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Anthony Phillips - Field Day CD (album) cover

FIELD DAY

Anthony Phillips

 

Symphonic Prog

4.21 | 83 ratings

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hydulia
5 stars The new double CD of acoustic pieces is an aural treat for not only Anthony Phillips fans but also lovers of romantic/impressionistic music in general. Once again, Mr. Phillips has shown his willingness to maintain his integrity and perform the sort of heartfelt music that he does best and without concern for trends. Here, the reclusive guitarist performs a total of 61 pieces for 12 string Alvarez, Guild, and J.M. (John Marlow) guitars, 6-string Brook and L'arrivee guitars, Fylde Cittern, Ramirez, Yari, and Mirecourt classical guitars, Bell Cittern P.H. (Paul Hathaway), Parlour guitar P.H., 10-string J.M., Fylde English bazouki, Greek bazouki, mandolin, and charanga, ...and all in his inimitable style. The primary danger of doing a double CD containing well over 2 hours of all-acoustic instrumental music is that it could potentially become too much of one picture in very short order. Despite the risks, the current batch of Phillips pieces is varied enough in tempo and length - only 7 of the 61 tracks are longer than two and a half minutes - so things never once get boring or tedious. And talk about variety: there are jangly pieces, whistful tunes, lilting melodies, and a number of the vibrant, leaping-about-and-dancing-all-over-the-place type as well. Along with the wisely varied pacing, the artist has sequenced the pieces quite effectively so that each of the sundry aforementioned instruments is allowed just enough time to reveal its individual ring and color in his dexterous hands before being turned over to the sonorities of the next. With two exceptions, all of the pieces on Field Day were written between 2001 and 2004. The compositions sound both familiar and at the same time warmly refreshing, and while there are too many to detail here, the 12-string pieces are to this writer a pure delight, "Concerto de Alvarez" being of special merit. The two visits to former days include Track 7 on CD 1, titled "Steps Retraced," which is in fact a beautiful solo 12-string guitar rendering of the song "Traces," appearing first as a full-band arrangement on the Invisible Men LP way back in 1983. The second is Track 9 on the same CD, in which its writer revisits 1975's "Nocturn" from the second Private Parts and Pieces album 'Back to the Pavilion' in 1980. Here, it is affectionately played on Ramirez classical guitar. It is appropriate that this has come out in the autumn - in this writer's mind, at least - as the music herein does indeed evoke vivid, colorful images of this melancholy season. That said, 'Field Day' would be welcome in any season, as its rich, vibrant, and sensual qualities are easily imagined as playing equally well against a quiet snowy backdrop or a lush pastoral landscape such as the beautiful sepia- toned one that graces the inner jacket. Buy and enjoy this fine release for a long time to come.
| 5/5 |

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