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Jon Anderson - The Living Tree In Concert Part One (Anderson/Wakeman) CD (album) cover

THE LIVING TREE IN CONCERT PART ONE (ANDERSON/WAKEMAN)

Jon Anderson

 

Prog Related

3.03 | 12 ratings

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memowakeman
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Review originally posted at www.therocktologist.com

It would be a dream to see these two gentlemen in show, Wakeman is one of my musical idols, while Anderson's voice is always a pleasure; I hope to see them soon, no matter what they play. However, I cannot say I am really happy with this live album, in which they combine classic Yes songs with themes from their 2010 release "The Living Tree", later I will tell you the reasons. This live record is entitled "The Living Tree in Concert Part One", consists of twelve tracks and a total time of 56 minutes; of course, the performers are only Mr. Anderson and Mr. Wakeman.

They chose a Yes track to open the show, which I am not really sure if was the best decision since what they are promoting is their latest album, but well, fragments of "And You and I" can be heard and enjoyed for five minutes in this duo version. Anderson's voice sounds a bit tired or worn, but it is normal after so many years of effort. Wakeman's keyboards are not that bombastic, are calm and charming, closer to his new age records.

Now after that introduction, they perform the first two tracks of "The Living Tree". The first is "The Living Tree (Part 1)" which has a gentle and warm sound, with hopeful lyrics and an ambience of tranquility. The second is "Morning Star" which I really like. Since its beginning the piano let us know this is a more intense song; there is an obvious communion between voice and piano, both create the atmosphere and decide the song's fate with their tone variations and; a very good song.

The previous song is connected with "Long Distance Runaround", which provokes the audience applause and joy. Here they delight us with two minutes of this well-known piece, though there is a moment where they make the song theirs. Later they return to "Living Tree", first with "The Garden", a calm, reflexive song with soft vocals and atmospheric keyboards combined with piano. It is linked with "The Living Tree (Part 2)", we can actually appreciate the change, though it is not that obvious. Actually the whole album is mellow with a relaxing sound, sharing that peace both characters release.

The intercalation of classic with new tracks is good because it is a way to please the audience. Now they did it with a cool and charismatic version of "Time and a Word", in which Anderson plays a repetitive guitar, while Wakeman make his crazy things. At the end, Anderson adds some lines of other non-Yes well-known songs, such as "She Loves You (yeah, yeah, yeah)". The concert continues with "Just One Man" which is the epilogue of the Living Tree. What I like of the concert is that anyone could distinguish the Yes songs, with the Anderson/Wakeman ones without having listened to any of them; if you listen to it, you will know what I am talking about.

"23/24/11" is a beautiful yet disarming song, one of my favorites. Here I like how it starts calm, softly progresses until it reaches a climax in which Anderson's voice becomes higher and more emotional. Once again, the communion between both musicians is wonderful. "Southside of the Sky" is the last Yes song, with a keyboard introduction for a minute, and then acoustic guitar and voice joins; you already know the song.

The final pair is "House of Freedom" and "The Meeting". The first one was taken from the Living Tree, a nice song that follows the same path of the majority of the tracks, nice vocals and warm keyboards, with a slight symphonic sound, my favorite part is after four minutes, an instrumental passage that puts some images in my head. And the second one is taken from that 1989 album of Anderson-Bruford-Wakeman-Howe, though the version is a bit different, for obvious reasons, the melancholic and cute sound is the same.

This is a good album, if you liked "The Living Tree" you will love this live performance, otherwise you will enjoy it, but never adore it.

memowakeman | 3/5 |

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