Peter Banks — Can I Play You Something?
(Blueprint BP301CD, 1968/1999, CD)
by Jeff Melton, Published 2001-03-01
Guitarist Peter Banks continues to dig deep into his roots and comes up another winner with his latest disc. This one is of keen interest to collectors of the psychedelic era, since that’s where Banks and fellow soon-to-be Yes man Chris Squire cut their teeth playing trendy pop music with an endearing approach. Make no doubt about it, demos and singles such as the original version of “Beyond and Before” are rare psychedelic ear fodder. But historically you can hear the seeds of Yes in these early tracks. “14 Hour Technicolor Dream” was directly influenced by a 1967 happening which features some great guitar work comparable to that of Steve Howe’s early group, Tomorrow. There are two tracks from the Devil’s Disciples, Banks’ first professional group that also places him as part of the first British Invasion. Also included is what must be the first lead vocal from Squire himself on “Get Yourself Together,” a somber ballad with unison bass and wobbly wah-wah guitar — a true underground classic. Overall, 12 tracks are collected together with modern segues interspersed to add cohesion to the disc. Banks’ own recent recordings vary from tranquil (as on “Yesterdays” or “Cinnamon Touch”) to brash (1980 jam band version of “Peter Gunn” or “I Saw You! (Bang / Crash)”). He himself provides a surprising recollection of details in the ten-page booklet complete with Pete Frame like band tree. Overall, this disc is as much for extreme collectors as it is for novices of swinging 60s art music.
Bill Rieflin RIP – The sad news reaches us today of Bill Rieflin's death. Rieflin was best known as a drummer in bands ranging from post-punk to industrial to indie-rock to progressive rock, including work with The Blackouts, Ministry, Nine Inch Nails, Swans, Land, and King Crimson. Rieflin had been battling cancer for several years, and succumbed to it on March 24. He was 59. » Read more
Cruise to the Edge and Seaprog 2020 Festivals Postponed – The worldwide outbreak of the novel coronavirus has started to produce casualties in the music world, and festivals are not immune. We've had word that both the Cruise to the Edge (originally slated for March 27 - April 1) and Seaprog (originally June 5-7) have been postponed to later dates, with those dates to be announced. » Read more
McCoy Typer RIP – Word reaches us today of the passing of one of the most influential pianists in the history of jazz, McCoy Tyner. His tenure with John Coltrane in the early 60s includes some of the most treasured recordings of the era, including My Favorite Things and A Love Supreme. After leaving Coltrane's group, he had a long and successful solo career. He was 81. » Read more
Jon Christensen RIP – Word reaches us today of the passing of Norwegian drummer Jon Christensen, a musician whose sensitive playing did much to help define the atmospheric sound of ECM jazz recordings. His work with Jan Garbarek, Bobo Stenson, Terje Rypdal, and many more was sensitive and varied, adapting to a wide variety of styles while maintaining a distinct identity of its own. Christensen was 76. » Read more
Gong Announces UK Tour for 2020 – Having spent the last few years touring the world, including dates in Japan with psych legend Steve Hillage, multiple headline European tours and festivals, America’s Cruise to the Edge festival, a South America headline tour, and a headline performance at Tomorrow Festival in China, the band have won the hearts of both traditional and modern Gong fanbases. During this live journey, Gong has delved further into the truly psychedelic, exploratory, and mind-expanding side of the music. » Read more