The initial outline concepts, for of all the music on this album, was written and assembled by Virgil Howe who, in turn, shared these compositional ideas with his father, the great ‘Yes’ lead guitarist Steve Howe. The seeds were thus sown towards the idea of a collaborative father and son album with Steve Howe adding intricate guitar inflections to Virgil’s tuneful keyboard, bass and drum foundations. Then working together the pair honed and polished Virgil’s compositions to their satisfaction with a November 2017 date in mind for an album release under the auspices of “Inside Out Music”.
However, with great sadness and before any such an undertaking could be realised, Virgil unexpectedly passed away in the September of that year. Despite such sadness, Steve decided to see the project through to fruition regarding the project “as a fitting tribute to Virgil’s life and legacy”
Abundantly demonstrated here, on this eleven track album, is the fine art of compositional assembly, the building up of interesting and melodic musical passages from simple outline keyboard chord structures. The inflections of various guitar and synthesiser modulations added to the basic keyboard structures, generate warmth and a feeling of calmness as the music ebbs and flows through the various individual track arrangements. The variety of guitar embellishments are quite amazing with layers of subtle slide guitar trickery and exquisite background acoustic contributions. The drumming and bass guitar aspects from Virgil are quite good, although an altogether more solid feel to the music might have resulted should a seasoned professional undertaken these specific roles.
In essence this, in total. is a music form to be savored, appreciated and enjoyed quietly, more so, I would say, in a relaxing social background setting or as an accompaniment on, perhaps, a longish journey somewhere to pass the time. In other words, the album, whilst pleasant is not expansive enough to be regarded as a progressive rock masterpiece. It is though an album that might be played frequently in order to induce a calm atmosphere, ‘lounge music’ certainly comes to mind.
Summary; Enchanting and interesting background music with excellent guitar and keyboard proliferations throughout.
Cover Art: Adequate but not outstanding.
Virgil & Steve Howe “Nexus” (39:59)
1. Nexus (04:57)
2. Hidden Planet (03:27)
3. Leaving Aurora (03:40)
4. Nick's Star (03:41)
5. Night Hawk (03:35)
6. Moon Rising (03:31)
7. Passing Titan (04:06)
8. Dawn Mission (05:07)
9. Astral Plane (03:37)
10. Infinite Space (02:08)
11. Freefall (02:09)
Virgil - Keyboards, piano, synths, bass & drums
Steve - Acoustic, electric, & steel guitars