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Garson's Bowie Variations Cd And Sheet Music Book Due

Total Blam Blam's picture
on July 03, 2011

They tell me "Garson, we want you, be elusive, but don't walk far"...

Mike Garson has been sending me details of his latest venture over the last couple of months.

It's an eleven-track CD entitled The Bowie Variations For Piano, which gives some clue as to its content.

I asked Mike if this particular project was one he had been considering for long, as he had played his own interpretations of Bowie's music both at the final Hammersmith show in 1973 and with the Mike Garson Band in 1974 as warm-ups in both cases for David's main performanceHere's what he said..."This is a very important album for me as I've been contemplating doing David's songs for almost 40 years and to do it solo piano seemed by far the most honest way for me."

And here's a quotation DB donated for the album: "Whatever Mike lends his hands to invariably becomes something magical."

Here's the tracklisting...

01 ~ Space Oddity
02 ~ John, I'm Only Dancing
03 ~ Life On Mars?
04 ~ "Heroes"
05 ~ Ashes To Ashes
06 ~ Variations On "Changes"
07 ~ Let's Dance
08 ~ Medley: Battle For Britain (The Letter) / The Loneliest
Guy / Bring Me The Disco King
09 ~ Tribute To DB
10 ~ Wild Is The Wind

Bonus track
11 ~ Space Oddity (Alternate Take)

And here's the official blurb...

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Mike Garson - The Bowie Variations For Piano

Original interpretations and impressions of David Bowie's best music written and performed by Mike Garson.

For over three decades, Mike Garson was associated with rock legend David Bowie as his keyboardist and creative collaborator. He also worked with Free Flight, Stan Getz, Mel Torme, Thad Jones, and others. The computer graphics used on the cover and in the booklet are more examples of Garson's creativity.

This "Prof." Johnson HDCD recording was made in a fine concert hall, and has Reference Recording's signature Grammy-winning sonics.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Shortly after the release of the CD, the first volume of sheet music will be made available for purchase. It will have the scores for the following four pieces exactly as Mike played them...

01 ~ Space Oddity
02 ~ John, I'm Only Dancing
03 ~ Life On Mars?
04 ~ Tribute To DB

Obviously the sheet music is aimed mainly at pianists, but it's a cool companion to the CD either way.

These pieces work in their own right away from the originals, much like Philip Glass' Bowie interpretations...so, even though they're instrumental, if you're expecting karaoke please send in your recordings of your first attempts to sing along!

In fact, I'm a little embarrassed to admit that when Mike sent me a preview track last month, I couldn't identify it until the tracklisting narrowed the field for me...then of course, it was obvious.

I've seen various July release dates, but Mike reckons it's released on the 15th. Either way you can purchase the CD from the usual outlets but you can also pre-order directly from Mike by getting in touch with him here.

UPDATE: Mike has told me that those of you that order directly from him via the above link will get a signed copy if you so wish.

MP3s and the sheet music will be available in a couple of weeks from mikegarson.com.

Finally, the Mike Garson Official YouTube Channel is worth checking out for a couple of DB-related snippets from Mike.

In one of the pieces Mike talks about having to go out on stage before David and the band, at David's suggestion, to play something as an intro piece. He talks about having to go out cold in front of a hundred thousand people to warm them up with A Foggy Day In London Town.

Now, I haven't researched this, but if memory serves, I think Mike may be confusing two different events.

The show he played A Foggy Day In London Town at, I THINK was the BBC Radio Theatre in 2000. I believe Mike is confusing that with Glastonbury at which I THINK he played Greensleeves...and while my brain is in this mode I believe the BowieNet show at The Roseland Ballroom in NY the same year was treated to First We Take Manhattan. Am I wrong?

UPDATE: No I'm not, Mike has now confirmed the above.

Stay tuned for a contest to win copies of Mike Garson's Bowie Variations For Piano CD shortly.

blog image: 
    3 July 2011
    Garson's Bowie Variations Cd And Sheet Music Book Due

    They tell me "Garson, we want you, be elusive, but don't walk far"...

    Mike Garson has been sending me details of his latest venture over the last couple of months.

    It's an eleven-track CD entitled The Bowie Variations For Piano, which gives some clue as to its content.

    I asked Mike if this particular project was one he had been considering for long, as he had played his own interpretations of Bowie's music both at the final Hammersmith show in 1973 and with the Mike Garson Band in 1974 as warm-ups in both cases for David's main performanceHere's what he said..."This is a very important album for me as I've been contemplating doing David's songs for almost 40 years and to do it solo piano seemed by far the most honest way for me."

    And here's a quotation DB donated for the album: "Whatever Mike lends his hands to invariably becomes something magical."

    Here's the tracklisting...

    01 ~ Space Oddity
    02 ~ John, I'm Only Dancing
    03 ~ Life On Mars?
    04 ~ "Heroes"
    05 ~ Ashes To Ashes
    06 ~ Variations On "Changes"
    07 ~ Let's Dance
    08 ~ Medley: Battle For Britain (The Letter) / The Loneliest
    Guy / Bring Me The Disco King
    09 ~ Tribute To DB
    10 ~ Wild Is The Wind

    Bonus track
    11 ~ Space Oddity (Alternate Take)

    And here's the official blurb...

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Mike Garson - The Bowie Variations For Piano

    Original interpretations and impressions of David Bowie's best music written and performed by Mike Garson.

    For over three decades, Mike Garson was associated with rock legend David Bowie as his keyboardist and creative collaborator. He also worked with Free Flight, Stan Getz, Mel Torme, Thad Jones, and others. The computer graphics used on the cover and in the booklet are more examples of Garson's creativity.

    This "Prof." Johnson HDCD recording was made in a fine concert hall, and has Reference Recording's signature Grammy-winning sonics.

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Shortly after the release of the CD, the first volume of sheet music will be made available for purchase. It will have the scores for the following four pieces exactly as Mike played them...

    01 ~ Space Oddity
    02 ~ John, I'm Only Dancing
    03 ~ Life On Mars?
    04 ~ Tribute To DB

    Obviously the sheet music is aimed mainly at pianists, but it's a cool companion to the CD either way.

    These pieces work in their own right away from the originals, much like Philip Glass' Bowie interpretations...so, even though they're instrumental, if you're expecting karaoke please send in your recordings of your first attempts to sing along!

    In fact, I'm a little embarrassed to admit that when Mike sent me a preview track last month, I couldn't identify it until the tracklisting narrowed the field for me...then of course, it was obvious.

    I've seen various July release dates, but Mike reckons it's released on the 15th. Either way you can purchase the CD from the usual outlets but you can also pre-order directly from Mike by getting in touch with him here.

    UPDATE: Mike has told me that those of you that order directly from him via the above link will get a signed copy if you so wish.

    MP3s and the sheet music will be available in a couple of weeks from mikegarson.com.

    Finally, the Mike Garson Official YouTube Channel is worth checking out for a couple of DB-related snippets from Mike.

    In one of the pieces Mike talks about having to go out on stage before David and the band, at David's suggestion, to play something as an intro piece. He talks about having to go out cold in front of a hundred thousand people to warm them up with A Foggy Day In London Town.

    Now, I haven't researched this, but if memory serves, I think Mike may be confusing two different events.

    The show he played A Foggy Day In London Town at, I THINK was the BBC Radio Theatre in 2000. I believe Mike is confusing that with Glastonbury at which I THINK he played Greensleeves...and while my brain is in this mode I believe the BowieNet show at The Roseland Ballroom in NY the same year was treated to First We Take Manhattan. Am I wrong?

    UPDATE: No I'm not, Mike has now confirmed the above.

    Stay tuned for a contest to win copies of Mike Garson's Bowie Variations For Piano CD shortly.