Here’s an oddity for us here at SOULANDJAZZANDFUNK – an album that doesn’t really fit any of those genres. Some years ago (1998?) Blue Note Records issued a wonderful various album featuring a team of jazz luminaries offering their takes on some classic Beach Boys songs. Sounds odd? Sure, but it really worked, proving that a good tune is just that!
Now coming in November is another album that offers different perspectives on Beach Boys songs – but this one is rather special – the artist is BRIAN WILSON and the album is simply him at his piano playing new (and quite lovely) versions of 15 of his songs.
Talking about the reasons behind the album, Wilson says: “We had an upright piano in our living room and from the time I was 12 years old, I played it each and every day. I never had a lesson; I was completely self-taught. I can’t express how much the piano has played such an important part in my life. It has brought me comfort, joy and security. It has fuelled my creativity as well as my competitive nature. I play it when I’m happy or feeling sad. I love playing for people and I love playing alone when no one is listening. Honestly, the piano and the music I create on it has probably saved my life.”
The album has a rather obvious title – ‘At My Piano’ and the track list includes plenty of Beach Boy’s classics like ‘God Only Knows’, ‘California Girls’, ‘The Warmth Of The Sun’, ‘Don’t Worry Baby ‘and the wonderful ‘Surf’s Up’. But the new treatments are a world away from the layered, sunshine harmonies of the originals. There is a jazzy undertow to some of the tracks but the overriding flavour is one of relaxation and chill out – just pure music!
BRIAN WILSON; AT MY PIANO released 19th November via Decca Records.