CD Duration: 64.09 / Year: 2014
His second 2014 release and his first ‘solo’ theatre organ album. Playing the new Allen Q315T theatre organ.
I Got Rhythm / S’Wonderful / Lady Be Good
Fiddler on the Roof Selection: Matchmaker / Sunrise, Sunset / If I Were a Rich Man / Fiddler on the Roof
Cavatina (from “The Deer Hunter”)
On Green Dolphin Street / Opus One / Lover Come Back to Me
I Know Why
Closest Thing to Crazy
Hungarian Dance No.5 (Brahms)
Friends for Life (Amigos Para Siempre)
“Friends For Life” is Matthew Bason’s second 2014 release and his first ‘solo’ theatre organ album.
This recording heralds the beginning of a new musical friendship between Matthew and the Allen Organ Company – builders of some of the finest digital theatre and classical organs in the world.
The instrument featured here is the new Allen Q315T theatre organ. Equivalent to a fifteen rank theatre pipe organ, it contains Wurlitzer, Barton and Morton organ samples (as well as Allen classical organ voicing) – four organs in one!
The organ was recorded “acoustically” at Allen Organ Studios, High Wycombe, that is to say it was played through external Allen speaker cabinets, filling the showroom with its glorious sound. What you are hearing is the organ in a “natural state” as opposed to being plugged directly into a recorder.
A past-winner of the ATOS Young Organist of the Year Award and Dean Herrick Award, Matthew is no stranger to the theatre organ world. He plays concerts around the UK and abroad and was resident organist at Ashorne Hall, Warwick; presiding over a 3/12 Compton and 3/15 Wurlitzer. Poll-popular with audiences, he is known for his individual style of playing, arranging and sense of humour! Allen Organs UK are proud to present Matthew as their artiste at forthcoming concerts and festivals and look forward to welcoming you to a live event in the future.
Organ and Keyboard Cavalcade Review by Ian King
This one comes ‘warm’ on the heels of Matthew’s “Come Fly With Me” CD which we started to stock in May this year (although it was released a few months prior to that). This one includes an upgrade, with Matthew moving from a Roland Atelier AT100 to an AT350c.
The CD kicks off with the memorable honky-tonk piano and guitar track, “Nut Rocker” by B. Bumble and the Stingers (well the tune is memorable if not the group) and then we get a trip back to the London 2012 Olympics with “Chariots of Fire” (who can listen to those opening notes without smiling now). We then have a very sequence-dance friendly “You’ll Never Know” medley before we get the first of Matthew’s vocals with “Stars” from Les Misérables which (and speaking as an owner of many of the cast recordings) is not bad at all and is certainly more than you would expect from an organ/keyboard CD. Another Les Mis track follows with the far more popular, “Bring Him Home”, which again has a lovely vocal from Matthew (although this one does have a lot more reverb than “Stars”). There is more to live up to with this track as you’re competing with the likes of Colm Wilkinson and, now the new standard for the song, Alfie Boe. Again it’s a very impressive version and, on both these occasions, you do forget that he is playing the keyboard parts too (although probably not at the same time). Now Alfie is good, but he doesn’t do that.
We’re back to a keyboard CD with a six and a half minute “Darktown Strutter’s Ball” medley, before moving into the realm of easy-listening orchestras and James Last’s “Games That Lovers Play”. One of the best songs ever written next and “Hallelujah” which Alexandra Burke made famous in 2009. This song is hard to get sounding impressive on any keyboard, but this is a nice version. A Glenn Miller styled, “You Made Me Love You” next, before we get the second brace of vocals. The first is Matt Monro’s “Born Free” followed by a swingy version of “Fly Me to the Moon” with some nice flutes and saxes twiddling in the background.
“Circus Renz” closes this rather interesting CD. If you want a few surprises in an organ CD, then this is certainly worth a look. You don’t really know what’s coming around the corner (apart from the fact that I’ve just told you), but if you didn’t know, it would certainly be surprising. This one has it all from West End vocals to rock and swing numbers. It really does have something for everyone.
Review by Ian King from Organ and Keyboard Cavalcade Magazine.