Monday, December 5, 2016

Rick Wakeman news

Coincidentally, after finishing my ARW review, this arrived in my in box. Read more from the press release... 

Revered keyboardist, songwriter and broadcaster Rick Wakeman will release his new solo album, Piano Portraits, on CD and digitally on Jan. 13, with 2LP vinyl to follow on Feb. 3. 

Prompted by the enthusiastic reaction to his performance of David Bowie’s “Life on Mars” on BBC Radio 2 earlier on this year, Wakeman has recorded a full solo piano album featuring a varied selection of music, including classic songs on which he originally performed.

Bucking the trend of orchestral projects, Piano Portraits captures both the technical virtuosity and lightness of touch that have become trademarks of Wakeman’s playing since he first made a name for himself in the 1970s.

Recorded at The Old Granary in South Norfolk, the 15-track collection ranges from landmark David Bowie hits “Life on Mars,” which Wakeman recorded the original piano parts for, and “Space Oddity” to which he contributed mellotron; through The Beatles, Yes and Led Zeppelin; to classical pieces composed by Debussy and Tchaikovsky.

“I’ve been wanting to do a piano album for years and I spent quite a bit of time looking at everything from straight classical pieces to stuff that I’d played on in the past like ‘Morning Has Broken’ and ‘Life On Mars’,” Wakeman explains.

“Plus pieces of music that I thought would work really well like ‘Stairway to Heaven’ and classics like ‘Clair de Lune.’ Nearly all of the tracks have a memory for me somewhere down the line and it just seemed to work.”

Rick Wakeman has carved out a fascinating, idiosyncratic career that has comfortably traversed multiple musical worlds. A classically trained pianist, he studied at the Royal College Of Music before going on to become a much in-demand session musician playing on a string of hit songs by the likes of Black Sabbath, Elton John, Cat Stevens and David Bowie.

Also well known as a member of progressive rock band Yes and as a hugely successful solo artist, Wakeman is without doubt one of the most original, entertaining and groundbreaking performers of his generation.

Pre-order Piano Portraits:

Watch the music video for Wakeman’s interpretation of The Beatles’ “Help!” on Vevo:

Track listing: 

01. Help!
02. Stairway to Heaven
03. Life on Mars
04. I’m Not In Love
05. Wonderous Stories
06. Berceuse
07. Amazing Grace
08. Swan Lake
09. Morning Has Broken
10. Summertime
11. Space Oddity
12. Dance of the Damselflies
13. Clair de Lune
14. I Vow To Thee My Country
15. Eleanor Rigby

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