LINE-UP: RICK WAKEMAN piano, keys; ADAM WAKEMAN keys, guitar; HAYLEY SANDERSON vocals
RICK WAKEMAN, keyboardist and composer, whose illustrious career spans five decades is best known for his work with one of the great prog rock groups, YES. However, his talents have been to the fore in a multitude of musical settings.
STRICTLY WAKEMAN with WAKEMAN, has been put together for this special show at Ronnie’s, building on Rick’s acclaimed performances at the clubs then annual Ronnie Scott’s International Piano Trio Festival over two nights in 2018. To give some of the delights in store on the three forthcoming nights in July, below is the review of the album that Rick and Adam recorded in 1994. In 2014, HAYLEY SANDERSON is one of the vocalists on the UK edition of Strictly Come Dancing, joined Rick Wakeman as vocalist on his UK tour of Journey to the Centre of the Earth to celebrate its fortieth anniversary. She sings on the 2012 re-recording of the album, as well as the 2016 re-recording of Wakeman's The Myths and Legends of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table.
“Wakeman With Wakeman is where both Rick and son Adam collaborate to create some outstanding keyboard music, heavily layered and intelligently catapulted forward with energy and instrumental brilliance. Even the piano work is becoming, fusing the talents of both generations together and creating some fully charged pieces of pure keyboard playing. With barely any percussion or strings, the Wakemans dominate ten different types of synthesizers and keyboards, combining both intricate and simplistic playing styles across a vast range of rhythms and rock tempos. The power of the Korg and Hammond organ is best applied on "Sync or Swim" and on the turbulent "Megalomania," as the intensity of the synthesizers are kept controlled and expertly piloted throughout the course of the song's duration. A version of the Rolling Stones' "Paint It Black" is performed as well, with the crescendoed solo played by Adam Wakeman in a clean and pleasingly thrift fashion, but the resemblances are miles apart. Overall, the album stands as a straightforward concordance of keyboard work, showcasing the skills of both musicians. If the purpose of Wakeman With Wakeman is to demonstrate the flexibility of the keyboard, then it fulfills its intentions meticulously.” AllMusic Review by Mike DeGagne