The 16th Malta Jazz Festival which started with the striking performance of the popular Noir group ends with the wonderful performance of Alan Parson.
Alan Parson’s new album, A Valid Path, is his leap into the world of electronica music, filled with poly-rhythmic drumbeats and soaring guitar solos, provided in part by Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour. The record’s gem, “More Lost Without You”, features P.J. Olsson on vocals. Another great collaboration is with The Crystal Method on “We Play The Game”.
Parsons, an engineer and producer, worked on classic albums like Let It Be, Abbey Road, and Dark Side of the Moon, for which he earned one of his ten Grammy nominations. He emerged in 1976 as the artist behind his own group, ground breaking progressive rockers The Alan Parsons Project. The Alan Parsons Project had two Top Ten Albums, six Top Ten Singles and were awarded 3 platinum and 7 gold records by the RIAA.
Most of his work is very much studio-based, as indeed has been so much of his own work. However,there is nothing like the smell of the crowd and roar of the greasepaint to make it all make sense, and not only can you catch the Alan Parsons Live Project in concert these days.
A leap into the world of computers and electronic music, A Valid Path is filled with polyrhythmic drumbeats and soaring guitar solos (provided in part by Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour), and sees a number of fascinating new collaborations, including The Crystal Method, Shpongle, Jeremy Parsons, Uberzone, The Nortec Collective and PJ Olsson, who is also the lead singer with the Alan Parsons Live Project.In time-honored Alan Parsons style, A Valid Path merges cultures, sensibilities, instrumentation, and artists in a unique but completely natural blend. Dance loops and heavily processed vocals fuse with stylish chord progressions. Experienced players with young guns. Acoustic instrumental lines with computer-generated algorithms.A Valid Path? To be sure.The regular stereo CD continues to be available on Artemis Records in the USA or on Eagle Records in Europe. The DualDisc is released by Immergent Records in North America for the moment and is also available for purchase on this site.
The Alan Parsons Project, now a slick tight unit of five, played over two hours of solid rock and roll, with the infamous Parsons ethereal twist thrown in. Their two unbelievable sets spanned Parsons’ long career (he started as an engineer, having worked on Pink Floyd’s Dark Side Of The Moon, as well as Ambrosia’s first disc), and covered a wide variety of material. With tunes from virtually every Project album, Parsons and Co. managed to keep a smile on everyone’s face. If you happened to be unfamiliar with a particular song, wait a minute, they’d be coming up with a recognizable one momentarily. Hits like “Stereotomy” and “Games People Play” were speckled with a good portion of his new album, The Time Machine, finally out on Miramar Records domestically.
Highlights included a few tracks from what many consider to be their best work, Tales of Mystery and Imagination. “To One In Paradise” and “The System of Dr. Tarr & Professor Feather” were as amazing live as one could possibly hope for; “Paradise” being sweet and subtle, while “Dr. Tarr” almost blew the roof off the joint! The appearance of David Pack, not on any of the tracks from …Imagination that he originally sang on, but on “Games People Play,” was an extra added bonus to an already wonderful evening of music. It’s too bad David didn’t know all the words and had to sing from a cheat sheet.
Amazing guitar work, quirky keyboards (by a very young and very orange-headed, funny gentleman), and tight percussion made this unit a band to be reckoned with. They performed an extreme array of styles with gusto and the experience that only comes from playing together live. Parson’s own keyboards were delicate and intricate, often taking second stage to the other members of the band. However you define it, Alan Parsons runs one tight ship, and this fine show was evidence of that.