Most lovers of progressive rock music do know who John Wetton is. Everybody who has a copy of an album of Family, King Crimson, Uriah Heep, Roxy Music, UK, Atoll, Wishbone Ash, Icon or Asia might read his name on it. His name is synonymous with melodic progressive rock. However when you listen to the recordings made at the Iridium Club in New York, October 15 in 2013, you will hear a different kind of musical genre. If you want to know what happened on that day in New York, just listen to the album New York Minute. It was recorded by John Wetton And The Les Paul Trio.
On the album you will hear an interesting acoustic live performance, in which, for the occasion, the British artist was supported by a famous jazz combo, namely The Les Paul Trio. Featured are guitarist Lou Pallo, bassist Nikki Parrott and pianist Rodney Holmes. On New York Minute (Live At The Iridium, NY 2013) Wetton paid homage to acts that inspired him to make music or had been an influence in writing his own compositions. For the occasion he had revisited seven classic pop-rock, folk and soul tunes. Plus two songs he wrote himself in collaboration with other writers. But beware! Don't expect any progressive rock music or even rock or pop. What you hear you might label as easy listening moving slightly towards jazz.
It' s just big fun listening how they have reworked Do It Again (Steely Dan), What's Going On (Marvin Gaye), God Only Knows (Beach Boys), Can't Find My Way Home (Blind Faith), New York Minute (Don Henley), All Along The Watch Tower (Bob Dylan) and Lady Madonna (The Beatles), but also the way they perform the more well know prog tunes Heat Of The Moment (Asia) and his solo composition Battle Lines are rather entertaining. The Les Paul Trio are giving all the performed songs an extra dimension with the austere piano accompaniment. You can simply say less is more! But it's not only the music that keeps you listening throughout the entire album but also the talking in between the song by John himself which is never dull. Furthermore, his vocals were once again very strong because he didn't have to play the bass or any other instrument and could completely focus on singing the vocal lines and presenting the lyrics as they should be done.
Sure I do know that not every fan of Mr. Wetton will find pleasure in listening to this release-most of all those who like his albums made with UK or Asia. All I can say to them is that they should listen to New York Minute only one time to discover how versatile this musician is. I certainly had a great time while listening to the special treatments John Wetton And The Les Paul Trio gave to the nine songs they played together. And that's all that matters!
*** Henri Strik (edited by Robert James Pashman)
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