Oliver Wakeman / Steve Howe

The 3 Ages of Magick

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It seems this album has been tailored for fans of Yes and particularly of their colorful keyboardist, Rick Wakeman. The latter's son, Oliver, is at the helm of this project, which shares thematic similarities with dad's Myths and Legends of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. Granted, there is something unfair about comparing Oliver Wakeman's music with his father's, but who could do otherwise? Everything he knows about music he learned from his father. He plays the piano, the organ, even the mini-Moog like him, using the same kind of phrasing and conveying the same conception of romanticism. And the fact that he recruited guitarist Steve Howe to grace half of the tracks on The 3 Ages of Magick will make any Yes fan feel at home. The opening track, "Ages of Magick," could belong to any of Rick Wakeman's first three solo LPs; the same goes for "Flight of the Condor" and "The Enchanter." Oliver Wakeman does have his own style, expressed in other tracks. It generally belongs more to new agey instrumental synth rock than progressive rock (something in the vein of Bjorn Lynne's fantasy music albums). Howe delivers good (although not particularly inspired) performances. The supporting cast also makes a difference, especially Tony Dixon (flute, Uilleann pipe) and Jo Greenland (violin), who give the CD a slightly Nordic flavor that fits the topic. The 3 Ages of Magick is a nice production overall that underlines Oliver Wakeman's lineage.

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