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Don Airey - K2 (Tales Of Triumph & Tragedy) CD (album) cover


Don Airey


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2.85 | 25 ratings

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3 stars Prolific British keyboardist, born in 1948 in Sunderland, and among the most well-known session musicians.Airey's career took off in mid-70's, playing for Cozy Powell's Hammer, later to join Black Sabbath for the ''Never Say Die!'' album.Between 1978 and 1981 he joined Rainbow for a couple of albums, followed by his recruitment on Ozzy Osborne's band in early- 80's.In 1987 Airey helped both Jethro Tull and Whitesnake as a session keyboardist and around the same time he wrote the material of what became his first solo output ''K2 (Tales of Triumph & Tragedy)'', originally released in 1988 on MCA Records.

With help by Gary Moore on guitars, Cozy Powell on drums, Manfred Mann's Earth Band's vocalist Chris Thompson and Keats' singer Colin Blunstone, Airey wrote a concept work around the deadly disaster took place on the K2 mountain between the 6th and 10th August of 1986, leading to the death of five mountaineers, and it is strongly recommended to the listener to follow the concept.The majority of the album consists of short tracks/themes around the fatal event, divided into narrations, bombastic orchestral passages and even some keyboard Fusion with a strong Hard Rock flavor overall.The atmosphere ranges from dynamic grooves to very dramatic solos, highlighted by Moore's exceptional solos and Airey's mournful synthesizers.Only some cheap sounding keyboards and the quite plastic production will spoil the so long very decent material.By the end of the album, just when the events peak their top emotional moments, Airey placed his longer and more sensitive compositions.Sensational vocal parts, orchestral and grandiose keyboard work along with Moore's thrilling trademark solos give birth to the excellent finish of the album and the story.

''K2 (Tales of Triumph & Tragedy)'' serves nicely the purpose of its existence.It is much a product of its time but it is also a very good concept release, where Hard Rock meets AOR meets keyboard-based Prog with a good alternation between different emotions.Recommended.

apps79 | 3/5 |


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