I purchased this CD entirely on the strength of hearing the MP3 samples, and am highly impressed. I've always thought very highly indeed (as many people have) of Rick's piano style, particularly on any of his 70s work - whether solo, in a band, or on other artist's material. However, I did wonder if that solo magic could last the length of an entire album.
Indeed it can - and does! To discover here that his wonderfully playful, emotional, and instantly recognisable style is totally present and correct on every single track was indeed a real pleasure. The tracklist may look rather suspect on paper (as admittedly it did for me) but, when you hear the results, it actually all makes perfect sense - there are no duff, cringeworthy, inappropriate or boring selections here!
It also all fits together very nicely, as well as his piano having a deliciously warm and naturally recorded analogue sound, which I found important, and which is exactly how he sounded in the 70s. These days, piano recordings often have a very clear, but rather cold or harshly digitized tone. But that's definitely not the case here.
I'm not sure if this album would be everybody's cup of tea, but if, like me, you would equally adore Rick's amazing style, with the natural sound of a well-recorded solo piano, then this album is highly recommended.
I can already picture myself listening to this many times, both on long country walks on an i-pod in summer, and as a perfect fireside companion on a cold dark night in winter.
Enjoy - and well done, Rick!