Tuesday, November 18, 2008

What We're Listening to - Live in Gdansk by David Gilmour.

If you think about it, there are many reasons why David Gilmour's new CD shouldn't work. It is a concert recorded in a shipyard; it contains a full recording of his recent CD of new music; it features the use of an orchestra; it has a 25-minute song [mostly instrumental]; and not once, not twice, but three times he digs deep into the Pink Floyd catalog for songs first recorded prior to their commercial breakthrough album, Dark Side of the Moon.

Fortunately, music also requires emotion and sometimes that is more important than thinking things through too much. The concert recorded on Live in Gdansk succeeds memorably, and turns each of those possible concerns into strengths. This was recorded at the end of Gilmour's 2006 tour in support of his "On an Island" album and is set in the Gdansk shipyards to commemorate and honor the Solidarity movement in Poland. The use of an orchestra blends beautifully into the band's music. The second CD, devoted to Pink Floyd selections, is an amazing treat. From the aforementioned 25-minute version of Echoes to more obscure songs like Fat Old Sun, Gilmour is taking risks that actually are treats to fans. How many musicians are confident enough to avoid far better-known songs to dig this deep into their catalog these days? Very, very few would dare; most artists are content to play the hits and nothing but the hits. The final two songs, A Great Day for Freedom and Comfortably Numb, feature two amazing, emotive guitar solos that remind everyone why David Gilmour is on the short list of all-time greatest guitarists. Powerful stuff to listen to and lastly, to hear Pink Floyd keyboardist, Richard Wright's vocal on Comfortably Numb serves as a fitting tribute with his recent death.

1 comment:

Erin said...


All musicians should be backed by an orchestra. Always. Otherwise, you fall under the category of "music Erin can ignore".