Guitarist Steve Howe (Yes, Asia) releases new album 'Time'

Guitarist Steve Howe - Time

New album from Steve Howe, featuring unique takes on classical, Spanish and folk tunes as well as original material, expertly produced by Paul K. Joyce

Released on 28th November 2011

Steve Howe tours with Yes throughout November

Steve Howe has over the last 50 years assured his position as one of the world's pre-eminent guitarists. His uniquely fluid and creative style helped propel multi-million album selling rock bands Yes and Asia to superstar status.

Throughout his career Steve has included pieces for folk and classical guitar in his repertoire, with compositions such as "Clap" and "Mood For A Day" becoming perennial favourites.

This regard for the classical form has found full expression in his latest solo release - Time, an album of cool instrumentals that bridges classical, jazz and country - and, in fact, has a generally healthy disregard for genre.

Time is a collaboration between Steve Howe and producer Paul K. Joyce, who has worked widely scoring for television and film.

"In 1972," Paul remembers, "a friend pressed a greenish-coloured album into my hands and said 'I think you should listen to this, it starts with birds singing.' The album was Close To The Edge by Yes. I listened to it again and again - I can't overstate the effect the music had and still has on me to this day." Steve, says Paul, "doesn't wear his musical pedigree on his sleeve and is enthusiastic, generous and open to ideas. He is very easy to work with!"

Steve Howe first contacted Paul in 2007 after reading an interview with him and suggested they work together on an orchestral project, combing through tunes Steve had been accumulating, including some he'd worked on with his friend Paul Sutin, with whom he'd released two albums in 1995.

This openness is typical of Steve, who has a boundless, infectious enthusiasm for music.

"Making music creates the feeling of new possibilities," he says. But "it all comes back fundamentally to the moment when I walk on stage and think 'now I've got to play'. I love all sorts of other instruments, but the guitar…it's all about that fascination. And I still have a real enjoyment for improvisation and while you can invent, you'd better invent!"

Time includes several Howe originals, as well as tunes by Paul and Steve's son Virgil and unconventional takes on classical pieces by Bach, Villa-Lobos and Vivaldi. The Bach (Cantata No.140 (Wachet Auf)) and Villa-Lobos (Bachianas Brasileiras No 5 (Aria)) pieces are "two favourites I was very, very determined to play," says Steve. As for the Vivaldi (Concerto Grosso in D Minor Op. 3, No. 11) - "using a searing electric guitar to play Vivaldi is very different," He says. "On my second solo album for Atlantic, I played the 2nd movement of Vivaldi's D Concerto on electric guitar, but in a very legato style. Music is very elastic - I learnt that with my trio. Take tunes and throw out the rule-book!"

Steve credits his broad musical approach to his siblings John, Stella and Philip, who steered the young pop fan away towards jazz and classical: "they inspired in me a constant search - I can still get excited about something I've just heard." And he's off, talking about how much he enjoys Alison Krauss, and how country has been a constant in his musical evolution. That, as he puts it perfectly, sums up "the diversity and slight madness of my music."

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