“Keyed Up” mixes jazz, rock and blues, and some instrumental passages allow some rightly deserved self-indulgence from Don; whether intricate playing or use of effects, it’s all enjoyable.
One of the highlights of the album is a remake of Rainbows’s “Difficult To Cure”. While it lacks Ritchie Blackmore’s finesse, the guitar sounds fantastic and Don’s keyboards are bright. The programmed orchestral break is a good touch too. “Mini Suite” sees some good guitar interplay, before switching to piano. There are touches of Gary Moore here, and more on “Adagio”, where his guitar work stands out.
The band on this record was Don Airey on keyboards, Darrin Mooney (Primal Scream) on drums, Laurence Cottle on bass, Rob Harris (Jamiroquai) on guitar and Carl Sentance on vocals. Guest performers include the aforementioned Gary Moore, Graham Bonnet, Simon MacBride, Alex Meadows and Tim Goodyer.