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Tony Banks - Six - Pieces For Orchestra CD (album) cover


Tony Banks

Crossover Prog

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5 stars Well Tony Banks has finally outdone himself, with his finest solo album to date, doing what he dles best, creating beautiful and engaging instrumental music. The opening piece, 'Siren' is the only one that may be repetitous, with some haunting melodies, but perhaps repeated a time or two too many. But the following piece, 'Still Waters' is pure magic. Very subtle, with the type of intrigue Tony brought to early Genesis albums. 'Blade' and 'City of Gold' are among the two best compositions he has ever done, the former highly emotional and with the insertion of one chord at the 7:13 to 7:14 mark, takes the piece from 'great' to 'rapturous', and the latter powerfully provocative. Compositionally there is some commonality with Delius and possibly a bit of Vaughan-Williams. One hears some similarity to his 2004 release 'Seven', but 'Six' is a fairly significant improvement, and will be a favorite of mine for many years to come.
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Posted Saturday, April 14, 2012 | Review Permalink
4 stars It is very difficult to review this album as progressive in any way. It is a purely instrumental album written and produced by Banks and very well orchestrated by Paul Englishby. It cannot be described as progressive in any way really. However, I cannot ignore the fact, that despite Banks' meanderings amongst many different musical genres, he is a musical genius, and undeniably the major force behind the best works of Genesis.

The music is classical in style and some of Banks' talent for brilliant melodies can be heard straining through here and there. There are some very nice tracks on here, but it simply is not progressive in any way. But still, I do really like it and have happily listened to it a few times now. It is a good piece of work. But it is not an essential part of any prog collection. However, I wouldn't say it is just for fans either. Hence, three stars.

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Posted Sunday, April 15, 2012 | Review Permalink
5 stars This cd is pretty much beyond beautiful. It is evident that Tony Banks has gained much confidence between his first orchestral cd, "Seven" (2004) and "Six" (2012). The magic of his earlier compositions with Genesis is here, in the dense details and emotive melodies. There is a haunting, and at the same time, pastoral quality to the music, even in the livelier pieces, such as "Blade" and "City of Gold". I'm reminded at times of a more complex "Forever Morning" (from "A Curious Feeling"), of course, orchestrated. Because this is an orchestrated album, it wont be for everyone, but for many of us, there will be a deep connection to this album, as it is unusually beautiful, and unusually poignant.
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Posted Wednesday, October 31, 2012 | Review Permalink
5 stars Finally, the soul of Tony Banks , free as a bird, flying over our horizons... Confounded to walk to the shadows of Peter Gabriel, and Phil Collins, this is maybe the first time, when Tony shows and offer to our world his intentions , that he has always... As a composer, here is the time and the moment, that we can judge him fair... Wealthy compositions, make our views wider, and our soulworld bigger... A progressive mind, can compose even progressive music for full orchestra ... :-)

Tony Banks was born on 27 March 1950... Objectively speeking, he is in the second part of life... He is in the afternoon of the life... With his horizons wider, a big orchestra is the ideal tool (he is musician) , to tell us his emotions... That means not , that he can't be progressive mind ... :-) The bigger proof to that fact, is the tracks "Still Waters" , and "Blade" ... :-)

In those times we living, with poverty everywhere (pneumatically and physically) , the music of Tony Banks in 2012 , is a lighthouse, a coverture...

I think , we are lucky, that we living in an age so much poor emotional, and a progressive mind offer to us so many positively illuminated pictures for our world...

Recommended of course, to any progressive mind, all over the world... :-)

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Posted Sunday, April 7, 2013 | Review Permalink
4 stars #26 Review

So, not so long since my last review. I come here knowing nothing about this, except that it has mostly positive reviews, but i also come from a failed attempt at reviewing Seven because i got a little bored (commentary not representative of what that actual review will be, i wasn't paying much atention).

1.- Siren 8/10 What a beautyful start! A soundtrack to a magical underwater world that flows with the rythm that the light reflected by the water and the ecosystem produce. Good choice of instruments, sounds really adventurous too, fulfills every feeling. This music demands imagination, but it also gets a little repetitive in the scales that keep coming back through the song, it is also a little too long from what it needs to be.

2.- Still Waters 6/10 This song gives me more of an autumn feel or of a place like a farm, i really don't feel much, its slow but it doesn't get much traction, sounds like an improvisation. Some parts sound really beautyful but it could have more going on. Halfway through, the music gets more exciting, but it gets back and ends a little too quickly.

3.- Blade 10/10 Parts of this music could easily belong on a Fire Emblem game. You can feel the landscapes, the adventure unfolding and the battle happening... or more so, a chronology of every space and time that a blade has occupied in history. I like the violins that pop in from time to time accompanying the exquisite main violin. It has a good amount of changes and goes back elegantly to the main motif from time to time, keeping it out from being boring.

4.- Wild Pilgrimage 10/10 I like the chord changes, this music also shows the passing of time in nature, but it goes since the conception and the passing of vegetation through the years, like what nature inherits towards the future... until a big rain unveils what a beautyful lake was hidden in that ravine.

5.- The Oracle 5/10 Really peaceful... sounds repetitive and simple also... maybe another improvisation? I don't think any of the music pieces here are, but this sounds like it.

6.- City of Gold 10/10 Am i wrong to believe in a city of gold? I read somewhere that Tony Banks was captivated about an story that inspired him in doing A Trick of the Tail, this music piece could be the ending of that idea, and the start sounds exactly like what you would feel when watching something as marvelous as a city of gold... is the person getting introduced to royalty next? Then are they telling the history of the place? Halfway through the music, night comes in, "will the place still exist once i wake up?" - wonders the protagonist. Morning comes and the city can't look more beautyful, it glows majestically... maybe too much for a pair of human eyes, the protagonist closes them, wonders how the day will continue, and the place disappears once people are approaching it, the protagonist is alone but happy, knows that the place is there and that it will appear again, so the city of gold opens up again once the people of good heart stay. As with Blade, this music piece goes back to its main motif elegantly while introducing new elements in between to accompany the story that revolves around the title.

This album was a really good ride, sometimes in some music pieces it was hard to identify what it was portraying, i think that some should've had different names. Overall this album gets an 82/100, wich is 4 Stars.

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Posted Monday, October 22, 2018 | Review Permalink

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