CD Duration: 67.20 / Year: 2016
February 2016 release at the Roland Atelier 80SL organ, Roland 350c combo organ, Roland FP80 digital piano, Yamaha S950 keyboard, Kawai SR6 organ & Hammond A100 (with Leslie 122 speaker).
Wonderful Wonderful / Romeo
Youve Got a Friend in Me
Holiday for Strings
Make You Feel My Love
Nautical Medley: Barnacle Bill / Drunken Sailor / Portsmouth / Life on the Ocean Wave / Sailors Hornpipe / The Arethusa / Anchors Away
The Arcadian Overture
Big Band Medley: Jersey Bounce / Johnson Rag / Cherokee
Tea for Two
All the Way / For Sentimental Reasons
Bridge Over Troubled Water
Fly Me to the Moon / Moon River
Buona Sera / Mack the Knife
Strauss & Co.: Snow Waltz / The Blue Danube / Vienna Life / The Merry Widow / Dance with Me
This CD marks a special anniversary for me as a performer. I have clocked up fifty years as a professional organist and pianist. Over the decades there have been many changes in our world of easy on the ear music, but it’s nice to know we still have a legion of people that appreciate good melodies and harmony.
I have as usual with my recordings included a broad spectrum with styles and sounds to please your ears. I have spent a large part of my career playing in the Scarborough Spa Suncourt and my good friends Peter & Sally Lee made a stunning model of this venue pictured inside the CD sleeve. This was exhibited at the NEC ‘Models in Miniature’ exhibition near Birmingham along with a sound recording of yours truly playing the organ!
Many tracks include my ever faithful Hammond A100 organ and this sound takes me back to my formative years playing on cruise liners, back in the early 1970s.
The title track ‘Wonderful Wonderful’ was a big hit for Jonny Mathis in the late 1950s along with Petula Clarke’s early hit ‘Romeo’ based on the Robert Stoltz operatic song ‘Salome’.
Today’s music is also well represented with Adele’s big hit ‘Make You Feel My Love’ & Simon & Garfunkel’s timeless classic ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water‘. As I play at the Spa I also include orchestral pieces like the ‘Overture to the Arcadians’ and David Rose’s famous ‘Holiday for Strings’ featuring the pizzicato effect along with traditional theatre organ sounds. Latterly I have spent much at my ‘out of season time’ playing these mighty pipe organs all over the UK and on the continent.
One of my all time heroes was Thomas ‘Fats Waller and the Hammond is perfect for his ‘Alligator Crawl‘. During the 1980s Spyro Gyra made some great Latin American sounds with ‘Morning Dance’. Two all time great artists are also featured; Frank Sinatra’s ‘All The Way’ and Nat King Cole’s ‘Unforgettable’. Finally a champion of light music is André Rieu and his great arrangement of ‘Strauss & Co.’ brings this special CD to a close.
Latest from Howard Beaumont
Quality Used CDs & DVDs
1992 release at the Kawai SR6.
Quality Used CDs & DVDs
1994 release at the Yamaha EL90 with Christopher Taylor on Percussion.
Organ and Keyboard Cavalcade Review by Ian King
Issue 342 – April 2016
(CD) Howard Beaumont – Wonderful Wonderful
Running Time 67 minutes – Price £12.95
This brand new CD from Howard Beaumont boasts a stellar list of organs and keyboards. On the organ side of things there is a Roland Atelier 80SL, a Roland 350c combo, a Kawai SR6 and a Hammond A100 (with Leslie 122 speaker). You can also add a Roland FP80 digital piano and a Yamaha S950 keyboard to the mix.
Howard’s last CD was “Moonglow” released in late 2014, this was a compilation from his six “As Time Goes By” CDs with John Taylor on piano (plus three new tracks). Earlier that year he also released “Organised Dance Time” which was a sequence dance CD with a similar keyboard line-up.
As Howard mentions in the the sleeve notes, this CD marks a special anniversary as 2016 is his fiftieth anniversary as a professional organist and pianist. The notes also mention his time playing aboard cruise liners in the early 1970s and a long part of his career playing in the Scarborough Spa Suncourt (his twenty-five seasons were marked with his 2012 release “That’s Amoré”).
Now, onto the music on the CD and I am pleased to say this is a lovely recording to mark a milestone as the tune selection, playing and sound is excellent. There are plenty of highlights including Randy Newman’s theme to the Toy Story movies, “You’ve Got a Friend in Me” with its laid back organ and acoustic guitar leads.
Another great track is a lovely theatre organ recreation of Doris Day’s “Secret Love” and talking of recreations, we have a plucky version of David Rose and His Orchestra’s “Holiday for Strings” with it’s recognisable pizzicato strings mixed with theatre organ. There is also a fabulous theatre organ version of “Beautiful Dreamer” with the opening church bells.
The first solo piano track is “Make You Feel My Love” which was made famous by pop superstar Adele on her first album “19”. The song was written by Bob Dylan in the late 1990s, although it was first released by Billy Joel in 1997, two months before Dylan released it himself. This is a lovely version of a lovely song with just an addition of some orchestral strings at the end to give it a little lift (if that were needed). The second of the solo piano pieces is the timeless “Bridge Over Troubled Water” which also has a light strings backing at the end.
Two more tracks could also be added to the piano ‘set’; The “Fly Me to the Moon” and “Moon River” medley with its piano lead over theatre organ backing and “All the Way’ and “For Sentimental Reasons”, although this does have some vibes in the melody and organ backing. The classical side of Howard’s playing is dealt with in the shape of “The Arcadian Overture” and an orchestra-full “Strauss & Co.” medley. There is also a fun Nautical Medley.
Howard gets a chance to improvise a little on the swing medley of “Jersey Bounce”, “Johnson Rag” and “Cherokee” and later on with the mix of “Buona Sera” and “Mack the Knife”.
There’s a very faithful 1950s Hammond style version of “Tea for Two” even down to the authentic reverb and delay effects. This is followed by a modern Hammond version of “Unforgettable” which again gives a little space for some nice improvisation. There is also a 1950s organ treatment of Fat’s Waller’s “Alligator Crawl”, made famous as an organ piece by Harold Smart.
As I said, this is a great release to celebrate Howard’s half-a-century as a pro musician and shows just what he can do in a variety of styles.
FULL TRACKS: Wonderful Wonderful / Romeo • You’ve Got a Friend in Me • Secret Love • Holiday for Strings • Make You Feel My Love • Beautiful Dreamer • Nautical Medley: Barnacle Bill / Drunken Sailor / Portsmouth / Life on the Ocean Wave / Sailor’s Hornpipe / The Arethusa / Anchor’s Away • The ’Arcadian’ Overture • Big Band Medley: Jersey Bounce / Johnson Rag / Cherokee • Tea for Two • Unforgettable • All the Way / For Sentimental Reasons • Bridge Over Troubled Water • Alligator Crawl • Morning Dance • Fly Me to the Moon / Moon River • Buona Sera / Mack the Knife • Strauss & Co.: Snow Waltz / The Blue Danube / Vienna Life / The Merry Widow / Dance with Me.
Review by Ian King from Organ and Keyboard Cavalcade Magazine.