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Gowen - Miller - Sinclair - Tomkins - Before A Word Is Said CD (album) cover


Gowen - Miller - Sinclair - Tomkins


Canterbury Scene

3.74 | 56 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars BEFORE A WORD IS SAID was recorded in Alan Gowen's London flat, just weeks before Gowen died of leukemia at the age of 33.

Any review that's disrespectful of music recorded under such circumstances may come across as bad taste. The wonder isn't just that this album was recorded, but that Gowen's keyboard playing is one of the sprightliest things on it! National Health fans will love Gowen for all the music he wrote, and especially for his gorgeous minimoog playing. BEFORE A WORD IS SAID proves that, even in the last days of his life, Gowen's musical gift was undiminished. As always, his splendid solos sound like nobody else's.

BEFORE A WORD IS SAID will also be of interest to admirers of Richard Sinclair, who plays some marvellous fretless bass on "Nowadays a silhouette" and "Umbrellas". And Phil Miller fans won't be disappointed, since Phil does some superb (very Hatfield-like) things on "Fourfold" and "A Fleeting glance". The latter starts out disconsolately but is lifted out of the mire by what must be one of Phil's best ever solos. If you really like the musicians involved in this project, I'd definitely recommend you to get a copy of this album.

When all is said and done, I must admit some of the tracks (e.g. "Reflexes in the Margin" and "Silver Star") have an unfinished air about them and seem little more than demos. As for the chime-like title track - that just sounds immensely sad. Thank you, Alan, for all the lovely music you gave us.

fuxi | 3/5 |


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