Opening with “Bell’s Boogie”, a lightning fast stomp in C major, your foot will instantly be set tapping, and your heart racing. Other boogies include “Pinetops Boogie Woogie” and “F Boogie” – an aggressive jump blues where Bell squeezes more notes into four minutes than seems physically possible!
The up-tempo feel is maintained, yet contrasted in colour with Chopin’s insanely difficult studies, “Waterfall” and “Ocean”. Powerful and evocative, these aren’t for the faint hearted and certainly not to be attempted without a hand surgeon present! Bell’s emotive playing of the etudes conjures up the grandeur of the natural imagery from the romantic movement, as well as demonstrating formidable technique.
All of the above are refreshed by tracks such as, “Sunday Morning Blues”, a slower, lilting new Orleans blues shuffle and Ballade No.4; a true lyrical story and possibly Chopin’s greatest and most demanding work ever written. Bell gives a moving and emotional performance; his piano sparkles and the experience will last a lifetime.
Finally, percussive parallels linking classical and blues are explored in Beethoven’s sonorous “Moonlight Sonata Movement 3”. Also, older classics, Honky Tonk Train Blues and Pinetops Boogie Woogie have been revamped with Bell’s original new arrangements and improvisations.
Quite simply, a “must have” for any piano fan; a truely exceptional collection from one of the UK’s best pianists that will delight a range of ages and musical tastes.