Roger Williams

Ivory Impact

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His piano embellishments as precise as ever, the great Roger Williams puts his unique style on Paul McCartney classics "My Love," "With a Little Luck," and "Mull of Kintyre" on a double set of vinyl discs that was a product of McCartney's MPL Communications. Distributed by Bainbridge Records, the Ivory Impact album is a sophisticated blend of classic sounds from yesteryear combined with the modern pop of Billy Joel, Christopher Cross, and Marvin Hamlisch. McCartney must have found immense delight in covers of his songs from a man who was the darling of the music establishment in the '50s and equally potent in the conservative end of the entertainment spectrum in the 1960s. It's almost an hour's worth of Roger Williams in the 1980s tackling Hamlisch compositions like "One" and "What I Did for Love" with his usual elegance and charm. "Witchcraft" and the James Bond theme "For Your Eyes Only" merge into this styling effortlessly, while Lionel Richie's "Endless Love" was made for the audience that embraced Williams' keyboard work through the years. Bobby Darin's Top Ten 1960 hit, "Beyond the Sea," is a nice reprise -- more than a reprise, actually, as Williams hit first with it in 1956 when it edged slightly into the Top 40. Spreading the music of a middle-of-the-road artist like Williams across four sides of vinyl might have been too much work for listeners who simply wanted to put on a record and let it spin, though a compact disc can hold all of these sounds efficiently and make for a smoother listening experience. Musically Grade A, as usual, for the maestro.

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