Steve Howe: Australia




Steve Howe (guitar)


Motif Vol. 1 (Howe Sound 1)

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Steve Howe (guitar).

Composed by Steve Howe


Recorded: Mississippi, early 2008


Rating: 93/100 (learn more)

Steve Howe's solo guitar recordings carry a distinct pensiveness, and his composition "Australia" falls in line. The quick-paced recording contains quite a few exquisite classical licks that sustain themselves in such a context, and chordal harmonies are interspersed with single note runs, arpeggiated sweeps, and a presentation as clear as a cloudless sky.

An enjoyable composition, Howe plays it straight-unlike what he normally does with pieces such as "The Clap." There, high falutin' country licks meet progressivity. Here, a yin-yang relationship exists between the minor keys and the normal Steve Howe style of playing, which cannot totally obscure the untraditionalness of his approach. Here, he performs the piece on steel string guitar instead of a classical nylon string and displays the joyousness that he is generally known for.

These wistful ruminations never become too dark for pleasantness, as "Australia" is a reflective piece that will remind you of smoky solo cuts by Joe Pass and/or Howard Roberts. That he can hold his own alongside those guitar masters is incredible; on the cut, Howe shows that, at least on Motif Vol. 1, He could still give his fans what they had come to expect while furthering his own innovations.

Reviewer: Marcus Singletary

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