Tuesday, February 24, 2015

IAN PAICE'S SUNFLOWER SUPERJAM: "Live at The Royal Albert Hall 2012"

Rating: Live
Label: earMUSIC/Edel 2015
Review by: Urban "Wally" Wallstrom

Number one million two thousand and eight in the long and endless series of Deep Purple related projects and albums. Low and behold, it's finally time for the geezer behind the kit to step up and hit a home run? The audience might just also run home for that matter? Nah. Not too shabby really and the all-star gathering with guest musicians such as Alice Cooper, Bruce Dickinson (Iron Maiden, Samson), John Paul Jones (Led Zeppelin), Brian May (Queen), Mark King (Level 42) and hippie-trippy guitarist Uli John Roth (Scorpions).

Paice's musical angle and style is clearly influenced by 60's Pop/Rock, Jazz, Funk, and the odd Metal. The backbone of this Sunflower SuperJam is indeed the fusion of all genres. Recorded live in London in 2012 and originally intended as the private charity dinner and show, the people demanded access and the result is the interesting but hardly spectacular concert.

You get the semi dodgy Led Zeppelin, Thin Lizzy, and Rainbow cover. Alice Cooper sings old hits such as "Elected" and "School's Out". The ultimate heart wrenching The Who ballad (Behind Blue Eyes) is performed by Bruce Dickinson and it's again, ehhh, the interesting concept but hardly essential stuff. Black Night fits him better though. The person that gets my personal vote as performer of the evening, Mark King of Level 42, excellent bass player and singer for that matter. He's right on the money and hit all the perfect notes with ease. He's remarkable upbeat and energetic and especially in the quick comparison with all the other dino rockers on stage.

The closing all-star jam of "Smoke On the Water" gets on my nerves to be honest. How original? They couldn't come up with anything more interesting? The world does not need another version of the song. Final verdict: only intended to please the die hardest of DP fans?

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