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'Cornbread'By Cornbread

The Groundhogs: Live At The Astoria
David Gilmour - Live In Gdansk
Columbia Records – 9/23/2008

David Gilmour Live In Gdansk, is a double live album plus concert DVD (sold in multiple combinations) featuring the first solo live album from Pink Floyd’s singer and guitarist, captures the magic of his concert held in front of 50,000 in the shipyards of Gdansk, Poland, this marks the final performance of Gilmour’s 2006 On An Island tour. It also features the first ever recording of selected Pink Floyd classics performed by Gilmour’s six piece band along with an orchestra (the 40-strong string section of the Polish Baltic Philharmonic conducted by Zbigniew Preisner, orchestral arranger on David Gilmour’s On An Island album). It is the first ever live recording with an orchestra of Pink Floyd’s ‘High Hopes’ and ‘A Great Day For Freedom’, the latter performed here as a one-off for this special Solidarity anniversary.

The two and a half hour DVD which accompanies the live album eloquently portrays the drama of the Gdansk concert, set against the urban landscape of the shipyard and crane-filled skyline. As well as 113 minutes of concert footage, The DVD includes a riveting 36-minute documentary which includes Gilmour’s private meeting with former President Lech Walesa, chats with the band and crew, concert rehearsals and a moving wreath-laying with Walesa at the Memorial to the shipyard workers killed in the 1970 uprising.

Playing with Gilmour at this concert was:
Richard Wright – Pink Floyd’s keyboard player
Phil Manzanera – Roxy Music guitarist and co-producer of On An Island
Guy Pratt – bass player with Pink Floyd and Roxy Music
Jon Carin – keyboards and longtime player with Pink Floyd
Steve Di Stanislao – drums, recently played with Crosby and Nash
Dick Parry – saxophone and longtime Pink Floyd collaborator

Disc 1 – CD
Speak To Me
Breathe (reprise)
On An Island
The Blue
Red Sky At Night
This Heaven
Then I Close My Eyes
Take A Breath
A Pocketful Of Stones
Where We Start

Disc 2 – CD
Shine On You Crazy Diamond
Astronomy Domine
Fat Old Sun
High Hopes
Wish You Were Here
A Great Day For Freedom
Comfortably Numb

Wow, what a treat. To start I really, really like David Gilmour and love Pink Floyd so this may be somewhat biased. The musicians here are on top of their game and sound absolutely phenomenal. On An Island was great to begin with, adding a live performance and orchestra only made it better. It seems Gilmour, like many things only get better with age. The CD has plenty of “Gilmour guitar sound” and understated solos that made Dark Side Of The Moon what it was. As a treat we get a small sampling of saxophone solos, steel guitar and acoustic slide guitar. This CD features new Gilmour and classic Floyd, it’s terrific. This review is dedicated to Richard Wright who passed away on September 15, 2008.

Peace and Love
Peter 'Cornbread' Cohen, CBP
~ Cornbread@STLBlues.net

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