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Graydon, Jay - 1993 Airplay For The Planet

ARTIST: Graydon, Jay
ALBUM: Airplay For The Planet
LABEL: Toshiba-EMI
YEAR: 1993
CD REISSUE: 2002, Cool Sound (Japan), COOL-088


LINEUP: Jay Graydon - guitars, keyboards, programming * Bill Champlin, Joseph Williams - vocals, keyboards * Sherwood Ball, Warren Wiebe - vocals * Jay Oliver - synthesizers * David Foster - piano, keyboards * Bill Cantos - keyboards, vocals * Janey Clewer - keyboards * Bruce Gaitsch - rhythm guitars * John Van Tongeren - synthesizer orchestra * Jon Gilutin - keyboards, synthesizer programming * Mark Portman - keyboards * Brett Raymond - synthesizer programming * Kenji Sano, Abe Laboriel - bass * Jerry Hey - horns

TRACK LISTING: 01 Walk The Wire * 02 She Just Can't Make Up Her Mind * 03 History * 04 After The Love Is Gone * 05 Holdin' On To Love * 06 One Way Or Another * 07 Roxann * 08 Show Me The Magic * 09 You're Not Alone * 10 When You Look In My Eyes * 11 Ever After Love


There's a cast of thousands on this one. Literally.. All the hot dogs and cats are playing on here, and they've all turned up to support Jay Graydon on this all-star West Coast Airplay project. We won't name names here (you can see them above), but as you can expect from this colloboration, the songs and the production are top notch. The album is not as pure west-coast as the first Airplay album from 1980, nor is it as punchy as Graydon's previous project Planet 3. it settles into partial West Coast and smooth jazz territory, with flavourings which echo musical recollections from Al Jarreau, Lionel Ritchie, Toto and Richard Marx.

The Songs
Of the songs, they alternate between hi-tech, AOR and jazzy West Coast flavoured tunes. In some respects, it's dependent on who's singing, but one things for certain.. Jay Graydon's sonci guitar blazes a trail through all of them, like a light in the dark. Opener 'Walk The Wire' is a great entree of technical keyboard/guitar interplay. 'History' is a lush keyboard arrangement with some subtle piano lines a la Bill Meyers. The Airplay guys do a cover of 'After The Love Is Gone', though with a 90's touch and all the production wizadry twenty years on from the original Airplay version, plus the one that Earth Wind And Fire made popular. The high stepping 'Holdin' On To Love' is a joyous romp with a mix up of brass parps and tingly piano lines before Graydon' solo lets fly. 'One Way Or Another' is a rather cool syncopated piece, with some engaging synth passages. A standout for me is the sensational ballad 'Roxann', which has 'killer' written all over it.. vocals, choruses, solo and climactic ending. Perhaps the funkiest song onboard is 'Show Me The Magic' with passages that even Babyface would admire, while 'When You Look In My Eyes' is a David Foster sounding ballad which is very melancholy.

In Summary
Perhaps a bit light and breezy for the average melodic rocker, but for those with a taste for exquisite musicianship and classy songs, then just about everything Jay Graydon gets involved with should be worth hearing. Take it from the Swedish and Japanese, they've been doing it for years!

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#1 | gerard on September 12 2014 00:33:03
What an awesome singer Warren Wiebe was... Fortunately there are a number of videos on YouTube that show his talent...

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