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Neal Richardson – The Maximalist

by Edward F. Nesta
Neal Richardson - The Maximalist
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Neal Richardson’s latest release Neal Richardson – The Maximalist is a musical journey of life and love. The story is told through Neal’s deft melding of jazz classics, with his skillful interpretations, and five original tracks. A star-studded band with each lending their unique talent and perception to the tracks resulting in a must have release. Neal’s vocal prowess and piano playing has never been better, I am now looking forward to his next release.


Neal Richardson – The Maximalist

The Maximalist: The Maximalist, Come Rain Or Come Shine, The Cold Sea, No Better Blues, This Masquerade, Opium, Help Me Make It Through The Night, Comes Love, Down & Dirty, Sussed, You Are My Sunshine, Jim Jam Blues, One For My Baby, The Gace (When Will It End?)

Personnel: Neal Richardson: Grand Piano, Vocals, Handclaps, Tambourine, Vibraphone, 19th Century Harmonium; Jo Fooks: Tenor Saxophone, Backing Vocals; Sue Richardson: Trumpet, Flugelhorn, Backing Vocals, Handclaps; Mark Bassey: Trombone, Backing Vocals; Miles Danso: Double Bass; Luke Rattenbury: Guitar; Alex Eberhard: Drums; Andy Drudy: Guitar seagulls; OGCR: Handclaps

Neal Richardson – The Maximalist was produced by award-winning Producer Neal Richardson and released on the Splash Point Musiclabel. Neal has produced over 20 albums, which resulted in 3 BBC Jazz Awards, and he runs the popular Splash Point Jazz Club nights (@splashpointjaxzz).

As Neal states, "The Maximalist is an album about false riches, belief, folly, greed, love, connection and hope." In the hands of a master pianist, singer, and songwriter, the release lives up to its stated intentions. The 13-track release contains 5 original tracks by Neal, which are blended seamlessly to tell the story through extraordinary musicianship by a star-studded band.

The release opens with the title track, The Maximalist, and Neal sets the tone with his finger work and vocals as he calls out, "You may think you want those yachts and planes…But the truth of life is nothing to do with that…" The tone and tenor of each instrument is in harmony with the vocals and carries the message musically.

He transitions to the classic, Come Rain Or Shine, which tells the tale of love regardless of money or the weather, "I’m with you rain or shine…" The keyboard work is fantastic as he changes the pace and tempo to complement his vocals and "message."

Next up is the original track, The Cold Sea, a poignant track that speaks of, "Surrender to, her slow caress…I don’t cross the line…" In the end, love endures. The release moves to an instrumental, No Better Blues, which allows the band to stretch their "legs" and show their musicianship while maintaining the feeling of the "message."

Another classic, The Masquerade, is next on the play list that finds us searching for love and a connection. Neal’s interpretation of the jazz classic is a perfect complement to the "story" and the music is sensational. Another outstanding Neal original, Opium, lays the next chapter in the story as Neal sings, "No-one’s got the answer, No-one’s got the truth…. But if you love, there’s risk; If no risk, no love…" The track opens with the distinct haunting sound of the 19th Century Harmonium, which sets a somber mode before the track opens up and lets the jazz beat take over.

The release continues to meld classics along with Neal’s original tracks in a specific order to carry the story. He moves through the classics, using their distinct lyrics, Help Me Make It Through The Night, and Comes Love, to his original track Down & Dirty, Sussed, which is a rousing track that talks of, "…only get down and dirty with you." Other classics that Neal utilizes his singing / songwriting and production interpretation skills on to carry the story are, You Are My Sunshine, Jim Jam Blues and One For My Baby. He closes the release with the original track, The Cage (When Will It End?), a song that begs the question, as we deal with the craziness in the world, "…When Will It End?" The Cage is a fitting end to the musical journey that The Maximalist took us on.

For more information on Neal Richardson, Live Shows, and Splash Point Music – Neal Richardson and Splash Point Music.

Splash Point Social Media:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Splashpointjazz/
Twitter: @splashpointjazz
Instagram: @splashpointjazz

Websites where you can procure Neal Richardson – The Maximalist: Proper Music, FYE, Amazon Music, Collector’s Choice Music

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