Artists | Issues | CD Reviews | Interviews | Concert Reviews | DVD/Video Reviews | Book Reviews | Who We Are | Staff | Home

Steve Hackett

and Djabe - Summer Storms and Rocking Rivers

Review by Gary Hill
Those expecting Genesis styled prog rock here are likely to be disappointed. This is much more of a fusion set with some world music built into it. The majority of the set is instrumental, but a couple tunes have vocals. They do hit some Genesis territory on this in terms of a couple songs, but turn in different styled renditions. You expect the guitar playing on this to be great, and it is, but for me the bass and violin are also particularly noteworthy on a lot of this. The CD by itself would make this worth having, but there is also a great DVD of the show here. It includes some extra songs and other things not on the audio disc, too. All in all, this is a package that's well worth having.
This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2017  Volume 2 at
Track by Track Review
City of Habi

World music merges with fusion and more on this cool tune. I'm not overly crazy about the vocals on this thing, but the music more than makes up for it. There are some great shifts and changes and the textures really work well. There is some seriously powerhouse jamming on this thing later. The section where both the guitar and violin are furiously soaring is particularly powerful.

The Steppes
This comes in mellower, and a bit textural. Yet, if you really pay attention there is some pretty intense music being performed. It's very world music based. It turns toward the rock end of the spectrum around the minute and a half mark. From there it moves forward with dramatic prog that's based around world music sounds. This instrumental is very cool.
I love the harmonics section that starts this. This thing works out eventually into some powerful and inspired fusion. This thing gets funky and very cool as it drives forward. There is a rather odd, but still cool, horn based section mid-track.
Scenes - Above Poland
Fusion, world music and prog rock seem to merge seamlessly on this cool instrumental. This instrumental works through a number of varying modes and flavors. It's a classy tune for sure. I absolutely love both the guitar work and bass playing that takes it around the five minute mark.
Scenes - Sunset at the Seaside
Coming out of the previous tune, this continues the fusion themes to end things in style.
This classic Hackett guitar solo is still so pretty.
Ace of Wands
Energetic and bouncy, I really like this number a lot. It has a real jazz meets classical and rock kind of vibe to it. The work it through several shifts and changes, and it gets a lot mellower at times.
Flowers Stillness
Steve Hackett's guitar intricacies on this are so pretty. Then again, so is the bass work. This is a mellower number that really is one of the best tunes here.
Rush for Ménes
This is much more of a  pure fusion jam that's packed with some real jazz. It's a powerhouse cut that's among the stronger music here. There is a smoking hot jam that ends this.
Stranger Places
A bass solo starts this thing in style. That bass solo drives this killer tune.
Last Train to Istanbul
There is plenty of world music built into this. Add in some dramatic and rather mysterious prog and you'll be in the right territory. It's only the second song here with vocals. I like the vocals on this one a lot. I love the violin exploration on this, but the guitar really soars over the top, too. There is a killer jam focused on both the guitar and the violin that serves as the closing movement here. 
Firth of Fifth
We're taken into Genesis territory here. This piece gets a bit of world music element brought to the arrangement. I like the different flavor of this piece. They really capture the killer prog rock vibe of the cut as they continue, though. Hackett's guitar is so expressive on this thing.
Summer Rain
More atmospheric and textural, the start of this is powerful and pretty. It's also quite dramatic, while still remaining relatively mellow.
In That Quiet Earth
A take on the Genesis cut, this works really well. It showcases the kind of sounds you would expect on this disc.
Distant Dance
Energetic fusion is the concept here. This is classy stuff with some great bass work. There is some awesome keyboard work on the dropped back mid-section of the track. Hackett gets to show his rock power at times on this, too. This thing really gets into some screaming guitar rock at points.
Los Endos
Back into Genesis territory, I think this rendition captures a lot of the magic of the original while bringing some new flavorings to it.
You'll find concert pics of this artist in the Music Street Journal members area.
Return to the
Steve Hackett Artist Page
Artists Directory

   Creative Commons License
   This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License.

    © 2024 Music Street Journal                                                                           Site design and programming by Studio Fyra, Inc./