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Peter Banks - Instinct CD (album) cover


Peter Banks


Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.13 | 19 ratings

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Symphonic Team
3 stars Flash

More than 20 years after his first solo album came this second solo effort from Peter Banks. In all the time in between he had been involved in only a few musical projects but not put out any material (he worked with a band called Empire in the 70's but none of that material was released until the 90's). Like 1973's Two Sides Of Peter Banks, Instinct is a guitar-driven album that owes something to Jazz. But the sound and nature of this album is very different from the solo debut.

Even though a couple of other people are credited on the album, this is not a band affair but a solo effort in the truest sense. The album showcases Banks' excellent lead guitar playing and proves that he is indeed a master of his instrument. He is backed up by programmed rhythms that sometimes sound good and sometimes a bit stale. The keyboards play a mainly supporting role. The production values are high but the restricted line-up creates obvious limitations. The sound and style often reminds me of the (rather obscure) instrumental Wishbone Ash album Nouveau Calls.

Some of the time the tempo is slow and relaxing but a few tracks are more intense Jazz-Rock fare which keeps the album varied enough. The album features no vocals, but there are several spoken word samples and snippets from telephone conversations. One of these is a recording of a Yes fan calling into a radio station and asking why Banks was not invited to Yes' Union in the early 1990's. Banks was actually asked to join Yes on stage at one point during the Union tour, but much to the surprise of Peter who had travelled to the location for that reason, the band called it off at the last minute for no good reason thus relegating Banks to the crowd! (There is an interview clip with Banks on Youtube where he describes this, which he calls "the most embarrassing event of his life".) Peter was rightly bitter over this outrageous treatment from his past band mates, but this album proves beyond doubt that whatever the reason was for not letting him play it was not valid artistic reasons as Banks would definitely have been up to playing with Trevor Rabin and Steve Howe.

I find this album an enjoyable listen, but like many albums of its kind it is not very memorable and it doesn't stick. It is a nice addition to a Yes fan's collection, but it is not essential.

SouthSideoftheSky | 3/5 |


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