The iconoclastic Rick Wakeman has been part of the music world for over 30 years. A part of ‘Yes’ and very much a driving force behind ‘The Strawbs’, he also has bragging rights on a great solo career. I lost touch with Rick Wakeman’s  fine music in the mid 80’s, it wasn’t that I had lost interest, merely being a continent away you just didn’t hear much about him. I remember Rick as the long haired (really long) musician that never seemed to have quite enough keyboards. If he only had six on stage, you knew there had been an equipment failure!He was the Grand Master of the Moog, and Meletron.

When I saw that MVD were releasing a new Rick Wakeman CD/DVD, I was salivating, I could not wait to get my hands on this.

Amazing Grace is nothing like what I had envisioned, there is almost no electronica, but, there is a huge amount of talent to be appreciated. Rick has a history of doing the unexpected, and this is it. Let’s take a bunch of hymns and rearrange them for the grand piano.

I can think of no other musician that could pull this off. Rick does it easily, and with panache. The title track is the only track with vocals, and it is his daughter Jemma Wakeman singing, and a very fine voice this young lady has.

Rick introduces each track with a brief history of the music, and its writer. Tracks include Morning Has Broken, All Things Bright And Beautiful, and Jerusalem. Each one is artistically crafted by this magician of the keyboards,

The video is incredibly well done, the producers are to be congratulated on doing a superb job of matching images that suit the mood of the piece. The use of time lapse video on a couple of the tracks is simply stunning.

I can not recommend this CD/DVD combination enough, if you love great music, you need this one in your collection. Released on the MVDvisual label it is available through MVD.

Simon Barrett

http://zzsimonb.blogspot.com

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