DEREK SHERINIAN – Vortex (2022)

DEREK SHERINIAN - Vortex (2022) full

Sons Of Apollo keyboard player DEREK SHERINIAN will release a new solo studio album titled ”The Vortex”. As well as Sherinian and long-time co-writer, co-producer and drummer extraordinaire Simon Phillips, ”Vortex” features former The Firm bassist Tony Franklin and an incredible set of guitar players.
Just check the list: awesome Billy Idol guitarist Steve Stevens, Joe Bonamassa, Steve Lukather, Zakk Wylde, Sons Of Apollo bandmate Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal, Michael Schenker, Mike Stern and Extreme’s Nuno Bettencourt… wow… just WOW!
“The choice of guitarist works itself out in the writing,” Sherinian explains. “Also, like in the case of Steve Stevens, we co-wrote the song together, so it was natural for him to play on it.”

Sherinian has more than made a name for himself. After all, deemed him “A true shredder, his virtuoso playing has seen him dubbed the keyboard-playing version of Eddie Van Halen,” in 2020.
Moreover, in 2021 he was voted Greatest Keyboardist Of The 21st Century, and the eighth Greatest of All Time by the same site, and Prog Magazine saw him voted the ninth Greatest Keyboardist Ever.
But then you don’t rack up a resumé such as his without some serious chops, having worked with the likes of Dream Theater, Black Country Communion, Billy Idol, Whitesnake – David Coverdale stated in 2020, “Derek plays like the son of Jon Lord”, – Kiss, current band Sons Of Apollo, and Alice Cooper – who in 1989 called him the “Caligula of keyboards”.

The follow-up to 2020’s The Phoenix, ”Vortex” includes eight tracks built on Derek’s signature chameleonic sound that blends rock with elements of funk, prog, and jazz, which he started writing even before The Phoenix was finished.
“Vortex is a continuation of The Phoenix,” Sherinian states. “However, I feel the composition is stronger on the new album, and I would describe it as a modern-day classic fusion record, but with newer heavier tonality.”

When it came to guitars, Sherinian recruited a who’s who of great players, some of whom he had worked with before – Steve Stevens, Joe Bonamassa, Steve Lukather, Zakk Wylde, “Bumblefoot” Thal – and a few new allies, in the form of Michael Schenker, Mike Stern, and Nuno Bettencourt.
Of his new collaborators, he says of Bettencourt, who appears on the scratchy “Fire Horse”, “I have always been a fan of his playing, and I am glad that we finally got to record together. He has the Van Halen swing and swagger to his playing that I love. We were both born in 1966, the Chinese year of the Fire Horse.”

According to Sherinian, Schenker’s inclusion was a no-brainer. “Michael Schenker has been one of my heroes for many years. He asked me to play on his ‘Immortal’ album, and in return, he agreed to play on one track here, “Die Kobra”. I wanted to write a great song inspired by my favorite Schenker tracks. Zakk Wylde added some great additional parts to the song, and Tony Franklin and Simon Phillips sound great, as usual.”

This is killer stuff, and agreed with Sherinian that ”The Vortex” should be his most complete solo effort. There’s something for everyone here, from rockers to jazzy progressive, plenty of terrific performances from all involved.
Highly Recommended


01 – The Vortex feat. Steve Stevens
02 – Fire Horse feat. Nuno Bettencourt
03 – Scorpion
04 – Seven Seas feat. Steve Stevens
05 – Key Lime Blues feat. Joe Bonamassa, Steve Lukather
06 – Die Kobra feat. Michael Schenker, Zakk Wylde
07 – Nomad’s Land feat. Mike Stern
08 – Aurora Australis feat. Bumblefoot

Derek Sherinian: piano, synths, organ, percussion
Tony Franklin: bass guitar, fretless bass
Simon Phillips: drums
Steve Stevens
Joe Bonamassa
Steve Lukather
Zakk Wylde
Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal
Michael Schenker
Mike Stern
Nuno Bettencourt

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