So now we know that it is without Patrick Moraz... However, when my friend Nic Caciappo (who is promoting the Brand X tour) informed me almost immediately that David Sancious was approached as the keyboardist for the adventure, my heart did backflips! Sure, in my own imaginings I was thinking of possible keyboardists; Rick Wakeman (always my first choice but this is not his kind of gig), Adam Wakeman, Oliver Wakeman.. you see a trend, don't you... Jon Lord, etc. But I never expected this!
I was in touch with Brand X drummer Ronnie Ciago and he, like Nic, had sworn me to secrecy about Sancious but we were all so excited at the prospect. I got to see David back in 1982 and I will never...not ever...forget the experience. But first, a word about his own musical biogarphy.
Now Bruce did not abandon David but instead encouraged David's new direction. He even recommended his recordings to Epic Records which landed Sancious and Tone their contract with that label. That contract was good for three albums or so but ended in ugly fashion and David signed with Arista. By 1979, Tone had parted ways and Sancious released two solo albums. His solo piano album The Bridge (1980) remains of one of my favorite albums of all time.
Maybe his most impressive solo piano performance was to an empty concert hall. On Sunday December 14, 1980 there had been 10 minutes of silence organized to remember John Lennon who had been murdered the Monday before. During this silence, David performed an extensive improvisation of John Lennon's Across the Universe. WNEW-FM broadcast it live. I did not get to hear it on that Sunday night but my friend had recorded it on a cassette and I got to hear it a few days later. It was astonishing and it was heart-rending.
In August of 1982, Jon Anderson (see the Meetings with Remarkable People page for the Jon Anderson blog) was on the Animation tour. He was performing at the Sunrise Musical Theatre in Sunrise, Florida. My friend Eddie went with me and we were in for some fun surprises. Clem Clempson of Humble Pie fame was on guitar. Simon Philips was on drums. Chris Rainbow was on percussion and backing vocals and Stefano Cerri was on bass. All these were introduced and I was thrilled to see them all there. But then Jon introduces "On keyboards, Mr. David Sancious!" I had been thinking that I recognized the keyboardist but, when I heard Jon's introduction of David, I jumped up and said "Oh, HELL yeah!" People looked at me and laughed. I looked back and thought "Why aren't you all jumping up, too?!?!"
Now throughout the performance, I kept watching Sancious. During keyboard breaks or just playing one-handed he would put his right hand into a cup of ice! Sure, he was on fire but why just one hand? Then Jon told the audience that when they were loading into the van to come to the concert... David got his fingers slammed in the van's side doors!
He never missed a note during the whole concert and he was a sport about the whole thing. After the concert, I got to meet Sancious oh-so-briefly and I was happy to find him as kind as I had imagined. That was almost 30 years ago...
Now David Sancious will be touring with Brand X! I was just now chatting with Nic Caciappo and he says that he is indeed bringing them to Portland, OR. What can I say but ...
"Oh, HELL yeah!"
Now in addition to even this more-fun-than-I-can-stand news, is the news that you will have noticed in the poster shown at the top of the article. Ambrosia will be touring with Brand X!
To my shame and loss, in the 1970's I had no idea that Ambrosia was a progressive band. How could they be? They had way too much radioplay. The only music I knew of theirs was How Much I Feel and Holding On to Yesterday. Of course, I liked what I heard but progressive?
It was only about three years ago when Nic referred to them as progressive and I almost laughed out loud. Then I started listening to the albums and not just a couple of singles. I was stunned and saddened--saddened because I had missed out on these guys for 30 years!
Happily, that has been corrected in my own life and now I get to see them in concert! Like I mentioned in the blog on The Left Banke, we can pick up where we had left off without having to go back.
There will be tour dates for both coasts announced soon. Look up my buddy Nic Caciappo on Facebook or go to www.bigworldagency.com. He will keep you informed.