Frank Birtwistle – Volume Two

EP Review | Self Release | Review by Allan Wilkinson | Stars: 3/5

On this second helping, Frank Birtwistle, the Sheffield-based composer and guitar player, delivers seven evocative instrumentals, each of which explore the tonal qualities of the acoustic guitar, much in the manner of the Windham Hill musicians before him. With just single word titles, that is with the exception of “Midsummer Haze”, such pieces as “Horizon”, “Gossamer” and “Seasons” take us on a restful, meditative and trance-like journey.

At times reminiscent of the guitar playing of Gordon Giltrap, Frank Birtwistle never overloads his pieces with an unnecessary note count and tempo remains steady throughout. There’s dexterity in his playing but nothing flashy, reminding us once again that guitar playing needn’t necessarily be a competition. Volumes One, Three and Four are also available from the artist.

Choice Track: “Home” (NSV 492)