People who are into progressive rock are almost certain familiar with the fantastic contributions on flute by John Hackett on his brother's albums Voyage Of The Acolyte (1975), Please Don't Touch (1978), Spectral Mornings (1979) and Defector (1980). A song as Kim would have sound less complete without John's playing. However, John Hackett never got the same reputation and media attention as his famous brother Steve. It's true that some of his music isn't prog rock related and therefore less interesting for devotees of the genre, but John's latest release Moonspinner (For Flute And Guitar) might change this.
John Hackett says the following about Moonspinner : 'I'm very proud of this album and I sincerely hope it will build a bridge between classical and progressive music.' In a way he's right as I discovered after listening to the album several times. People who like a piece as Kim from Steve's album Please Don't Touch might enjoy this solo effort. The fourteen melodious pieces, written and performed by this flautist and guitarist have many characteristics of both the classical and the progressive world. Especially tracks as Witch Finder, Overnight Snow, Moonspinner, Windhover, Aftermath and Two Daughters are quite similar to the musical style that you can hear on the aforementioned Kim. It's not only the flute playing that resembles this kind of music, but also the way John plays the acoustic guitar is comparable to the musical style of his brother Steve on his acoustic albums. That surprised me a lot because I wasn't aware of the fact that John possesses the same musicianship. I probably would have been less surprised if I had listened to his albums Velvet Afternoon (2004) and Prelude To Summer, For Flute And Guitar (2008). These albums contain the same high-leveled kind of playing.
It's obvious that the more classical related tracks as Debussy's Syrinx for solo flute and Bach's Andante from BWV 1034 will appeal to lovers of classical music. Syrinx features guitarist Andy Gray, the only guest musician on Moonspinner. All the tracks related to classical music, are worthwhile listening to especially if you like the acoustic albums made by Steve Hackett like Bay Of Kings (1983), Momentum (1988), Sketches Of Satie (2000), Metamorpheus (2005) and Tribute (2008). Moonspinner is a fine album for people who enjoy wonderful playing on the acoustic guitar and flute, although you have to be in the right mood to enjoy it the best possible way!
*** Henri Strik (edited by Peter Willemsen)
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