DON AIREY - One Of A Kind
June 28, 2018, a year ago
Strange to have a solo album from a keyboard player, but Don Airey has a lengthy career, featured on some of the great albums/tours with Rainbow, then Ozzy Osbourne, to mention but two. He's joined here by a band of lesser knowns that includes current Nazareth vocalist Carl Sentence and bassist Laurence Cottle, with whom he shared the stage in Gary Moore's band. In addition to eleven originals, there's a live four-tracker (recorded in Germany, March 2017), cherry-picking songs from Airey's illustrious past. This is ‘70s inspired hard rock, flourish of keys up in the mix (naturally) and there's a reassuring familiarity to Sentence's delivery, for us old-timers.
Blues based UK hard rocker "All Out Of Line" features exaggerated keys and guitar solos within its meandering 4:33. Gem of an old school sound-alike. However, from there, the musical choices get a wonky, at least from a rock perspective, let alone hard rock or metal. While he's spent his adult life playing that kind of music, written by others, can understand him spreading his wings, on HIS solo outing, but will his fans be interested in melodic ballads and show tune inspiration? Big orchestration and electric piano of "Running Free" recalls the band Chicago. There's some improv inspired exploration on "Want You So Bad", while "Children Of The Sun" gets back to conventional rock structures. The instrumental "Remember To Call" could be the theme to the late movie. Proper disc closer "Stay The Night" has a jazzy, Glenn Hughes era Deep Purple vibe.
Speaking of DP, the first live cut is a rendition of their "Pictures Of Home” complete with some Gillan squeals. The poppy, lounge lizard, crowd-sung rendition of "Since You've Been Gone" is the worst of the live offerings. Airey runs down the ivories to open another Rainbow classic (which fairs a little better): "I Surrender". The finale, Gary Moore's "Still Got The Blues" is fairly true to the original, the late Thin Lizzy guitarist never known for his singing. Interesting to hear ONCE, but don't imagine there will be repeat airings around my house.