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Anderson/Wakeman: The Living Tree

 A l b u m   D e t a i l s

Label: Voiceprint Records
Released: 2010.10.11
Category: Progressive Rock
Producer(s): Jon Anderson, Rick Wakeman, Erik Jordan
Media type: CD
Web address: www.jonanderson.com
Appears with: Yes, Jon & Vangelis, Rick Wakeman
Purchase date: 2015
Price in €: 1,00

 S o n g s ,   T r a c k s

[1] Living Tree [Part 1] (R.Wakeman/J.Anderson) - 4:03
[2] Morning Star (R.Wakeman/J.Anderson) - 4:30
[3] House of Freedom (R.Wakeman/J.Anderson) - 5:37
[4] Living Tree [Part 2] (R.Wakeman/J.Anderson) - 4:37
[5] Anyway and Always (R.Wakeman/J.Anderson) - 3:51
[6] 23/24/11 (R.Wakeman/J.Anderson) - 6:24
[7] Forever (R.Wakeman/J.Anderson) - 5:32
[8] Garden (R.Wakeman/J.Anderson) - 3:23
[9] Just One Man (J.Cubert/J.Anderson) - 4:46

 A r t i s t s ,   P e r s o n n e l

Jon Anderson - Lead & Backing Vocals, Guitars, Producer
Rick Wakeman - Piano, Keyboards, Synthesisers, Producer

Erik Jordan - Engineer, Mixing, Producer
Mark Wilkinson - Artwork

 C o m m e n t s ,   N o t e s

Despite both Jon Anderson and Rick Wakeman having extensive successful solo careers stretching back to the mid-seventies both men will probably forever be associated with the classic line -up of British rock band Yes, and throughout the seventies and for various periods in the eighties, nineties and beyond both artists enjoyed a fruitful and hugely successful working relationship as part of Yes. The duo, however, have worked together outside of Yes performing in the UK in 2006, both classics from the Yes catalogue and also selected items from the pair's individual solo catalogue. In 2010 it was announced that Jon Anderson and Rick Wakeman were to tour together once more, with the tour taking place at the end of the year. The tour featured material from their time with Yes but more importantly, material from the duo's then new album The Living Tree. From this tour a compilation of live highlights was overseen by Jon and Rick. The live album features songs from The Living Tree, including Just One Man, The Living Tree part 1, 232411 and also a selection of Yes classics including And You And I, Time And A Word and Long Distance Run Around. There is a massive audience for both Jon Anderson and Rick Wakeman as solo artists but as artists universally connected and associated with Yes this live album will be hugely anticipated by the strong Yes fan base.

© Gonzo Media Group 2014

Not too long ago Anderson and Wakeman presented us with the excellent "The Living Tree." Since then, they've taken this project out on the road on both sides of the Atlantic. This release documents the concerts, and shows what went down on stage.

Right away, the listener is experiencing the very laid back nature of the concert. Both performers are in a very fine shape artistically. They play around with the songs, and really draw out a variety of the material. Both men were in Yes, so of course, there is a fair dose of the Yes tracks. And it's really great how they rearranged these songs, so they fit the overall format of the show.

The Yes material and Anderson/Wakeman tracks are very naturally linked by their co-creators, making it a very enjoyable live recording. The duo even dust off "The Meeting" from their Anderson, Wakeman, Bruford, Howe collaboration from 1989. A very impressive album, that helped to re-establish the 70s version of Yes in modern times. "23/24/11" still steals the show, and that is just such a fine track off "The Living Tree." It's as good in the studio as it is on stage. "Long Distance Runaround" is another great stand out tracks from the past, and the duo gives it a very nice semi-acoustic treatment. And who could forget the reggae rendition of "Time And A Word," with a good measure of The Beatles thrown in for your enjoyment.

Anderson/Wakeman is a very natural connection. The live performance has a very organic feel. And it's unbelievable what you can accomplish only with two players. Considering this is only part one, there should be at least one other live set to follow. Also, let's hope this duo will continue to make music in time to come.

Rating: 4 ot of 5

Mark Kadzielawa

It's remarkable how progressive rock pillars Yes managed to consistently create top-quality music through the decades (with exceptions here and there) despite near-constant ego clashes, management problems, and other inner turmoil that resulted in frequent personnel changes. Vocalist Jon Anderson and keyboardist Rick Wakeman had left the Yes fold once again before the old friends joined forces in 2010 as Anderson/Wakeman to record a new studio album, The Living Tree. Serious health problems have plagued both men; Anderson's life-threatening respiratory ailments in particular led to his 2008 Yes departure. Anderson and Wakeman were in their sixties during the recording of The Living Tree, therefore spirituality, mortality, faith, and the afterlife are important themes on the album, especially in the songs "Morning Star," "House of Freedom," "Anyway and Always," and "Just One Man." Anderson's angelic voice, which was previously as clear as a bell, is startlingly rougher and raspier on this album, especially on the opening track, "Living Tree, Pt. 1." This song, along with "Living Tree, Pt. 2" and "Garden," reflect Anderson's joyful respect for the power of nature. "23/24/11" is a biting critique of war inspired by the fighting in Afghanistan; the title refers to a soldier counting down the time left in his tour of duty. Musically, The Living Tree is spare and stripped down to just Anderson's vocals and Wakeman's piano and tasteful layers of other keyboard textures and fills. Considering the complexity of Yes' music, at times the songs on The Living Tree seem like elaborate demos, and it's worth noting that Anderson and Wakeman e-mailed audio files back and forth to make this album. Listeners used to the grandly cosmic, new age flavor of many Yes songs may be surprised to find that the songs on The Living Tree are more intimate and grounded in reality.

Bret Adams - All Music Guide

The Living Tree is an album by Jon Anderson and Rick Wakeman (as Anderson/Wakeman), both previously members of progressive rock band Yes. The album was initially sold only as a souvenir during their UK tour in Autumn 2010, titled "The Anderson Wakeman Project 360" and from the Gonzo Multimedia online store. It was made available to the public on 29 November 2010.

The album was announced as going to be containing re-workings of classic Yes songs and at least 9 new songs, four of which were featured on the previous (inaugural) Anderson/Wakeman tour in 2006. But the ultimate release only contained 9 new tracks.

Recording for the album began in August 2010. Wakeman stated that he would record the backing tracks at his studio in England and that these would be sent to Anderson in the US to record his vocals. These tracks were all then to be sent back to Wakeman for mixing and mastering.


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