Djabe and Steve Hackett – Live in Gyor: Album Review

From a memorable concert recorded in Hungary in August 2022, Steve Hackett and Djabe release Live in Gyor which combines slinky,  smooth melodies with a slightly more volatile side.

Release date:  28th April 2023

Label:   Esoteric Antenna Records

Format:  2CD + Bluray

At The Barrier has already had the pleasure of telling our readers of the collaboration between Steve Hackett and Djabe with the album Back To Sardinia. These masterpieces of improvised jazz including the instantly recognisable sound of Steve Hackett were a complete joy to the ear whether jazz rocks your boat or not.  We are also avid followers of Steve Hackett’s solo work and of course his six-album stint in Genesis from Nursery Cryme up to Wind & Wuthering, covering several of his Genesis Revisited tours.

On this monumental live concert in Gyor, Hungary you don’t just get the best of both worlds; you are treated to the best of three. Djabe material, Genesis classics and Steve Hackett solo pieces.  Throw in a Bluray and an informative booklet and there’s plenty to warm your Springtime cockles. Amongst those Genesis and Steve Hackett classics are from the Djabe collaborations including the two Sardinia-inspired albums and Magic Stag.

After a gentle sonic effect intro the jaunty, mystical  Power of Wings gets us smartly into full flow blending beautifully with Hackett’s  The Steppes with horns ablaze. The complex rhythms of Buzzy Island continue the lively start. The frantic Ace Of Wands is sandwiched between the languid melancholic Lake By The Sea and Castelsardo At Night, both of which will make you want to catch the next available flight to calmer sunnier climes and blend sublimely with In That Quiet Earth.

The second half of the concert,  offers a succulent melting pot of sounds with Eastern Europe to the Middle East and the Far East are visited, including the only song from the performance with vocals Last Train To Istanbul.  Its raucous opening develops into intricate acoustic guitar, then Gyor which is completely dominated with  Oriental percussion.  Golden Sand emits the sounds of a romantic late-night stroll along the shore with a warm gentle breeze. Seamlessly Hairless Heart continues this mood. The Scottish coastline along the Firth Of Forth might not give you similar images but Fifth Of Fifth works magically with these tracks, every note of which is as easily remembered by Genesis fans as the words of The Musical Box. We then get funky, stompy and bluesy in A Distant Dance. while Los Endos is always a frenzied and crazy conclusion to many a Genesis and Hacket setlist, on this occasion, given a jazzy feel with frenetic horns. Dancing Shoes are on for Gyor Blues before we can once again immerse ourselves in the warm melodies for the final three tracks particularly  Castelsardo at Night-Debrecen. Finally we are invited to the end-of-gig party with the rocky, bluesy Olomouc Blues.  

This album offers a wide palette of sound, jazzy without unnecessary frills, in places pulsating without a barrage of drums and cover complex rhythms and warm melodies to immerse yourself in. 

Anyone unfamiliar with previous material from Djabe and Steve Hackett this an ideal entry album which is guaranteed to make you delve further back. Amongst the 3cd package is a concert video with documentaries, film clips and bonus live recordings. If that wasn’t enough then there’s an illustrated booklet with quotes from Djabe and Steve Hackett. When the music is value for money alone you couldn’t ask for more!

Djabe: Official Website / Facebook  / Twitter / YouTube

Steve Hackett: Official Website / Instagram / Facebook / Twitter

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