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PHIL MANZANERA

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Phil Manzanera biography
Philip Geoffrey Targett-Adams - Born January 31, 1951 (London, UK)

Phil Manzanera is best known for being one of the all time members and guitar player of ROXY MUSIC . He was raised on various locations like Cuba, Hawaii and Venzuela. His musical influences containing elements from both rock and Latin music. Prior to his membership of RM, he was one of the founding members of QUIET SUN. Their self titled debut wasn't recorded before he got in the studio to record his solo debut album which appeared at the end of 1975. "Diamond head" surprised many when it hit the English charts. The mainly instrumental album is an impressive mixture of Roxy Music, rock, progressive rock, jazzrock, avant-garde and Latin. The album was recorded with the help of all his fellow RM & Quiet sun colleagues including Brian Eno & Robert Wyatt. Despite the bizarre combination of various musical influences the music is very accessible. The following year 801 was formed and the band hit the road with a track listing that includes material from Quiet sun & Diamond head. In the hiatus between the Roxy Music albums from 1975 till 1979 there were two albums released from 801, Manzanera contributed also to various recording sessions for Brian Eno, Brian Ferry & John Cale and issued "K-scope" his second solo record in 1978. After Roxy music split up in 1983 he joined forces with Andy MacKay & James Wraith to form the short lived "The explorer's" who broke up after releasing just one record. A second record was shelved and would get released several years later under the name of Manzanera/macKay. Meanwhile he released "primitive guitars" his third solo effort in 1982. In 1987 he teamed up with long time collaborator John WETTON and they released an album full of melodic pop songs. During the same decade he worked with Steve Winwood, David Gilmour, Tim Finn, Godley & creme as a writer and producer. One track which he co-wrote with David Gilmour ended up on the Pink Floyd record "A momentary lapse of reason". In 1990 he released two adventurous albums on which he explored his latin roots further on. For the rest of the decade he concentrated on live gigs even though some reissues appeared for the first time on cd. In 1999 he released an album in which he played lush ambient music. ...
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PHIL MANZANERA discography


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PHIL MANZANERA top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.07 | 88 ratings
Diamond Head
1975
3.40 | 34 ratings
K-Scope
1978
3.85 | 25 ratings
Primitive Guitars
1982
3.08 | 5 ratings
Nowomowa: The Wasted Lands (OST)
1988
3.77 | 11 ratings
Southern Cross [Aka: A Million Reasons Why]
1990
3.78 | 9 ratings
Phil Manzanera & SÚrgio Dias: Mato Grosso
1990
3.94 | 13 ratings
Vozero
1999
3.97 | 23 ratings
6PM
2004
3.55 | 20 ratings
50 Minutes Later
2005
4.47 | 15 ratings
Firebird V11
2008
3.55 | 11 ratings
The Sound of Blue
2015
3.95 | 2 ratings
Manzanera Mackay: AM . PM
2023

PHIL MANZANERA Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.00 | 1 ratings
Live at the Karl Marx
1993
3.91 | 4 ratings
Live at the Curious Arts Festival
2016

PHIL MANZANERA Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

PHIL MANZANERA Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.89 | 9 ratings
Guitarissimo 75-82
1986
3.80 | 5 ratings
The Manzanera Collection
1995
3.00 | 1 ratings
The Manzanera Archives Rare One
2000
3.33 | 3 ratings
The Music 1972-2008
2008

PHIL MANZANERA Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

PHIL MANZANERA Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Manzanera Mackay: AM . PM by MANZANERA, PHIL album cover Studio Album, 2023
3.95 | 2 ratings

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Manzanera Mackay: AM . PM
Phil Manzanera Prog Related

Review by tszirmay
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Timeline: July 1972 Place: Sankt Gallen, Switzerland Situation: Summer school, learning German Discovery: I received the yet still unreleased debut Roxy Music album, straight from EG Records, as a fellow student came back from London with a few copies. I fell in love there and then, and has not waned after 51 years, listening, and owning all the relevant solo and offshoot albums.

Destroying this silly notion that musicians reach a creative peak in youth and then sort of slack off as they supposedly strive for the dolce vita, is the purpose of reviewing this gently scintillating 2023 album, from two British bandmates whose lifelong friendship and collaboration has survived many Bryan Ferry mood swings (and there have been many). Phil Manzanera is a creative guitar legend of the very highest order and Andy Mackay remains arguably the most well-known and loved saxophone player outside of Mel Collins. With "Am.Pm.", they have created a rather exhilarating all-instrumental release that truly deserves more than cursory acknowledgement, perhaps even tossing in massive applause. Bringing on board 'The Great Paul Thompson' on the drum kit was a great move, as he is surely among the powerful three with Bonham and Moon! He is very present when needed on a few tracks requiring some oomph! For some, focusing on a wordless albums may seem to be an unsurmountable slope but there is a huge difference between tunes and music, though the latter will demand more imaginative concentration as well as personal interpretation. I happen to love that freedom of thought, especially from musicians I have ingrained in my DNA! As is always the case with these seasoned pros, you never quite know what to expect, as it can easily veer into jazz, pop, ambient, electronica, latino, rock or even classical orchestra. Suffice to say, that adventurers of this calibre do not need to rely on anything else but fascination for new textures and sounds, maintaining a half century of a most original sound that is so obviously theirs. The thrilling "Blue Skies" sets a torrid mood right from the start, as the Manzanera, Mackay and Thompson trio lay down an intoxicating horizon of sounds that is very true to their early roots, where screeching guitars ratchet up the electricity, insistent organ churns and swirling synthesizers bubble from Mike Boddy, a suave saxophone adding that lusty sensual innuendo and a nice tight beat keeping everyone muscularly athletic. A volcanic opening wake up call. Perfect breakfast soundtrack for "Mat1", the bright morning sun illuminating the sound kitchen with an assortment of tasty delights, nothing hurried or frantic (no pun intended), the heady aroma of Colombian coffee brewing awakening the senses, ready to tackle the day. "Yazz" is oboe central, well-rested serenity in an ambient soundscape, all about detail and ornamentation, the ideal platform for a slow duet between the suave guitar and the sexy horn. Anymore relaxed and it would serve as meditation before any hard work can begin. When the lads meet up for their Extraordinary General Meeting, aka "EGM", the time has come to discuss some creative energizing, the positioning of a fundamental beat and applying a wide palette of experimentation on the saxophone, improvised smoothness in the arrangement and echoing guitar slashes. "Ambiente" is, as the title would imply, smooth as dulce de leche, a sweet excursion into the vestiges of calm composure and inner resonance, real musical exploration with a purpose. The caring "Newanna" is like a floating swimming pool of recently inflated plastic dolls, without providing either a dream home or even a heartache. Just calm observation, acoustic guitar arpeggios and a reflective sax that lets the mind wander, deluxe and delightful. Meandering into the next vignette, "CC" is slow and gentle, sentimental, like a sorrowful memory of a time gone by, the images still oh so vivid, with Mackay glowing like the brass he caresses. The insightful "Ambulante" offers a sonic travelogue of softly shifting vistas, another example of exceptional musical restraint as Manzanera patiently emotes on his fretboard, often in harmony with the ambient saxophone. The tonal dexterity displayed by both is phenomenal. Now the party's over and I'm so tired, we reached the final bend and the jazzy tenderness of "Seth" glows like a vigilant candle as the sun goes down on another life. Urbane, classy, delicately powerful, a perfect au revoir! Is there a heaven? I'd Like to think so!

4 still beating hearts

 Primitive Guitars by MANZANERA, PHIL album cover Studio Album, 1982
3.85 | 25 ratings

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Primitive Guitars
Phil Manzanera Prog Related

Review by almartinez

4 stars Here is Phil Manzanera as not just the guitarist, but as a multi-instrumentalist. His signature style spans a genre-busting range, from bluesy guitar over jazz-funk rhythms ("Caracas," the title generously hinting at a party atmosphere song), folk stylings ("Criollo," again the title being evocative, this time of the traditional sounds of the Spanish-speaking Caribbean), and minimalist synths ("Europe 70-1").

Manzanera's flair for geographical references here is a nod to his roots as well as contemplation on the future possibilities of Latin progressive rock, in this case looking from the standpoint of the year 1982. It was also very much in the present at the time, with enduring pieces like "Impossible Guitar" and "Big Dome," the latter of which could fit into a house music mix.

The big bonus of the album is the collection of interstitial recordings laden with studio chatter and an eclectic set of tapes. It's the sonic equivalent of breaking the fourth wall, and the listener is invited to listen to the processes of sound across the album. One treat is, following the echoey guitarscape of "Bogota," a background sing-a-long of "Gun" by John Cale, which also featured Manzanera.

Recommended for: laid-back, reflective listening, with a few tracks that are dance party ready.

 6PM by MANZANERA, PHIL album cover Studio Album, 2004
3.97 | 23 ratings

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6PM
Phil Manzanera Prog Related

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars In Phil's words. "6PM is my sixth studio album but unconsciously it seems to be allied to my first in "Diamond Head" (1975). A lot of the same people play on it and the inspiration seems to come from the 60's." The two studio albums Manzanera mentioned are the only two I have but man what a couple of great albums. The man is so talented being a multi-instrumentalist plus he owns his very own recording studio and has helped Robert Wyatt in that regard. Oh and speaking of Wyatt he adds trumpet and drums on here, no vocals as Phil takes care of those. Phil of course has been on so many albums and has been a big part of 801, QUIET SUN and of course ROXY MUSIC. Other guests include Chrissy Hynde adding backing vocals and harmonica. David Gilmour guitar, Brian Eno electronics, Andy MacKay sax and oboe, Bill McCormick bass, Paul Thompson drums and many more.

This is melodic and commercial sounding at times but man it's all good. So many interesting tracks and some that I'm singing along with. The opener "Broken Dreams" is so uplifting despite being about his father's sudden passing. Just a feel good song. Chrissy is showing her talents on "Green Spikey Cactus" which is about social injustices. "Love Devotion" is folky with strummed guitar but man I'm just belting it out with Phil. "Wish You Well" is about his friend Ian MacDonald's death. Clearly a subject he and Phil discussed when you hear the lyrics. A very cool piece that is melancholic. The title track is another great sounding tune. Some energy here and I like the guitar a lot. "Waiting For The Sun To Shine" features another catchy chorus with lyrics I have to sing to along to. "Cissbury Ring" signals the start of five songs blending into each other to the end of the album as we hear this psychedelic short story. That opener is so 60's sounding and one of my favourite songs.

This will sit proudly beside "Diamond Head" on my shelf despite being recorded some 30 years later. Highly recommended.

 Live at the Curious Arts Festival by MANZANERA, PHIL album cover Live, 2016
3.91 | 4 ratings

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Live at the Curious Arts Festival
Phil Manzanera Prog Related

Review by tszirmay
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars In a world where rock guitarists become legends for flashy and exalted soloing, there is one icon who defies the rule and has been doing so in a career that spans more than 4 decades. His contributions to the Roxy Music sound is well documented, a bit less so for his solo output as well as numerous cameo performances for a wide variety of artists. Phil Manzanera is also good friends with Floyd leader Dave Gilmour, a man who knows a bit about guitar playing and the two have been collaborators for a long time. Phil Manzanera is what I would call a textural master, his rhythm guitar work unparalleled in rock music, as well as infusing vast amounts of subtle little licks into his particular style, perhaps due to his long career as a producer (John Cale, Split Enz, Nina Hagen and a vast array of Latino stars). He also pioneered the processing of his guitar through Eno's synthesizers, perhaps the forerunner of various future MIDI experiments, turning his instrument into anything one can imagine.

His 1964 Cardinal Red Gibson Firebird VII is iconic (as seen on the inner gatefold of Roxy Music's masterful ' For Your Pleasure' album , as well as being idolized on his 2008 solo album 'Firebird VII'. In 2016, he released a live album 'Live at The Curious Arts Festival' with a line-up of mostly young musicians including lead vocalist Sonia Bernardo, whose voice is quite revealing and original. The ten tracks include 're-makes/re-models' of archetypal Roxy Music pieces such as 'More Than This' , 'Take a Chance with Me', 'Love is the Drug' and 'Out of the Blue' , while nailing a Ferry standard 'Lets Stick Together'. Add to that a jazz classic 'Stormy Weather', a Kanye West piece 'No Church in the Wild' that originally featured a sample of his 'filthy' guitar playing and a slew of tracks from his solo albums.

Opener 'High Atlas' is a scorching blast that shows off those rhythmic qualities mentioned earlier, giving the piece a buzzing snarl that is frankly utterly delicious. If one focuses in on the instrumental prowess, the sheer genius of Manzanera's style comes shining through. The robotic '1960 Caracas' from 'The Sound of Blue' album has a soulful adornment that highlights Sonia's amazing scat wailing, a rather dazzling feature. Rolling organ churns and an incandescent guitar blast really make this a savory track that defies genre. Phil is also number 2 all-time Latino guitarist after Carlos Santana, as proven by the remarkably played 'Magdalena', a percussion-laden thriller that could easily have been written by the Chicano master, full of bravado, flair and passion. His solo is a paroxysm of delirium, tortured yet liberating.

The highlight track is undisputedly 'Take a Chance on Me' from the Avalon release, a clanging flick of the wrist affair that exudes so many different emotions, it's hard to not be charmed into submission. Initially way more experimental than the RM version, this almost falls into deep psychedelia, as his sizzling guitar weaves and bobs like a sulfurous missile. When the classic 5 note motif kicks in, the arrangements finds its original theme, though Bernardo's voice has a lovely blas' feel. The instrumental section reveals a stunning workout from keyboardist Joao Mello, a super funky exploration that gives Phil the elevation to blow a mean, grizzled solo to die for. On the other hand 'Love is The Drug' is a Ferry vocal high-point that has failed to be surpassed, though Sonia does a decent job, but a female voice cannot justify the lyrics, sounding out of character in such a steamy club environment but 'you can guess the rest' !

I know nothing of Kanye West (frankly I never heard his music) so I cannot really judge objectively but 'No Church in the Wild' is a mid-temp rocker, with ZZ Top like guitars and a forcefully colorful vocal , swaying to a strong rock beat and quite attractive , I daresay, bordering on brilliant! This was a surprise. A great live standard , 'Let's Stick Together' is a pure Rock 'n Roll tune, with its repeated 'C'Mon, C'Mon' chorus, booming bass from Yaron Stavi, 'boom-boom' drums, a couple of luscious sax solos interweaving with Phil's shaking, trembling and looping guitar romp.

Another perennial crowd favorite 'Out of the Blue' pulls the curtain down on what must have been quite a concert, the bombastic finale amid the parting clouds, shimmering violin and guitar uttering the words: 'would you walk out in style?'. Phil Manzanera just did. Amazing cover art too

4.5 Appletrees

 Diamond Head by MANZANERA, PHIL album cover Studio Album, 1975
4.07 | 88 ratings

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Diamond Head
Phil Manzanera Prog Related

Review by Rockriffs.com

4 stars I searched for some reviews of Phil Manzanera's Diamond Head as only just come back to listening and scrutinizing this Album and wanted to dig under the surface...

I was a mad Roxy fan from 1972 and in the post Eno debacle, I struggled to hold on to anything that may hint at those highs from For Your Pleasure. I dabbled with the unfathomable No Pussyfooting and the rather awkward Here Come The Warm Jets (and even went to see Eno live before his collapsed lung) but by the time Diamond Head had arrived, I had had to admit defeat and accept the new Roxy/Bryan Ferry Lounge Lizard makeover.

As such, Diamond Head sounded (from radio track plays of the day) too much like dis-articulated parts of Pussyfooting/Warm Jets/new Roxy (ala Eddie Jobson) and was nothing to ignite a 16 year old with a cheap copy guitar and Woolworths amplifier looking for adrenalin riffs and inspiration.

++

Roll by 42 years and that 16 year old is now 58 and has access to all the sound machines and guitars that made up this canvas and suddenly it makes sense - hell I may even introduce this work into my guitar teaching!

However, I still feel awkward with Eno's singing though... Oh and Phil - those less than perfect pitch bends are an anathema to me still!

 K-Scope by MANZANERA, PHIL album cover Studio Album, 1978
3.40 | 34 ratings

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K-Scope
Phil Manzanera Prog Related

Review by DePloy

3 stars Manzanera's K scope starts with a rollicking progfunkrock instrumental title track that makes the listener think "this is vintage Manzanera. I can't wait to hear the rest".

For the most part, fans and neophytes shouldn't be disappointed. The musicians, a similar cast from Phil's other professional work, again display the chops to lay down accessible yet challenging pop/rock. The artists have obviously matured and evolved judging from the song names and themes laid out by the lyrics. Still there are many styles covered here as with all pre 1980 Manzanera works, and the fun the musicians are having shines through. Good late '70's rock and roll. The only errors in my eyes are the cheap Stephen Stills does reggae knockoff Cuban Crisis and the discoish Hot Spot.

3.5 stars

 Diamond Head by MANZANERA, PHIL album cover Studio Album, 1975
4.07 | 88 ratings

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Diamond Head
Phil Manzanera Prog Related

Review by DePloy

4 stars Roxy Music guitarist Phil Manzanera delivers the goods on his 1975 solo debut. Leading off with the uptempo, sublime "Frontera" (sung with disconnected glee in Spanish by Robert Wyatt), and ending with the Latin-meets-glam of "Carhumba", the listener is swept away by glorious, feel-good washes of sound. " Big Day" is a great glampop track that could have been a Roxy outtake. "Same Time Next Week" offers a humorous and fun male/female duet with a great understated Manz guitar solo at the end. "Miss Shapiro" "East of Echo" and "Alma" give the band ample room to flex its sonic muscles. This album is likely to appeal to a great deal of prog fans due to the presence of Wyatt, Eno, Wetton, as well as cohorts from Quiet Sun. Manzanera and all the musicians use their instrument to great effect on every tune. A great way to introduce the AOR "classic rock" fan to the world of classic prog.
 Nowomowa: The Wasted Lands (OST) by MANZANERA, PHIL album cover Studio Album, 1988
3.08 | 5 ratings

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Nowomowa: The Wasted Lands (OST)
Phil Manzanera Prog Related

Review by admireArt
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Jazz oriented, epic symphonic like compositions and movie focus format restraint Phil Manzanera's usual "latin" urges, and as I noticed again, for good!

Surprisingly this PHIL MANZANERA "Nowomowa: Wasted Lands", which as the press ad release notes; "This was recorded as the theme movie music to "The Wasted Lands". It was first released in 1988 by Coda as the band Nowomowa . It was re-issued by Expression in 1999 as a Phil Manzanera album.", deals more with Paul William's piano than Phil's electric accomplice.

Rich in moods and arrangements, its music direction is in fact quiet visual as good soundtrack music tends to be.

Expecting a Phil Manzanera release as such will decieve Phil's fans, but will surely catch prog Jazz/Fusion followers' attention.

Well composed, great unexpected highlights and a restricted but highly creative guitar (with "latin" flavor) which serves all kind of purposes and in turn outstands in every appearance by not being "main" instrument all the time.

***3.5 PA stars.

 Diamond Head by MANZANERA, PHIL album cover Studio Album, 1975
4.07 | 88 ratings

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Diamond Head
Phil Manzanera Prog Related

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

5 stars Phil Manzanera's debut solo album is blessed by an excellently-chosen range of guests reflecting all the different dimensions of his solo career. Robert Wyatt is the first to make his presence felt on Frontera, but the Canterbury influence doesn't stop there because you have contributions from Quiet Sun. On the Roxy Music side of the equation, former member Brian Eno gives a vocal performance and provides some some writing contributions reminiscent of his early solo work (particularly Taking Tiger Mountain By Strategy) and current Roxy members Andy MacKay and Eddie Jobson guest as well.

Add some more guests - such as John Wetton, who'd only just crawled out of the wreckage of King Crimson - and you have a fearsome amount of talent gathered on one album, and what's particularly pleasing is how incredibly consistent it all is, Manzanera showing a real knack for drawing these disparate performances together into a coherent whole. Oh, and he plays a really mean guitar too.

 6PM by MANZANERA, PHIL album cover Studio Album, 2004
3.97 | 23 ratings

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6PM
Phil Manzanera Prog Related

Review by admireArt
Prog Reviewer

4 stars The best so far! Why? Phil Manzanera cuts it short with the insisting and somehow cliched "Latin" flavors of most of his songwriting. This guy may not be a "natural" songwriter but in the proper atmosphere he can work out some great songs, scarce, but great.

In 6PM he manages to hold an entire album without the aid of some of his known "solutions" to music composition. Of course there are latin touches and of course he surrounds himself with a great group of very well known musicians (as usual) and this work is no exception. But what really makes it tick, is precisely that in this project he lets others make full uninhibited participations all along the way.

So it feels more surprising when you in contrast listen to some Latin-fusions here and there, in between other musical stylings. In my opinion his best songs except for "Southern Cross" are usually non Latin fusioned based or at least more balanced in that regard.

So... polished songs, oustandind musicians, nothing could go wrong, but with Phil you never know and "6:PM" proved me wrong from start to finish.

Yes! Phil Manzanera is able to run through an entire album with grace and restraint, in an all great songs and inspired performance project, To be honest, I never thought he could pull it off , less for a whole album, but he certainly does!

****4 "well worth the wait " PA stars.

Thanks to fishy for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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