16 Sep 2008, 16:01
I note with due sadness that Richard Wright, best known for his work with Pink Floyd, has passed on to the great gig in the sky, aged sixty-five. I discovered Floyd relatively recently - shortly before Syd Barrett's death in 2006, as a matter of fact - but I nevertheless consider Rick a major influence on myself as a keyboard player. He was a superb weaver of textures and atmospheres both tranquil and intense, and his contributions to Wish You Were Here (my favourite Floyd album, and possibly my favourite album overall) present him also as a soloist with an impeccable sense of melody. I can hardly think of anything that would exemplify the maxim "less is more" better than Rick's solo in Shine On You Crazy Diamond (Part One): it has precisely all the right notes in it, nothing more, nothing less. It's so simple that virtually anyone can play it, yet so beautifully crafted that virtually no one would have thought of it. I think there's a lesson there that every musician should take to heart.