David Lanz

Liverpool: Re-Imagining the Beatles

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Those who reinterpret the work of others range from providing close copies of the originals to using the originals only as a jumping-off point to express themselves creatively, and on Liverpool: Re-Imagining the Beatles, new age pianist David Lanz (joined by flautist Gary Stroutsos and cellist Walter Gray, among others) leans toward the far side of the range, as the word "re-imagining" implies. Lanz and his compatriots (who have taken to gigging under the name the Liverpool Trio) first of all generally choose less-familiar Beatles B-sides and LP tracks such as "Things We Said Today," "Rain," and "Yes It Is," rather than the group's hits. Then, they create essentially original compositions, really only dipping into the Beatles songs for occasional fragments of the melodies that appear and disappear in the arrangements. This peek-a-boo effect actually is engaging, however, since it gives the listener something to look for and hold onto over the course of meditative instrumental performances that can go on for as much as 11 minutes each. It's a tribute to the melodies of even more obscure Beatles songs that they can be so recognizable within these performances, especially when the tunes lend themselves to the approach, which is certainly the case with the lilting "Norwegian Wood." It may seem something of an attention-getting gimmick to use Beatles music in this way, but Lanz is one new age musician with a valid pop/rock background, and he puts potential consumers on notice with the use of the word "re-imagining": this is his version of some of the work of the Beatles, and it is certainly more him than them.

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