Elton John‘s last album was The Union, a collaboration with his musical hero, Leon Russell.  Now, he’s just finished a new disc that he tells Rolling Stone is “the most exciting solo record I’ve done in a long, long time.”

Working again with producer T Bone Burnett, who produced The Union, Elton says the new album, called The Diving Board, will be out this fall.  Musically, it features the simple piano, bass and drums format that he used on his early records, which was Burnett’s idea.  The album was written and recorded very quickly, with bass player Raphael Saadiq – who you may recall backed up Mick Jagger during his show-stopping Grammy performance in 2011 — and drummer Jay Bellerose.

Just how quickly was The Diving Board recorded? After longtime collaborator Bernie Taupin gave Elton a stack of lyrics, the Rocket Man knocked out six songs a day in two days, recorded them all in four days, and then decided which 10 tracks would make the final cut.  Elton says that he’s “as psyched about” the new record as he was about The Union, adding that with that album, “I had to go back to go forward, and it’s the same with this record.”

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