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Anderson/Wakeman: The Living Tree In Concert Part 1

Jon Anderson and Rick Wakeman have worked with each other on and off for the past forty-one years, ever since Yes's Fragile released in 1971. They started performing together in a live setting in 2006 and released The Living Tree in 2009 which I thought was a very good album. That brings us to their brand new live album The Living Tree In Concert Part One. It stands to reason if you were a fan of The Living Tree you will want to have this concert CD. Yes, the duo are getting older but there is no denying the musical chemistry between these two lifelong friends.

If you are not familiar with their first release, the pair displays a more poignant and peaceful form of music, not near as bombastic as their former band. One must remember no one is getting any younger and I think this softer approach works quite well.

The disc kicks off with the Yes classic "And You And I" taken from Close To the Edge. Anderson begins with the strumming of his acoustic guitar and Wakeman's keys gently swirl about the soundscape. The bombast is set aside and a more tranquil moment is infused into the performance although Wakeman does add some symphonic layers in the song's second half. This is followed by the beautiful melody of "Living Tree (Part 1)", a peaceful song with ethereal keys and Anderson's distinctively soothing voice. In "Morning Star" Wakeman adds some rolling piano lines making this one a little more intense and not so joyous adding an air of melancholy to the surroundings. Next is the familiar melody of "Long Distance Runaround", one of my favourites from the Fragile album. The spacious arrangement lets Jon's voice take center stage and the instrumental bits flow beautifully. Judging by the audience response they enjoyed it as well.

Another Fragile moment can be heard in the form of "Southside Of the Sky", an elegant version filled with Wakeman's beautiful keyboard arrangements. The band travels further back in time cracking open the vaults to the title track from Time And A Word, this time displaying some reggae touches. At the song's end Jon adds some vocals from The Beatles' "She Loves You" which only seems fitting as I always thought the original version to be heavily influenced by that band.

Beautiful arrangements and melodies are what you will hear on this concert CD, just don't expect the full symphonic bombast of their former band. I for one am looking forward to Part 2.

Track Listing:
1. And You And I (5:20)
2. Living Tree (Part 1) (4:05)
3. Morning Star (4:24)
4. Long Distance Runaround (2:49)
5. Garden (3:07)
6. Living Tree (Part 2) (4:19)
7. Time And A Word (4:56)
8. Just One Man (4:47)
9. 23/24/11 (5:43)
10. Southside Of The Sky (6:50)
11. House Of Freedom (6:20)
12. The Meeting (3:59)

Added: March 9th 2012
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Artist's Official Site
Hits: 1639
Language: english

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