DON AIREY – All Out (2011)
Legendary keyboardist Don Airey (Rainbow, Whitesnake, Ozzy, Gary Moore, Black Sabbath) and actual Deep Purple member since 2002, is releasing a new solo album; “All Out”.
Airey is some kind of privileged in recent rock history, he has played with all the big names and all the genres.
For his new album, Don has assembled a ‘real’ band, his keyboard playing is all over the recording, but giving the rest of the musicians the necessary room to obtain a cohesive song based album.
Granted, there are a few instrumental numbers, but he’s put together a core band that features former Persian Risk vocalist Carl Sentance, along with drummer Darrin Mooney who has played with Gary Moore amongst others, guitarist Rob Harris and jazz bass whizz Laurence Cottle.
Add in a few special guests on guitars; Joe Bonamassa, ex Whitesnake Bernie Marsen and brother Keith Airey, and there’s no doubt that it’s a top notch band at play.
On the vocal side of things, album opener “The Way I Feel Inside” has some latter-day Purple passion running through its verse, great guitar progressions and tons of sharping Hammond B3 organs. Carl Sentance has a terrific Gillan-like vocal register, powerful and in-tune.
“People In Your Head” is a big Glenn Hughes styled hard rocker, featuring a blasting solo by Joe Bonamassa and pounding rhythm section.
“Running From The Shadows” is a commercial piece of vintage AOR fluff in the Joe Lynn Turner way. Catchy, sticky chorus and Bernie Marsden on guitars adding some melody.
The cover of Jimi Hendrix’s “Fire” is well done, specially the terrific bass work and the hot drumming, but I am not completely convinced on how vocals were recorded.
“Wrath Of Thor” sounds as a modern day Rainbow-Dio era, with a dense tempo and a Ritchie Blackmore’s riff fighting in duel with Airey’s keyboards.
Of the instrumentals, “Estancia” is the first movement of Alberto Ginastera’s 1941 ballet (Ginastera’s work was popularised by Emerson Lake and Palmer via ‘Toccata’ on ‘Brain Salad Surgery’), and is an exciting little romp which allows Airey to stretch out and have some fun with his organ.
The laid-back guitar-driven “B’Cos” has some amazing licks by Rob Harris (prestigious fusion musician and ocassional Jamiroquai colaborator) and nice keys.
Progressive with jazz-fusion elements is “Right Arm Overture”, where Airey is the absoulte protagonist, full of effects and keyboard details.
“Long Road” is some kind of Gary Moore tribute, on this tune Don’s brother Keith Airey shines on the six strings with full, rich tone.
The album closer “Tobruk” is a five-part mini-rock-opera including instrumental sections and vocal, rocking ones. An epic composition which sometimes sounds a bit disjointed, but includes some interesting and experimental synth excursions.
Don Airey has returned with a good new solo album, including enjoyable rockin’ tunes and marvelous instrumentals.
It’s actually the instrumentals that come out – for me – the most interesting on the record, and I’d have been happy to hear more of them, but I’m sure that’s a hard sell to a record company. Hence the vocal tracks, which are good and full of energy.
There’s a really adorable old fashioned craftmanship on this cd, with a lovely Hammond organ driving the Leslie speakers flat out, tons of synths and pianos, a monster vocalist, awesome guitars and a solid, tight rhythm section.
“All Out” offers music in a style that made history, which many try to recreate, but only the ones with the ‘know how’ are capable of.
Don Airey’s 40 years of experience have not been in vain.
01 – The Way I Feel Inside
02 – Estancia
03 – People In Your Head (feat. Joe Bonamassa)
04 – B’cos
05 – Running From The Shadows (feat. Bernie Marsden)
06 – Right Arm Overture
07 – Fire
08 – Long Road (feat. Keith Airey)
09 – Wrath Of Thor
10 – Tobruk
Don Airey – Keyboards, Synths
Carl Sentance – Vocals
Rob Harris – Guitar
Laurence Cottle – Bass
Darrin Mooney – Drums
Joe Bonamassa – Guitar
Keith Airey – Guitar
Bernie Marsden – Guitar
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