Looking Back on 2017 (from Organ & Keyboard Cavalcade Magazine)

Now that 2018 is here (although still 2017 when writing this), it’s time for my usual look back over the recordings of the year.

The first planned release of 2017 was the third Klaus Wunderlich set from the ‘Not Now Music’ label, although it actually turned up a few weeks early at the end of 2016. The CD was called “An Evening With…” and was the second release of the rehearsal recordings Klaus made for his UK tours, this one being from 1989 and played on the Wersi Spectra. This was the follow-up (although technically and chronologically a prequel) to “Absolutely Wunderlich” that featured his 1995 tapes. These two recordings went to show what a perfectionist Klaus was with note-perfect demo recordings made for ‘his ears only’ to work out the timings and running order. While they were never intended for release, they showed Klaus at his best and prove what a master he was at playing straight without overdubbing. The reels were all remastered by friend and studio engineer Werner Kohlhammer and the overall sound of both releases were exceptional.

To show how slow organ releases were in 2017, we had to wait until MAY for the next one and again it was another Klaus double and “48 Unforgettable Melodies”. This one contained both volumes of his original “24 Melodies You’ll Never Forget” LPs from the late 1950s, so recorded on a Hammond C3 rather than the later Wersi models. This also had his rhythm group accompanying him (Rolf Ahrens on drums, Franz Rasch on bass and Bert Helsing on guitar) and unlike volume one, it was recorded ‘in-sequence’. While volume one was released by Bell Musik back in 1999, volume two was released on this set for the first time. At a price of £6.95, it was cheaper than the original release of the single album.

A new artist turned up with a new CD in June with Michael Sullivan and his “Light and Shade” CD recorded on the Tyros 4 (used with the Reg Rawlings Blackpool Tower Wurlitzer sound software) and CVP-505 Clavinova. Well, I say ‘new,’ but he’s been a professional musician for over forty years, although based around the Midlands area. He and his wife Elspeth had also performed as a keyboard duo at the late Brian Sharp’s breaks in Bournemouth. This CD was a lovely sounding debut release too.

Later that month we had the first new CD from Brett Wales in a couple of years with his debut recording at the new Wersi Sonic OAX 700 and “Sonic Evolution”. As I said in my review, I am sure Brett’s next few CDs will feature these new instruments and it’s good to see new organ models still being released.

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May 2018 release at the Yamaha Tyros 4 (Social Ballroom & Latin).

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2018 release at the Böhm Sinfonia 480 organ, live from the DK4 Studios in Denmark. Almost double the length of most electronic organ DVDs!

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New documentary telling his story. Danish Import DVD.

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Early November 2017 Compilation featuring 35 of her all-time favourites, plus six unreleased tracks.

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March 2018 release containing twenty-four original recordings previously only available as digital downloads [IS/ST].

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December 2017 release at the Ketron SD1 Plus

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23 track compilation of Light Classical pieces.

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2017 release at the Wurlitzer Theatre Organ, New Victoria Centre, Howden-le-Wear.

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