Tag Archives: piano

Virtuoso Pianist Gleb Kolyadin Releases State of the Art Solo Debut

Gleb Kolyadin – “Gleb Kolyadin” (Kscope, 2018)

This self-titled recording “Gleb Kolyadin” is the debut solo album of Gleb Kolyadin, one of the rising stars of progressive keyboards. His primary instrument is the grand piano, masterfully recorded at Moscow’s iconic Mosfilm studios. The opening track, “Insight” brings together deep classical music influences in the form of piano, jazz stylings and synthesizer solo bursts that recall Chick Corea’s work.

The second track, “Astral Architecture,” is a mesmerizing piece with captivating piano and vocals, soft drums and dreamy guitars and synths.

On “White Dawn”, Kolyadin layers keyboards, mixing grand piano and symphonic synths with soaring guitar.

“Kaleidoscope” features piano, powerful drums and bass that initially sounds like a tribute to the fine work of Emerson Lake and Palmer that later adds jazz vibraphone and flute into the mix with a Rick Wakeman-style synth solo to top it off.

On the short track 5, “Eidolon,” Gleb Kolyadin showcases his magnificent skill on the piano. The piece ends with fascinating reverb sounds. It segues into another and wonderfully orchestrated piece titled “Into The Void,” featuring piano, mysterious synths and delicate jazz drums.

“The Room” features the piano, bass and drum trio format along with saxophone, weaving in progressive rock, jazz and classical stylings and morphs into a high energy electronic prog rock set.
The longest track is Confluence, clocking over 10 minutes. It begins with delicate piano, bass and absorbing vocals by Steve Hogarth (Marillion). Gleb Kolyadin brilliantly builds the music up tempo, treating the listener to delicious interplay between the piano, drums and vibes.

On track 9, “Constellation / The Bell,” Kolyadin exhibits his classical piano influences and adds contemporary vocal experimentation near the end.

“Echo / Sigh / Strand” combines classical piano with a brief outburst epic prog rock.

Track 10, “Penrose Stairs” features jazz saxophone plus the grand piano, vibrant drums and bass.

“Storyteller” is a progressive rock lover’s dream, with Kolyadin and fellow maestro Jordan Rudess exchanging fabulous keyboard performances. Rudess plays a knockout synth solo.

 

 

The album concludes with “The Best Of Days” where Steve Hogarth returns with another entrancing vocal performance accompanied by spellbinding piano, drums and bass.

 

 

The lineup on “Gleb Kolyadin” includes Gavin Harrison on drums; Nick Beggs on bass; Theo Travis on flute and saxophone; Steve Hogarth on vocals; and Mick Moss and Jordan Rudess on keyboards.

Gleb Kolyadin cofounded the chamber prog group Iamthemorning in 2010 along with singer Marjana Semkina. The group released Iamthemorning in 2012, Belighted in 2014 and Lighthouse in 2016. In 2016 Iamthemorning won the UK-based Progressive Music Award for album of the year.

With his first solo album, Gleb Kolyadin has unveiled a formidable force in the progressive rock field. He’s a masterful performer, arranger and innovator. This album is heading straight to the top of best progressive albums of the year.

Buy Gleb Kolyadin in Europe

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Keith Emerson at the Piano

Keith Emerson – Emerson Plays Emerson (The Right Honourable Recording Company, 2017)

Emerson Plays Emerson is a piano album by progressive rock legend Keith Emerson. The album, originally released in 2002, was out of print and a collector’s item until.

The new edition is a remastered version approved by the estate of Keith Emerson.

On Emerson Plays Emerson you’ll find a set of piano tunes that represent various influences. There are classical music-inspired pieces, jazz, joyful honky tonk and cinematic works.

This album primarily focuses on solo piano tracks so you won’t find Emerson’s other side: organ and electronic keyboards.

The CD booklet includes notes in English, German and Italian.

Emerson Plays Emerson showcases the talent and musical background of one of the greatest keyboardists in recent rock history.

Buy Emerson Plays Emerson

Rick Wakeman Plays Favorites on Piano

Rick Wakeman – Piano Portraits (Universal Music, 2017)

Rick Wakeman, the musician known as a pioneer and master of the electronic keyboards has released a solo piano album titled Piano Portraits. The new recording contains covers of well-known rock and pop classics, along with some classical pieces, one original song and a version of the progressive rock-era Yes song Wonderous Stories. Rick Wakeman was the keyboardist in several of Yes’ most iconic progressive rock albums.

The piano Wakeman used was a Steinway Model D concert grand piano. The British keyboardist transforms the well-known songs into classical music-infused instrumental pieces. There’s barely any trace of rock or jazz. It’s piano playing in its purest form.

The song selection includes Led Zeppelin’s ‘Stairway to Heaven’, David Bowie’s ‘Life on Mars’ and ‘Space Oddity’, the Beatle’s ‘Help’ and ‘Eleanor Rigby’ and several other popular songs.

Piano Portraits showcases the talent of Rick Wakeman as a virtuoso pianist and a masterful arranger.

Buy Piano Portraits in the Americas

Buy Piano Portraits in Europe

Sri “Aga” Hanuraga’s Universe

Sri Hanuraga – To the Universe (Demajors, 2015)

Virtuoso pianist, composer and arranger Sri “Aga” Hanuraga is part of the new wave of outstanding Indonesian musicians involved with jazz, jazz-rock and progressive rock. On To the Universe, Sri “Aga” Hanuraga uses a classic jazz combo trio featuring piano, bass and drums. Within the album, Sri “Aga” Hanuraga showcases three distinct styles that have jazz as the common language.

During most of To the Universe, Sri “Aga” Hanuraga plays straight ahead contemporary jazz. However, the Indonesian influences are evident in several of the pieces, especially if you pay attention to the piano melodies and the flute solos performed by guest Rodrigo Parejo Mateos.

On the three part suite, “Ever Changing” Sri “Aga” Hanuraga switches from acoustic sounds to full blown electric jazz-rock featuring electric piano, spectacular electric bass and powerful drums. At times, you can hear echoes of iconic Canterbury band National Health.

The lineup includes Sri “Aga” Hanuraga on piano and Rhodes; Mattia Magatelli on double bass and electric bass; Kristijan Krajncan on drums. Guest: Rodrigo Parejo Mateos on flute.

Buy the digital version of To the Universe

A Passionate Spark

Hiromi – Spark (Telarc, 2016)

Spark is the 10th album by Hiromi, one of the greatest pianists in the current jazz music scene. In this recording, Hiromi continues her power trio format, collaborating with bassist Anthony Jackson (Paul Simon, Steely Dan, Chick Corea, The O’Jays) and drummer Simon Phillips (Mike Oldfield, The Who, David Gilmour, Judas Priest, Toto, Jack Bruce).

What makes Hiromi’s music so attractive is the fact that she breaks musical boundaries, incorporating elements from classical music, Latin jazz and rock. Her structured sections as well as her improvisational skills are impeccable examples of open minded contemporary jazz craftsmanship. At the same time, she leaves plenty of space to Simon Phillips and Anthony Jackson who contribute remarkable creative drumming and bass work

Simon Phillips’ powerful drum strikes provide a rock-like energy that permeates the entire album.

Playing with this trio is like a never-ending adventure,” Hiromi says. “They never play safe and they always look for new things; we always play as if this is our first and last show. With how much passion and love we feel for the music, every show I feel a spark.”