Spectrum is Steve Howe’s newest solo musical offering and a delight it is! Although it’s predecessor, Elements had its moments, this one is much more to my liking.
Guest musicians are Tony Levin on bass, Dylan Howe (his son) on drums, Oliver Wakeman (son of Rick) and Virgil Howe (Steve’s other son) on keyboards.
Spectrum features very interesting guitar works from Steve Howe. I’m of course a fan of Yes, but I always liked Howe’s playing with Asia. His style was completely different, but had so many interesting elements.
On this album, Steve’s playing is kind of a blend of what he does with Yes and what he did with Asia. And closer to Asia than to Yes.
The overall sound of the songs is distinctly Steve Howe, but a nice leap ahead of his usual.
A great combination of musicians playing extremely well-composed music. If you intend to buy only one Steve Howe album, this is the one to get.
Steve Howe’s Remedy: Elements
Steve Howe has taken a moment out of Yes to give us an album with his side project, Remedy.
Interestingly enough, Remedy features sons Virgil (keyboards and harmony vocals) and Dylan (drums), as well as Gilad Atzmon and Derrick Taylor.
This album covers a variety of genres but focuses heavily on jazz.
I’m not the biggest Steve Howe fan there is, although I continue saying that this guy is definitely worth seeing live. Now here’s a guy who pours his heart into his shows.
Although I do consider myself a Yes fan, I’ve found Howe’s most interesting guitar work to be done outside of the Yes realm. With Asia, although his guitar antics may have been simpler, they carried an overall different quality that I found particularly interesting. Also of note was his work in GTR. But then again, to have him match his wits with Steve Hackett had to deliver great results.
The problem I find with Elements is that it’s all over the place. It has its moments: at times there’s pure genius at work, at others you can’t wait for the thing to finish. However, it does have some very nice surprises.
One certainly cannot fault the musicians – perhaps they were driving at an eclectic sound. If that’s the case, then it worked, but I’m not sure it was entirely the way to go. But this CD will surely please any Steve Howe fan.
A duo effort by Master guitarist Steve Howe with his son, Dylan, on drums.
According to Howe, this album is “an exploration into the multiple styles of guitar playing that have always fascinated me.”
Many styles converge through the use of 33 guitars and basses. There are several country-flavored pieces as well as Hawaiian guitar and mandolin-medieval tinted pieces. As “Quantum physics is about simultaneous levels of space and time,” Quantum Guitar jumps through these divides “to fashion a sound that encompasses the spectrum of guitars.”
I think the title was rightly chosen. Some of the pieces are surprising, such as Sleep Walk (written by Farina, Farina and Farina) which you recognize immediately by the Hawaiian slide guitar. The Celtic pieces are great, especially to the extent that he doesn’t dive into the style the way that seems to be so much in fashion these days.
For fans of Yes, there isn’t much in common with the Yes sound on this album, yet his guitar mastery is omnipresent. Although there are some keyboards, they are essentially used as fillers. Dylan on drums is quite good and has an insight into the musical ideas of his father.
Overall, a great album to look into the various sides of this man’s talent.