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(74:44, Purple Pyramid Records)
Back in the 1990’s there were a plethora of tribute albums, most of which were successful to a lesser or greater degree. This time around we have an album which instead of “just” being a tribute to a band, is all about paying respect to one of the most important bassists ever to hold an instrument in his hand. Billy Sherwood took on the role when Chris sadly passed away, and here he has been the driving force behind ten new recordings, playing bass on all (accompanied by Jay Schellen on drums). Then at the front we are treated to performance from the likes of Todd Rundgren, Steve Porcaro (Toto), Annie Haslam (Renaissance), John Wesley (Porcupine Tree), Sonja Kristina (Curved Air), Patrick Moraz (Yes/The Moody Blues), Steve Stevens, Dweezil Zappa, and others. It is a long time since I felt any emotion or enjoyment at anything involving Steve Hogarth, but his performance on “Hold Out Your Hand” with Larry Fast is one of his finest. The others which also need really special mention is the wonderful Annie Haslam and “Onward” while Candice Night and Brian Auger’s take on “Don’t Kill The Whale” is simply superb – I note that no guitarist is listed on the latter, but I swear a certain white Stratocaster is making its presence felt no matter if he is credited or not. Billy Sherwood says: “Needless to say this record is near and dear to my heart, Chris and I were friends for decades and his loss was epic. I wanted to honour his spirit, his writing, his bass work… And so I set forth to create this record. Everyone who participated lifted the project and did it out of the deepest respect and love for Chris.” One for fans, but more enjoyable than many albums of this type.
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