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Baker's Dozen

A Presidential Suite: Chilly Gonzales's Favourite Albums
Laurie Tuffrey , September 20th, 2012 13:09

The man they call Gonzales/Gonzo/Chilly Gonzales/Jason Charles Beck picks out his favourite 13 records

For Chilly Gonzales - erstwhile dressing gown-onstage virtuoso musician, bombastic comedy-rapper and desk rider for countless artists - endless reinvention is something of a calling card. So a return to the piano and nothing else set-up of 2004’s Solo Piano for his new record (titled, in appropriate plainspeak, Solo Piano II) might seem out of character.

“Well, for me, that represents a risk at this point”, he says. “I could have made a second Solo Piano record and called it something else, but I actively wanted to have the challenge of competing with what most people think of as the most touching work I did. People who like Solo Piano have a pretty emotional attachment to it, and that goes pretty deep, and the people who listen to it tend to listen to it still today, eight years later. So, yeah, I found it to be a real challenge to actively make my Godfather Part II, so to speak!”

The album is out now, and he’s performing it in a sold-out concert with the BBC Symphony Orchestra at the Barbican on October 20, followed by dates at the Royal Northern College Of Music on December 2, Warwick Arts Centre, Coventry on December 3 and Capstone Theatre Centre on December 5.

But before that, he took some time to rifle through his record collection, navigate the path less trodden from Prokofiev to Rick Ross and find the missing link between R. Kelly and David Brent. Click the photo below to begin.