Steve Howe, guitars – Time – with classical ens./keyboards, arrangements & cond. – Paul K. Joyce – Warner Classics 2564665341, 52.1 min. ****:
Another disc that confounds our putting it in the correct category, since it’s a mixture of pop, roots, classical and jazz. The guitarist extraordinaire is of course the lead guitarist of the progressive rock group Yes, and co-founder of Asia. He had put together a number of non-rock tunes over the years, some which he’d worked on with his friend Paul Sutin, with whom he had recorded two albums in 1995. He got in touch with arranger/performer Paul K. Joyce, who has scored for TV and film projects. The project became an orchestral one, with a small classical ensemble recorded at British Grove Studios backing up the various model guitars of Steve Howe in the dozen tracks. Howe recorded the various guitar pieces over a four year period, and then added the live chamber orchestra in the studio.
Two them are by Joyce, two by Sutin, one by one of Howe’s sons, and then there are the three classical selections: the Villa-Lobos Bachianas Brasileiras No. 5 Aria (Howe points out that the composer’s first instrument was the guitar), Wachet Auf from Bach’s Cantata No. 140, and the main theme of the Vivaldi Concerto Grosso in d. Joyce’s arrangement of these standards are clever and enjoyable, and Howe varies the guitars from his collection which he plays on each one. The Villa-Lobos uses a steel guitar, the country-sounding “Orange” uses a banjo guitar, an electric 12-string is heard on “The Explorer,” and “The 3rd of March” uses both a dobro and Spanish guitar.
1. Bachianas Brasileiras No 5 (Aria) – steel guitar (Villa-Lobos – arr. Howe / Joyce)
2. King’s Ransom – Spanish guitar (S. Howe / D. Biglin)
3. Cantata No.140 (Wachet Auf) – Spanish guitar (JS Bach – arr. Howe / Joyce)
4. Orange – banjo (S. Howe)
5. Purification – electric & 12 string acoustic (PK Joyce)
6. Rose – Spanish Guitar (S. Howe)
7. The Explorer – electric 12 string guitar (S. Howe / P. Sutin)
8. Kindred Spirits – electric guitar (Virgil Howe)
9. Concerto Grosso in D Minor Op. 3, No. 11 electric guitar (Vivaldi)
10. The 3rd of March – Spanish guitar / dobro (PK Joyce)
11. Steam Age – folk guitar (S Howe)
12. Apollo – Spanish guitar (S Howe / P Sutin)
Another exploration from Pavlovic — Norway delights!