The Bowie Variations – Reference Recordings HDCD
Garson writes, “When I met David, I sensed that he was an immense artist and a songwriter with a flair for great melodies and unique harmonies. The Ziggy Stardust tour changed the course of my life in many ways and began a working relationship and a special friendship that has spanned four decades.”
Having played the Bowie songbook in concert countless times, Garson always had the ambition to record his own original variations on these well-known themes. This is the year it came to fruition!
Thanks to the advanced digital technology of the Yamaha Disklavier piano, Garson was able to create several exciting sonic overlays, without abandoning RR’s audiophile approach to recording. “It’s like having six hands!” he exclaimed.
Recorded in the fine natural acoustics of the Oxnard, California, Center for the Performing Arts (venue of several previous RR successes), this program has realistic spatial characteristics not possible with standard studio techniques. Grammy® award winning engineer Keith Johnson has created another touchstone piano recording.
On This Recording
John, I’m Only Dancing
Life On Mars
Ashes To Ashes
Variations on “Changes”
Battle For Britain/Loneliest Guy/Disco King
Tribute to David
Wild is the Wind
Bonus Track: Space Oddity–Take 2
“…who better than he to present an album of piano compositions inspired by the works of Mr. Bowie? The answer, obviously, is no one. This CD is an 11-song sonic expedition through Bowie’s catalog that only Garson could lead.” —John C. Bowerman
“Having immersed yourself in an album that purports to be an extension on assorted musical themes by rock composer David Bowie, you might be surprised to find yourself not thinking about Bowie at all. Albums of this nature sometimes function as glorified tributes, adding a dollop of original artistry to go along with artistry that has long existed. Pianist Mike Garson’s achievement, though, is to have created something that is quite nearly autonomous, save that it owes its inspiration to the good Mr. Stardust…We go from one vista to another, sans checkpoints and borders, which was Bowies preferred mode of music travel, as Garson well knows.” – Colin Fleming, JazzTimes
“Mike Garson is the perfect and logical candidate to delve into [David Bowie’s] music…His doing so as a solo (though sometimes overdubbed) piano album makes the project much more personal.…On the ‘Battle for Britain/Loneliest Guy/Disco King,’ Garson culled solos he played on those late-era Bowie album cuts into an emotionally far-reaching medley—The Garson-Bowie Variations, so to speak. The album’s sole original, ‘The Tribute to David,’ Flows with an impressionistic fluidity that mirrors Bowie’s career.” —Yoshi Kato, Downbeat