Inside Out [Release date 17.11.17]
‘Nexus’ is the collaborative record by Yes guitarist Steve Howe and his son Virgil Howe who passed away suddenly on September 11, 2017 aged 41. Not an easy decision then to release this album, however as Steve Howe said ” ‘Nexus’ explores a completely different side of Virgil’s ability, as a writer & keyboard player – ‘in his own right’. His talents were multi-diverse, so sitting at a keyboard & computer or in the middle of his drum kit, at all his regular DJ-ing gigs or on the radio, he always gave his best. We hope that the music just completed will stand as a fitting tribute to his life and legacy.”
It is indeed a diverse and absorbing musical journey, be it the mellow ‘Nick’s Star’, which Virgil dedicated to the death of his best friend Nick Hirsch, or ‘Dawn Mission’ that dips a musical toe into the 70′s prog of Yes and Camel. Vangelis is another artist that springs to mind when listening to this album, as Virgil Howe has the same gift and musical ear to take a tune into unexpected directions and sounds.
The keys on ‘Astral Plane’ hark back to earlier eras, however Steve Howe’s exquisite playing lends a modern feel to it. ‘Infinite Feel’ and ‘Freefall’ you could picture being used in a film soundtrack, both have expansive sounds and the keys/effects meld perfectly with the guitar playing.
A remarkable album of instrumental music that covers many musical moods, featuring wonderful playing from both father and son. ****
Review by Jason Ritchie
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