The Haunted Melody
(Howe Sound)


Taking a page from his love of jazz guitar, especially the swing jazz guitar of Kenny Burrell, one of England’s best guitarists, Steve Howe joins forces with his son Dylan Howe and Hammond organ player Ross Stanley for the 2008 CD release of The Haunted Melody by the Steve Howe Trio. One of the most renowned guitarists on the planet today, Howe excels in this powerful trio setting and the CD gives him a chance to rework some of his past glories as the guitarist in Yes, while other tracks, including two covers of his jazz hero Kenny Burrell, draw upon his encyclopedic knowledge of the guitar and guitar history. Several Yes covers here by the trio are tastefully reworked with a fresh doses of Howe’s patented guitar precision. Howe’s most famous Yes solo track “Mood For A Day” is given a new arrangement worthy of Dave Brubeck while a trio version of “Close To The Edge” sounds like a movie made in heaven. I can see jazzers looking at Howe in a different light with this CD while long time Yes fans will marvel and the masterful interplay between Howe and Dylan, who sounds a bit inspired by Bill Bruford at times. TCG’s own Larry Acunto did a bang up job with the cover art, recalling some of those offbeat Lp covers from the early ‘60s. In other Howe related news, the first part of a vast collection covering his solo “one man” guitar tracks, Motif Volume 1 features 20 instrumentals that define Howe’s quality approach to music making. For nearly the past 40 years, Howe has been at the epicenter of progressive rock and innovative acoustic and electric guitar music and Motif sheds light on several new tracks while revisiting several Howe classics. Described by Howe as a way ‘To build up a complete overview of my solo guitar music, afresh in the studio,’ Motif was recorded between 2005 to 2007 using nine different guitars—2 electrics, 3 folk guitars, 2 Spanish guitars, a 12 string and a dobro slide guitar. Interesting to note that the only cover on an album of purely Howe originals is a cover of a rarely heard Chet Atkins track entitled “Trambone.” Whatever your favorite aspect of Howe’s generational spanning guitar sound is, on Motif Volume 1 there’s plenty of high quality guitar craft to savor and enjoy.


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