Heavy Metal vocalists who find success in a commercially recognized band often use that safety net to branch out into their solo career, and create the art they always dreamed with enough backing support from various high places to get there. A great example of this driven fortitude comes from England-born Blaze Bayley, who originated his success with his band Wolfsbane in the early eighties, and then landed his most commonly-known role where he took on a five-year vocal lead in Iron Maiden – which brought 1995’s The X Factor and 1998’s Virtual XI into the universe.
Pianist Eliane Elias follows her Latin Grammy win for 2017's magnificent Dance of Time with this set of tunes from the iconic musical Man of La Mancha. During the mid-'90s, Elias was approached by Mitch Leigh, the Tony-winning composer of her musical; he'd followed her career and greatly admired her work. Accompanied by Neil Warner, arranger for the original musical, he commissioned the pianist to rearrange songs from the show. Elias was given complete freedom to choose which songs she wished to record. She hired two rhythm sections: One featured drummer Jack DeJohnette and bassist Eddie Gomez; the other bassist Marc Johnson, drummer Satoshi Takeishi, and master percussionist Manolo Badrena (who plays with both groups). Elias and her sidemen recorded nine songs live in studio. Unfortunately, the completed album was shelved due to contractual issues and seemed doomed to obscurity. Leigh passed in 2014 and never saw its release. Concord rescued the album and added it to their catalog some 23 years after recording.