Steve Howe — Skyline
(*, 2002, CD)
by Jon Davis, Published 2003-08-01This solo release finds the Yes guitarist in a rather mellow mood, favoring light latin sounds with only sparse percussion. Paul Sutin’s keyboards and percussion provide relatively basic accompaniment for Howe’s guitars and bass. All in all, a kind of lazy Sunday afternoon CD. Luckily, I’m listening on a lazy Sunday afternoon, so it’s pretty much working. The CD is split roughly in half between dull New Age tracks (“Meridian Strings” and “Secret Arrow”) and more interesting ones that remind me of Mike Oldfield (“Resonance” and “Moment in Time”). One that fits in neither of those categories is “Moon Song,” a standout track with washes of keyboards, percolating blips, and some very nice soloing. More poppish tunes, like “Shifting Sands” just sound like a soundtrack without a film, and don’t go much of anywhere. With the ethereal keyboard sounds, the whole thing often strays towards what could be called New Age, though the guitar playing is a little too busy for meditation. “Camera Obscura” is an example of how this album can be frustrating. Lackluster keyboard parts back some really great guitar work, with some quick runs doubled on multiple guitars, and some echoes of pedal steel in the background. Fans of Howe’s singing will be sorry to hear that vocals are limited to some na-na’s on two tracks.
Related artist(s): Steve Howe
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
Wolfgang Dauner RIP – Pianist Wolfgang Dauner, one of the pioneers of both European free jazz and jazz rock, has died at the age of 84. With his own groups and with the United Jazz+Rock Ensemble, his playing and compositions were a prominent presence in European jazz from the mid-60s until just recently. » Read more
Michael Allison RIP – Michael Allison, who since 1997 has been recording as Darshan Ambient, passed away on January 9th after a long and brave battle with cancer. He has been at at the forefront of the new ambient/electronic music scene, with over eighteen releases to his credit. » Read more