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Howe and his many magic guitars
Steven Marks | Petaluma, CA United States | 12/25/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"A spreadsheet accompanies this album: what guitar(s) out of 12 or so are played on a given track. Mr. Howe is really showcasing his fantastic abilities. A wide range of guitars is employed as well as a a very broad range of music from ragtime, to classical to Southern US Rock and Roll.I like "Double Rhondo" the most. a solo electric Les Paul Fender is played like a solo instrument to a Mozart like Concerto that Howe composed and has a 59 piece symphony orchestra play. It is like someone went to the past to Wolfgang Mozart and showed him an electric guitar and Mozart showcased that instrument in a Concerto.Good work on this album by Howe. he is truely an artist of the first order. His true place in life is with Yes, but this is his best solo work."
No reason for hostility
ADP | Washington, DC USA | 08/04/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Except for the inside cover (which advertises Steve Howe's huge guitar collection), there is little immodesty associated with this CD, and consequently not much reason to get hostile at Steve for it. True, he does overreach himself when he tries to sing solo (only briefly, at the end of "All's a Chord") or write lyrics (on "Look Over Your Shoulder"), but he simply plays his guitars without a great deal of ostentatiousness on the rest of the tracks, and the results are more than listenable. Side one is the one that rocks more, especially "Pennants" (which sounds kind of like Yes-meets-the-Ventures) and the rest of "All's a Chord." "Cactus Boogie" is a pleasant little bluegrass tune that adds diversity. Side Two veers more to the classical side of things, with two of Steve's trademark Spanish acoustic-guitar numbers, much like the ones he contributed to Yes albums. "The Continental" is a folksy duet with violinist Graham Presket, and the last two tracks are an interesting experiment with an electric guitar and orchestra arrangement. The results are not wholly successful, but are still pleasant and worth a listen."
The ideal showcase for Howe's guitar expertise
Thomas K. Dye | Richmond, CA | 02/03/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"As mentioned, Howe only sings during the coda of "All's a Chord", and he employs another singer for "Look Over Your Shoulder." Other than those fairly decent vocal numbers, this is a fine instrumental album, with the solid "Pennants", the chirpily humorous numbers "Cactus Boogie" and "The Continental", the more romantic "Surface Tension" and the syncopated "Diary of a Man Who Vanished". There's a variety of instrumentation here that shouldn't be overlooked by any Yes fan or guitar enthusiast."