Organ and Keyboard Cavalcade Review by Ian King

Issue 343 – May / June 2016

(CD) Nigel Dawes – I Dreamed A Dream
Running Time 61 minutes – Price £7.95

Nigel Dawes - I Dreamed A Dream
Nigel Dawes – I Dreamed A Dream

This new CD from Nigel Dawes was brought to my attention by his friend and fellow organist Jason Lee. It is one of a few ‘virtual’ theatre organ CDs which use the Roland Fantom XR Module with the “Theatre Organ in a Box” upgrade that have been released over the past few years from the likes of Brian Sharp, John Bowdler and a few tracks on the last four of Nicholas Martin’s electronic organ releases. This CD was initially made for his friends and family, but with the help of Jason and Markus Fuller, the CD was brought up to a more professional looking and sounding standard. The organ on the CD is Yamaha EL900, but that seems to be just the ‘trigger’ for the TOiaB.

The sleeve notes mention that Nigel first heard the Blackpool Tower Wurlitzer on family holidays in the early 1970s. It was his dream to own a Wurlitzer, but now with the TOiaB system, he can get pretty close to the sounds he obviously loves. Nigel has been a member of the Belper & District Organ & Keyboard Club for twenty years, helping to organise monthly concerts, as well as performing his own when work allows.

The theatre organ recreation is very impressive and with the aforementioned artistes featuring it on their recordings, it must have a certain air of credibility. I personally find it hard to tell the difference between it and the real thing, so if you’re like Nigel and can’t afford a real Wurlitzer, then buy a TOiaB and if you can’t afford that either, then just buy this CD as it’s an enjoyable affair and, as with the Chris Barber CD, it also has a very popular selection of tracks.

Highlights include, “The Best of Times”, “Brazil / Mañana”, “On the Sunny Side of the Street”, “I Won’t Send Roses”, “March of the Cobblers”, “The Lady is a Tramp” and “I Dreamed a Dream”.

FULL TRACKS: The Best of Times • Georgia (On My Mind) • Brazil / Mañana • The Shadow of Your Smile • On the Sunny Side of the Street • I Won’t Send Roses • March of the Cobblers • Around the World / Moon River • China Town / Happy Days / Twelfth Street Rag • Love Changes Everything (from “Aspects of Love”) • Tulips from Amsterdam • Love is All • The Lady is a Tramp • The Snow Waltz • I Dreamed a Dream.

Buy/More Info

Review by Ian King from Organ and Keyboard Cavalcade Magazine.