Exposé Online banner

Anderson / Wakeman — The Living Tree
(Gonzo Multimedia HST050CD, 2010, CD)

by Jeff Melton, Scott Steele, Published 2011-06-01

The Living Tree Cover art

Yes's Jon Anderson and Rick Wakeman have enjoyed success both within and without the group. Considering that both are on the outs with their previous band, it makes sense that the two would consider joining forces to create some new music together. The basis of most tracks on this disk is simple – clear and untarnished vocals, supported by keyboard lines. Pieces such as "Morning Star" and "House of Freedom" impart strong melodic content from the duo, with Anderson's lead vocal a bit quavery at times, but still convincing and precious. Wakeman's backing tracks are less frilly than those on his own solo recordings, giving each track a solid foundation for each player's unique style. Rick steers clear of any real flashy phrasing or dramatic flair, which becomes one of the album's real strengths. The title track is split between two parts, suggesting some ambiguous importance (in other words, very Yes-like). Many of Anderson's lyrical themes hint at some of his post-Yes healing and the characteristic shamanistic aspects ("24/23/11") of his personality which have become more prominent in his wordplay. The only complaint I have about this disk is the mail-in nature of the project – neither musician was together with the other while recording these tracks. This could have improved the delicate interaction on which the success of the album hinges. This disk is recommended to dedicated fans that want a spark of Yes but can't get a handle on their latest lineup without Anderson or Wakeman.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 39, 2010 releases

Related artist(s): Jon Anderson, Rick Wakeman, Jeremy Cubert

Latest news

2019-11-07
Glenn Smith RIP – Glenn Smith, founder, mandolinist, and primary composer of the DeLand, Florida based prog / fusion band Magnatar, passed away on October 18th 2019 at the age of 68, after a brief illness.  » Read more

2019-11-04
Dino Brassea RIP – Word reaches us of the passing of Dino Brassea, who sang and played flute in Cast for many years. By our count, Brassea appeared on 11 Cast albums between 1994 and 2002. He also released music as a solo artist. » Read more

2019-10-06
Ginger Baker RIP – Legendary English drummer Ginger Baker has died at the age of 80. After coming to fame with Cream in the 60s alongside Eric Clapton and Jack Bruce, he became one of the most recognized and influential drummers of the rock era. On September 25, his family announced that he was critically ill, and on October 6 his death was confirmed. » Read more

2019-08-20
Alex's Hand Seeks Spa Treatment – American / European band Alex's Hand has a new album in the works called Hungarian Spa, which looks to be their biggest and best yet, featuring a large roster of guest musicians. They're seeking funding to take the project on the road, and are looking for help from the crowd of wisdom. » Read more

2019-06-05
Legendary Co-Founder of The 13th Floor Elevators Passes Away at Age 71 – Sadly, Roky Erickson passed away on May 31, 2019. Known as the father of psychedelic music and co-founder of the ground breaking 13th Floor Elevators, Roky had a profound influence on music from the 60s to today. Plagued by his own personal demons, Roky had a difficult life and is now free of these burdens. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Percy Jones - Tunnels – Jones, who is probably best known for his impeccable and highly energized fretless bass work in Brand X, brings that pedigree to this, his newest project band. Also featured in the lineup are drummer...  (1994) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues