GTR — King Biscuit Flower Hour
(King Biscuit Flower Hour Records KBD 88021, 1986/1997, CD)
by Jeff Melton, Published 1997-05-01
1986: a transitional year when two frustrated but previously successful English guitarists decided they would pool their talents and start a new project. The focus for this group would be on two things that were sorely missing from both Steves' (Howe and Hackett) participation in their last groups: guitar playing and songwriting. The band recorded one studio album and then went on tour in the U.S. to consolidate fans from the Yes and Genesis camps. This new disc from the KBFH archives shows a hot, well-rehearsed band meeting both ends of the spectrum; e.g., don't alienate our core followers but create some new pop tunes. Given that premise, I think it succeeds 80 percent of the time, since we're presented nearly 80 minutes of one the band's last live performances from L.A. (7/19/86). We get to relive Hackett's Genesis medley (including a respectable "I Know What I Like"), "Spectral Mornings," and Howe's "Roundabout" and "Pennants" (all band high points), but we also have to wade through Asia-type tracks ("The Hunter" and the unreleased "Prizefighters"). Band interplay, especially between the two guitarists, is quite good and much heavier than on studio versions. Balance between acoustic and electric guitars is also notable on "Imagining" and "Reach Out (Never Say No)." Jonathan Mover shows adept power at the drum kit (long before his work with Joe Satriani) as well as Matt Clifford on keyboards (prior to ABWH and the Rolling Stones). Vocalist Max Bacon gets singled out again as the weak focal point, but if you can block him out (along with comparisons to Styx), then you will enjoy a strong live representation of a short-lived but very enjoyable group.
Ennio Morricone RIP – Famed composer Ennio Morricone has died at the age of 91. The creator of scores for more than 500 movies, some of his works have become the most recognizable sounds in the history of cinema. His soundtracks for Sergio Leone's Westerns made from 1964 to 1971, are iconic landmarks in film music, but he also composed for dramas, comedies, and other genres. He won the Academy Award for Best Original Score in 2016 for The Hateful Eight. » Read more
Keith Tippett RIP – One of the giants of British jazz has left us. Keith Graham Tippetts, known professionally as Keith Tippett, died today at the age of 72. His work from the late 60s into the 70s and beyond includes some of the greatest jazz produced in the UK, and stands as an impressive oevre to this day. » Read more
Phil May of The Pretty Things RIP – We were saddened to learn that Phil May, lead singer and founding member of The Pretty Things, has died at the age of 75. The band's 1968 album S.F. Sorrow is one of the enduring classics of the psychedelic era, and the group existed in various forms until finally retiring in 2018. » Read more
Jorge Santana RIP – Jorge Santana, noted guitarist, leader of the band Malo and brother to Carlos Santana, died on May 14 at the age of 68. Jorge and Carlos worked together on a number of occasions, though Jorge's career was centered around Malo, solo work, and with Fania All-Stars. » Read more