Artist: Don Airey - All Out Album: Don Airey - All Out Released: 2011 Source: Mascot Records (MTR 7304 2) Genre: Rock Format: EAC.APE.Scans.410.32 Mb.
A list of all the albums and bands that keyboard wizard Don Airey has cast his spell over would probably fill this entire review, however anyone who has spent time recording or performing with Ozzy Osbourne, Whitesnake, Rainbow, Black Sabbath, UFO, Gary Moore and of course his current residence Deep Purple is obviously a musician of the highest calibre and deserving of the utmost respect.
It may be six long years since the last Deep Purple studio effort, however Don last released a solo disc in 2008, with 'Light In The Sky' being an album which allowed him to demonstrate his undoubted keyboard prowess, while still delivering some tasty prog tinged classic rock. Picking from where that disc left off 'All Out' continues in the same bombastic style, with four keyboard and Hammond heavy instrumentals working seamlessly alongside six vocal tracks. Providing the voice on those songs is Carl Sentance, who previously sang with Krokus, Persian Risk and The Geezer Butler Band and who actually sounds remarkably similar to the singer in Don's main musical outlet, Ian Gillan and that in its self should let you know that Sentence is a charismatic and powerful vocalist who adds hugely to the album. Making up the rest of the band are guitarist Rob Harris (Jamiroquai), drummer Darrin Mooney (Primal Scream) and respected jazz bassist Laurence Cottle. However not content with piecing together a tight and impressive band, Airey has also enlisted the help of guitarists Joe Bonamassa, Bernie Marsden and his brother Keith Airey, who all show up at various points throughout the album.For someone who has covered such a variety of acts, Airey concentrates on a sound not so far removed from Deep Purple, although early Uriah Heep and Emerson Lake and Palmer are also brought to mind. That said, if you know what works, why steer too far from that course? As expected Airey takes centre stage for the majority of the songs and especially on the instrumentals, with the likes of 'Estancia' really just being a glorious excuse for him to squeeze every last note out of his keyboards with flurries blurring past at an amazing rate of knots. One time Whitesnake man Marsden adds his bluesy tones to 'The Way I Feel Inside' and 'Running From The Shadows', where he and Airey combine to great effect, even if the keyboards do steal the show in the latter song with a gloriously melodic and restrained solo. Bonamassa on the other hand leaves no doubt who is playing the licks on 'People In Your Head', as he makes his six string sing with style and grace. Other standouts come in the shape of the beautifully paced slower number 'Long Road' where Keith Airey shines brightly trading soaring lead guitar with his brother's tasteful key's work and the epic closing number 'Tobruk', which once more sees Don at his most energetic best which is easily matched by the growling guitar of Harris and a stunning vocal performance from Sentance.
'All Out' is a classy beast where old school rock values are encouraged to flex their muscles without quite ever losing focus and for anyone into seventies rock is an album worth going 'All Out' for.
Track List: 1. The Way I Feel Inside 2. Estancia 3. People In Your Head 4. B’cos 5. Running From The Shadows 6. Right Arm Overture 7. Fire 8. Long Road 9. Wrath Of Thor 10. Tobruk -------------------------------- Don Airey: keyboards Carl Sentance: vocals Darrin Mooney: drums Lawrence Cottle: bass Rob Harris: guitar Special guest guitarists: Joe Bonamassa, Bernie Marsden, Keith Airey