’t go as far as saying this has been a negative event, as music is very subjective and everyone has their own take on the progression of this fabulous art-form. But there can be no doubt that when you hear somebody like Walter Hansen blowing his horn, and I mean that in more ways than one, it’s whole different ‘perspective’ on how music was supposed to be created. It’s one thing blowing the air into your instrument from a mouthpiece, and quite another from your laptop.
In any event Hansen is the real deal, and the music he makes resonates from his soul and not from his processor. In the golden era Walter Hansen and his music would have been seen as very cool. “Perspective” is impeccably produced, with pristine sound and a romantic sheen overlaying the 5 songs that sound characteristically hooky, melodic and familiar.
The instrumental cut, are 100% pleasant, and fulfilling. These are tracks that sound great at any occasion – while you’re having dinner, writing a letter or chatting with a friend, or dancing cheek-to-cheek.
What these songs won’t do is make you want to listen too hard, because they’re not there to bother you; they’re just nice, honest friends passing through. Now when last have you heard an unpretentious instrumental record, devoid of all the ego and showmanship usually associated with the genre? I can’t think of one. Maybe Walter Hansen’s greatest asset is that he uses his talents to serve the music, and not the other way around.