Lawson Rollins is an American smooth jazz acoustic guitarist and ‘Traveler’ is his fifth solo album. The aim of the 12 tracker is to give listeners a flavour of the places that Rollins has visited – as a “traveller” rather than a tourist. (By the way, the single L spelling of “traveller” is how it appears on the album… there has to be a reason, I guess)
Be that as it may, our global journey begins with an African flavoured ‘Traveler’ before we’re off to Spain (‘Barcelona Express’ and ‘Meeting In Madrid’), France (‘Cafe Paris’). Germany (‘Berlin Bossa’) and windswept England (‘Across The Moors’). In between we call at Louisiana (‘Beyond The Bayou’) and California (‘Marching West’). Our trip then ends with a trio of tunes that try to encapsulate the mysteries and enigmas of city life… ancient and modern.
An ambitious project and one that would cost a lot in both time and money! Here you can take the trip without leaving home and whether Rollins delivers will depend on if you’ve visited any of the places and what kind of memories you have. From my perspective, living in the North of England, the guitarist does get near to conjuring up the melancholic nature of the moors and fells of my North with his lugubrious ‘Across The Moors’. I’m also pleased to say that having spent a lot of time in Paris his ‘Café Paris'(with some crazy violin) does offer some of the flavour of cafe society – if a little stylised.
Helping Lawson take his trip are many of his usual crew – Dominic Camardella (keys), Dave Bryant (drums), Randy Tico (bass), Cameron Stone (cello) and Charlie Bisharat and Mads Toling (strings). Find out more about the album @ www.LawsonRollins.com