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

Andy Jackson

Twelve Half Steps

Review by Gary Hill

You just can't go wrong with releases from Andy Jackson. This new album is made up of instrumental pieces built around specific modal scales. It's varied, dramatic and potent. This is decidedly progressive rock based, but it does have some other elements at play and there is a lot of range there. This comes with a CD and a Blu-Ray, but the Blu-Ray is made up of varied mixes of the album.

This review is available in book (paperback and hardcover) form in Music Street Journal: 2023  Volume 5 More information and purchase links can be found at:

Track by Track Review
The sound of waves usher in the album. Some jazzy guitar that makes me think of some of David Gilmour's work gets this going from there. It feels like something that would have fit well on Meddle to me. This has some great acoustic slide guitar.
Circumnavigation East-West
There is an Asian vibe to the first part of this mellow piece. It has a trippy kind of psychedelic edge, as well. Then it shifts to a very symphonic sort of arrangement with a texture that seems to indicate movement and growth. Yet, the Asian elements are overlaid in a different way during this section. We get some electric guitar in the mix further down the road.
DeriƩn Gap (1001 Demons)
Much more percussive and strange, this feels alien and electronic. It's rather creepy, but in a great way. Some tribal drumming takes command after the halfway mark. It eventually drops way down to a stripped back movement that more closely resembles the earlier parts of the piece.
Easy Street
This piece builds up slowly and gradually, but it really becomes a cool bluesy groove as it gets into it and goes for it.
I really dig the funky angles to this piece. The track features more killer guitar soloing and lots of stylistic sounds and textures. It's another classy tune
Fabula and Syuzhet
Another that has some hints of Pink Floyd built into it. This has a good energy and flow. It's more purely progressive rock based than some of the others, but that's just a matter of degrees.
There is some real Americana feeling to this. I can almost see tumbleweeds drifting by. The number is slow moving, packed with cool slide guitar, and yet also somewhat proggy.
Gas Giant
Mellow, trippy sounds bring this in. The slow movements and evolution here, really do feel like a massive gaseous planet.
A Never Ending Now
Trippy and rather atmospheric at the start, this grows out gradually from there. There is some cool guitar built into it along with some rather retro sounding textures.
Attenuation Deficit
Americana is present here in some ways. So are jazz stylings and definite progressive rock angles.
Before-Fore Times
Slow moving and mellow, this has cool retro proggy vibes in place. It's a nice interlude.
Between Scylla and Charybdis
More driving and energetic, this is still packed full of retro sound. It's also modern, though. There are some hints of world music, too. This turns to some heavy guitar oriented King Crimson like sounds for a time. That eventually gives way to a mellower, melodic prog movement. An acoustic guitar section joins later in the song to lead it in some great ways. This drifts out to space at the end, and then the sounds of the ocean return to bookend the album.
Return to the
Andy Jackson 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./