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Jon Anderson - Toltec CD (album) cover


Jon Anderson


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3.42 | 89 ratings

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Easy Livin
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars Longwalker sounds abound

Released in 1996, "Toltec" is the prolific Jon Anderson's ninth solo album. Here we find him very much in his World music zone, exploring the world of the native Indians (see also Manfred Mann's Plain's Music). He is assisted by the spoken voice of "Longwalker" and a diverse array of musicians and singers. The album originally suffered an abortive release as "The power of silence", devoid of these narratives which were added prior to its renaming. It is presented in three distinct segments, each containing four or five tracks.

Longwalker's narratives appear throughout, supported by symphonic sounds and ethereal melodies. There are some similarities with Anderson's first album in the repeating mantras and building melodies, but here his use of musicians who are experts in their fields means that he is not restricted by his own limitations. Anderson is the main composer throughout, but incorporates the talents of others, including Mozart, where he feels it appropriate.

In true Anderson fashion, he takes the basic stories of the native Indians and adds his own unique visions from them. His interpretations of their wisdom and spirituality are predictably obscure and imaginative.

The content of the tracks varies from the familiar lyrical song style of many of his albums to symphonic instrumentals and tribal recitations. There is often a new age feel to the resultant sounds especially when Anderson is not actually singing. As an album, the music flows together well. Instrumentally, we range from pan pipes and other wind instruments to more conventional rock sounds. Children's choirs sing traditional sounding world music on occasions, making for an acceptable counterpoint to Anderson's vocals.

From a prog perspective, while there is little relationship with the music of Yes here, "Toltec" is significantly more rewarding than those his albums which simply contain a collection of individual songs.

Easy Livin | 3/5 |


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