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Don Airey - A Light In The Sky CD (album) cover

A LIGHT IN THE SKY

Don Airey

 

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3.94 | 23 ratings

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TenYearsAfter
4 stars In the late Seventies I stumbled upon Don Airey while looking at the back cover of the album Electric Savage (1977) by Colosseum II, on a picture he was playing a Minimoog synthesizer. The music blew me away, what an exciting blend of jazz rock and symphonic rock and what a great work on the Minimoog by Don Airey (see PA video Colosseum II : The Scorch Live). I became a fan and watched him in 1981 with Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow and more recently in 2012 as Don Airey & Friends, playing on the mighty Hammond B3 organ. Along an endless list of bands he joined (like Judas Priest, Black Sabbath, Jethro Tull, Whitesnake, Wishbone Ash and Thin Lizzy) Don Airey also released four solo albums between 1988 and 2014. And On May 25th he will release his new solo album entitled One Of A Kind, including a live bonus CD (4 tracks, Germany 2017). This review is about my favourite one, his second entitled A Light In The Sky from 2008.

During my first listening session I concluded very quickly: what an exciting and varied album featuring mindblowing work on the Hammond organ and Grand piano! As a huge fan of the very distinctive Hammond I was blown away by Don Airey, he let his Hammond moan and groan and scream during swirling solos in Ripples In The Fabric Of Time, Space Troll Patrol, Endless Night and A Light In The Sky Pt.2. But also a big hand for his vituosic work on the Grand piano like in Love You Too Much (wonderful ballad with warm vocals), Sombrero M104 (sparkling with flamenco hints), Into Orbit (swirling duet with a violin) and the strongly build-up final song Lost In The End Of Time (beautiful interplay between electric guitar and a melancholical violin).

And what a variety in the other songs.

Rainbow-like Heavy Prog with powerful vocals in Shooting Star (Hammond sound like Jon Lord and a flashy Minimoog synthesizer solo with pitchbend) and A Light In The Sky Pt.2.

Rockabilly (in the vein of The Strays Cats) with Hammond organ in Rocket To the Moon.

Fiery guitar with a jazzy Fender Rhodes electric piano in Big Crunch.

And ambient keyboard sounds in several short songs like Big Bang, Lift Off and Metallicity.

Especially during the 12 instrumental tracks Don Airey showcases his impressive skills on a wide range of keyboards, what an exciting, varied and genuine progressive album.

TenYearsAfter | 4/5 |

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