Rick Wakeman

The Classical Connection [Rio Digital]

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On this album, Wakeman re-records some of his best instrumentals, aided only by David Paton on classical guitar and electric bass. The emphasis, as the title indicates, is on the classical side of Wakeman's style and work, and Wakeman's main instrument is a digital piano. The album is pleasant enough, but the playing sometimes lacks the authority and excitement of the originals. Aside from the lack of percussion, the arrangements don't differ wildly from the originals, except on "The 1984 Trilogy," where Wakeman recasts music from his 1984 album into something more listenable than the original.