Steve Hackett – Under A Mediterranean Sky

(Inside Out – 2020)

The 70's Prog Rock Guitar Virtuoso goes into instrumental territory for this album that sees him get very Spanish, classical, medieval and more for over 51 minutes.

 

His guitar resonance is simply beautiful with sweet 'n' sharp tones popping off the fretboard like one of the best serenaders in the best restaurant in town and that's just the opening genre varying top-notch qualities of 'Mdina (The Walled City)'.

 

Steve is an absolute virtuoso of the guitar and can nail anything that lands on his plate – take the absolutely stunning solo effort that is 'Adriatic Blue' or the French Classical meets Egyptian like 'Sirroco' which as Google states is “a hot dust-laden wind from the Libyan deserts that blows on the northern Mediterranean coast chiefly in Italy, Malta, and Sicily”.

 

Then there's 'Joie de Vivre' which in English translates to 'Joy Of Living' that reminds me of Sky's 'Classical Gas' at certain points. Love the baroque brilliance of the solo piece called 'Scarlatti Sonata' - in fact Scarlatti himself was a composer of Italian origin who influenced the development of modern opera.

 

Or what about 'The Dervish And The Djin' that is very snake-charmer'ish in parts where you can almost imagine a hot chick belly dancing to various sections of it. Regarding the song title, it's of Islamic reference - 'The Dervish' as stated by Google again, is a “member of a Muslim religious order noted for devotional exercises (such as bodily movements leading to a trance)” who is alongside a spirit that can assume human or animal form and influence them - 'The Djin'.

 

It comes to a beautiful close with 'The Close Of The Sea' that mixes acoustic guitar with a lovely string section. I really feel that this album can wholeheartedly be appreciated by a wide audience due to its different influences to be found here – one that could hit a variety of charts on either side of the UK/European border and be accessed all over the east too... well okay the entire span of the Mediterranean coast and inland too.

 

Extremely enlightening.

10/10

 

By Glenn Milligan