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.
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.
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.”
Progressive rock, jazz-rock fusion, ambient electronic music and beyond