DON AIREY – Keyed Up (2014)
Properly entitled “Keyed Up”, this is the fourth solo album from legendary keyboardist DON AIREY (Ozzy, Deep Purple, Rainbow) released today.
This new solo CD draws from a range of influences from his past mixing rocking moments, bluesy melodies and classical touches, and while he has a solid band including terrific bassist Laurence Cottle, there are notable guests appearing on the recording such as Rainbow’s ex- bandmate Graham Bonnet, and one of the last pieces of work by the late Gary Moore.
Of course, Don’s keyboards shine here and work very well with the rhythms from Cottle and drummer Darrin Mooney, while Rob Harris adds precise guitar parts and Carl Sentance (Persian Risk, Krokus) provide the lead vocals.
The album opens with “3 In The Morning” driven by a fluid guitar work and some intense vocals from Sentance, followed by the slower, chunkier track “Beat The Retreat”.
Then there’s the progressive “Blue Rondo A La Turk”, the piece Airey played on his first radio performance aged 14. We can hear a lot of weird sounds here, most from the Hammond organ of which Don is a master.
“Solomon’s Song” starts slowly and builds really well, another solid number with melodic lead vocals and multi-harmonies.
One of the highlights is the version of Rainbow’s classic “Difficult To Cure” where the guitars are strong, but it’s arranged for Don’s keyboards to take the centre role including an awesome orchestral break mixed with Hammond riffs.
“Mini Suite” (divided in 3 parts) features great guitar interplay, before switching to piano. There are touches of Gary Moore here, and more on “Adagio”, where his distinctive guitar work stands out. This represents one of the very last times that Moore recorded a guitar part, and both tracks are dedicated to his memory.
“Keyed Up” draws from throughout Airey’s career and also takes in some of his influences, with twists upon familiar themes. Don has performed with a host of the most important bands in the hard rock canon, from Cozy Powell to Colosseum II, to Black Sabbath to Rainbow to Ozzy Osbourne and of course, ultimately to Deep Purple, via sessions for innumerable peers and this experience and panache illuminates “Keyed Up”.
This is Classic Rock made by one of the greatest still alive, and rocks.
01. 3 In The Morning
02. Beat The Retreat
03. Blue Rondo A La Turk
04. Solomon’s Song
05. Claire D’Loon
06. Flight Of Inspiration
08. Difficult To Cure 2013
09. Mini Suite (feat. Gary Moore)
10. Adagio (feat. Gary Moore)
Don Airey – keyboards
Carl Sentance – vocals
Laurence Cottle – bass
Rob Harris – guitar
Darrin Mooney – drums
Gary Moore – guitar on ‘Adagio’ and ‘Mini Suite’
Graham Bonnet – backing vocals
Simon MacBride – guest guitar
Alex Meadows – add. bass
Tim Goodyer – add. drums
BUY IT !