Organ and Keyboard Cavalcade Review by Ian King

Issue 355 – September 2017

(CD) Brett Wales – Sonic Evolution
Running Time 57 minutes – Price £11.95

Brett Wales - Sonic Evolution
Brett Wales – Sonic Evolution

This is Brett’s first CD since “The Second Recollection” a couple of years ago, but he’s moved on from the Louvre GS1000 he’s used for the last six albums. Brett has stuck with Wersi from the beginning with the Spectra, Scala, Pegasus Wing and Louvre (with the addition of the odd Korg and Nord keyboards), so he knows his way around them. I’m sad to report that he’s lost a manual, in fact two if you count the Pegasus Wing he also used on the last few, but he’s got a brand new organ, the Wersi Sonic OAX 700. This is one of the new breed of OAX instruments, although still boosted with the BFD2 virtual drums which he’s used on his past few releases.

There are a lot of great tracks on the CD from the rocky numbers of Chuck Berry’s “Never Can Tell,” a jazz organ-led version of Elvis’s “All Shook Up” with its subtle vocal backings and the Status Quo rocker “Burning Bridges” which shows off the rock guitar sounds. Men At Work’s “Down Under” has another great sounding organ lead with the breathy flute sections of the original.

Another nice track to show off the organ and guitars is the Bee Gee’s classic “Stayin’ Alive” with more vocal backings to lift it from a pure instrumental. Another blast from the 1970s disco era is The Real Thing’s “You To Me Are Everything” with a lovely funky wah-wah rhythm guitar in the back and lovely Wersi-Sound lead. We even get a bit of reggae with Bob Marley’s “Could You Be Loved” with some nice electric guitars and funky clavs in the mix, topped with a guitar lead (and an eerie vocoded section in the middle).

“Nothing’s Gonna Change My Love For You” is a blast from the past, it was the one and only hit for Glenn Medeiros thirty years ago. This is a re-recorded version from Brett’s 2004 “Solo” CD (along with two other tracks; “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow” and “Unchained Melody”).

“Moonlight Serenade” is probably the oldest tune on the CD with a lovely sounding Glenn Miller arrangement, which again shows off the Sonic and its gentler sax, reed and brass sounds.

Brett certainly knows his stuff and this is an excellent example of the new instrument which will probably be around for his next few recordings. Only Brett and Claudia Hirschfeld have released CDs on the new OAX instruments, so if you want to check out what they sound like, or you just want another good organ CD for your collection, then this would make an excellent choice.

FULL TRACKS: Never Can Tell • Sunday In Avignon • Nothing’s Gonna Change My Love For You • Ragdoll • Moonlight Serenade • Burning Bridges • Unchained Melody • All Shook Up • Could You Be Loved • Down Under • You To Me Are Everything • Knowing Me Knowing You • Stayin’ Alive • Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow • Sound Of Silence • Can’t Help Falling In Love.

Review by Ian King from Organ and Keyboard Cavalcade Magazine.