Don Airey: All Out

Spans prog workouts and hummable hard rock.

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One of the most respected keyboard players in the business, Deep Purple’s Don Airey here showcases his diversity. Yet he also displays the ability to make a record that’s musically intelligent yet easily accessible.

There are times on All Out – as on Estancia, Right Arm Overture and Long Road – when he takes classical influences and also a major Keith Emerson devotion to create some wonderfully evocative instrumentals.

Equally there are a few soaring pop-rock anthems, such as People In Your Head, on which vocalist Carl Sentance unleashes a talent for carrying a tune in a near Rainbow-esque fashion.

The presence of guest guitarists Joe Bonamassa, Bernie Marsden and his brother Keith Airey adds an extra level of interest, but in the end it’s the strength of the songs here, and the feeling this is far from merely a vanity project that makes All Out a strong album.