CD Duration: 45.05 / Year: 2014
2014 release containing sixteen original compositions, playing Kurzweil piano, Hammond organ and rhythm.
Cat’s Tail (Bright Latin)
Café Garçon (French Café Theme)
Church Wedding (The Big Day)
Latin Lover (Medium Latin Jazz)
Cinderella Waltz (Dream Sequence)
M6 Motorway (Fast Organ Jazz)
Sands of Cairo (Novelty Sand Dance)
Pony and Trap (Novelty with FX)
Wee Bairn (Scottish Lullaby)
Kitten (Jazz Piano Waltz)
Shades of Tone (5/4 Time)
Girl from Haifa (Sad Ballad)
Girl from Cyprus (Greek)
Dream Car (Fast Organ Jazz)
Flying Up High (5/4 Time).
Organ and Keyboard Cavalcade Review by Ian King
Now comes an album with the two word ‘kiss of death’ when it comes to a keyboard CD… “Original Compositions”. There actually haven’t been that many full organ CDs of original material, usually players sneak the odd track in (hoping people won’t notice) and they are usually very nice, pretty inoffensive pieces that most people don’t mind listening too. However, it’s a whole different ball-game to release a CD packed with sixteen of them and hope people will take the risk. At least with the invention of the Internet, people who are ‘wired up’ can have a sneaky listen to see if they like them or not, but if you aren’t, then it’s down to people like me to explain what they’re like in the hope my vague description makes you want to take the plunge.
Well, points are being awarded for a good title and so “Compose Yourself” (a nice pun on original compositions) gets a few. Points also go to the fact that each track has a description (in brackets) to tell you what you’re gonna get (these are listed in the full tracks section below). Points are also awarded for the catchy tunes, the quality of the playing and the arrangements.
We stocked a CD of Tony’s in 2011 called “Medley Magic” which contained a nice mix of (other people’s) tunes. This was explained as music from the ‘Golden Era’ of the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s, playing Kurzweil piano, ‘Hammond organ’ and rhythm. This CD contained 41 tunes adapted from Harold Rich’s original music scores for two pianos and rhythm group. We still have copies of this CD at the same price too. While that has no bearing on this CD, at least it shows where Tony’s interests and influences lie. As with that CD, this has the same setup and while you are (sort of) listening to a Hammond, it’s in a sampled form via a Korg i3 keyboard with the string sounds from the Kurzweil.
Now, how to describe the overall sound of the CD and there is a sound rather than an eclectic mix of varying styles and arrangements that vary from track to track. Having said that, it doesn’t mean to say all the tracks sound the same, as they don’t. There are gentle pieces, jazz pieces and even a couple of pieces in 5/4 time, which you don’t hear that often (and when you do they are usually “Take 5” or “The Mission Impossible Theme”). Many of the tunes do remind me of TV themes of the 1970s and 1980s; think of the travel shows, early evening magazine programmes and Sunday night detective shows etc. The drums are gentle and laid-back with the piano, organ and solo instruments taking the melodies, some of which are very catchy, including, Cat’s Tail”, “Café Garçon”, “Church Wedding”, “Latin Lover”, “Dream Car” and “Flying Up High”. You’ll swear you’ve heard some of these before too, but won’t be able to put your finger on any of them.
I hope a few of you take a chance on this one as I think you’ll enjoy it. If you’re not sure (and you’re one of the connected people), you can listen to some clips on our website at organ.co.uk. If you like this CD and “Medley Magic”, then we are currently in the process of getting the other CDs from Tony’s back-catalogue, so watch this space.
Review by Ian King from Organ and Keyboard Cavalcade Magazine.