Funky, Fusion, Jazzy, Technical
"Jon Anderson, the singer of Yes, delivers us with "1000 Hands", which is very similar to his best album."
CORTO1809 (07.07.2020)  
(0) opinions (1) comment(s)
At 75, Jon Anderson has nothing left to prove. Charismatic and demanding leader of the emblematic "Yes", a band whose name alone can serve as a definition of progressive rock, the man has a rich and impressive career. And yet, here he is about to make us with his last album, "1000 Hands - Chapter One", the same move as David Bowie with "Blackstar". The stroke of the veteran who brings us his best album, or almost. It must be said that Anderson put the means. On the one hand, he's been brooding over this album for almost 30 years, coming back from time to time without finding enough availability to finish it. On the other hand, he surrounds himself with a plethora of people to produce it. Judge for yourselves: in addition to a recurring trio (Tommy Calton on guitar, Michael Franklin on keyboards and Tim Franklin on bass), he offers himself the services of an orchestra, about fifty backup singers and as many musicians, including big names like Chick Corea, Steve Morse, Jean-Luc Ponty, Carmine Appice, Trevor Rabin, Rick Wakeman, Steve Howe, Chris Squire, Alan White (here's a good one!), and a band. all Yes is here?), Bobby Kimball, Ian Anderson and Jerry Goodman, justifying the "1000 Hands" of the title.

Let's say it right away, this record is masterful: in-depth compositions, exceptional musicians that serve a collective (masterful solos by Chick Corea on 'WDMCF (Where Does Music Come From)' and Jean-Luc Ponty on '1000 Hands') and work on the breathtaking voices. No wonder when you consider the special care Jon Anderson has always taken with this point, having formed Yes with the ulterior motive of making it a choral group. And here too, the balance between vocal and instrumental parts is prodigious, everything fitting together wonderfully well in the greatest fluidity.

In this respect, we must salute the quality of Michael Franklin's production, precise, limpid, dynamic, which allows us to follow each speaker or to immerse ourselves in the tutti of the musicians with the same listening comfort. Mention should also be made of the remarkable work on the arrangements, which multiplies the layers of instruments and voices, enriching each title with always justified and sought-after interventions, teeming with details that make a simple ballad a monument of pleasure.

The compositions sweep a large number of musical styles (pop, rock, reggae, electro, jazz, classical, world music, gospel, techno... and I forget some) in a true progressive spirit, that of abolishing the borders between these different styles in favour of an orgasmic fusion. If the album starts on a sunny and optimistic note (the cheerful and funky pop of 'First Born Leaders', the dancing reggae of 'Make Me Happy'), the second part is more shady, without however sinking into a frank melancholy (the fluffy 'I Found Myself' with false Beatles' tunes), the most nostalgic 'Twice in a Lifetime') before ending with a grand finale on the eponymous track, subtly sliding from an unbridled jazz-rock to a progressive rock close to Yes.

A word to finish on Jon Anderson's vocals. Time doesn't seem to have any hold on this voice, tenuous, fragile, slightly broken and recognizable among a thousand, whose indefinable charm still works. Always right, capable of admirable harmonies, the singer knows how to show an astonishing vigour and a communicative spirit when needed.

In short, there are 1000 things left to say about "1000 Hands". The best thing you can do is to find out for yourself by getting it as soon as possible so you can listen to it again and again. Its many discoveries ensure that the album will last for an unlimited amount of time and pleasure.
- Official website

01. Now (01:13)
02. Ramalama (03:49)
03. First Born Leaders (05:22)
04. Activate (08:51)
05. Make Me Happy (03:50)
06. Now Variations (01:02)
07. I Found Myself (05:05)
08. Twice In A Lifetime (05:06)
09. WDMCF (04:11)
10. 1,000 Hands (Come Up) (08:24)
11. Now And Again (03:39)

Jon Anderson: Chant
Michael Franklin: Claviers / Choeurs / Ukulélé / Clavecin
Tim Franklin: Basse / Choeurs / Ukulélé / Violon Électrique
Tommy Calton: Guitares
Alan White: Invité / Batterie (4)
Antonio Esposito: Claviers / Invité
Billy Boyd: Invité / Trompette
Billy Cobham: Batterie / Invité
Bobby Kimball: Invité / Choeurs
Bobby Koelble: Guitares / Invité
Brandy Moulden: Invité / Violon Électrique
Brian Chatton: Claviers / Invité
Brian Scanlon: Invité / Trompette
Brian Snapp: Invité / Saxophone, Flûte
Bunky Garrabrant: Invité / Trompette
Carmine Appice: Invité / Batterie (2)
Charlie Bisharat: Invité / Violon
Charlie Dechant: Invité / Saxophone, Flûte
Chick Corea: Invité / Piano (9,10)
Chris Charles: Invité / Saxophone
Chris Squire: Invité / Basse (4,10)
Christie Lenee: Guitares / Invité
Crossovers: Invité / Choeurs
Dariusz Grabowski: Invité / Accordéon (8)
Don Oriolo: Invité / Ukulele
Eddie Metz Jr.: Invité / Percussions
Edgar Winter: Invité / Saxophone
Ian Anderson: Invité / Flûte Traversière (4)
Jane Anderson: Invité / Chant (7)
Jason Thomas: Invité / Violon
Jean-luc Ponty: Invité / Violon (10)
Jeff Abbott: Claviers / Invité
Jennie Landau: Invité / Violon Électrique
Jerry Goodman: Invité / Violon (7)
Jocelyn Hsu: Invité / Violon
Jonathan Cain: Claviers / Invité
Kaitlin Highby: Invité / Violon Électrique
Keith Heffner: Claviers / Invité
Krissi Franzen: Invité / Violoncelle / Violon Électrique
Larry Coryell : Guitares / Invité
Matt Brown: Batterie / Invité
Michael Winslow: Invité / Effets Spéciaux / Human Beat Box
Michelle Jones: Invité / Violon Électrique
Mitch Corbin: Invité / Banjo
Nana Academy Youth Choir: Invité / Choeurs
Olga Kopakova: Invité / Violon
Orlando Symphony Orchestra: Invité / Orchestre
Pat Frost: Batterie / Invité / Trombone
Pat Gulotta: Invité / Trombone
Pat Travers: Guitares / Invité
Paul Fluery: Invité / Violoncelle / Violon Électrique
Rick Derringer: Guitares / Invité
Rick Wakeman: Claviers / Invité
Robby Steinhardt: Invité / Violon
Russel Chalk: Invité / Ukulele
Solar Choir: Invité / Choeurs
Steady Joseph: Invité / Percussions
Steve Howe: Invité / Guitare (11)
Steve Morse: Invité / Guitare (4)
Steve Walters: Invité / Trompette
Stuart Hamm: Basse / Invité
Superstars: Invité / Choeurs
Tower Of Power: Invité / Cuivres
Trevor Rabin: Guitares / Invité
Voices Of Lindahl: Invité / Choeurs
Zap Mama: Invité / Choeurs
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Pas encore écouté, mais une pensée émue tout de même pour celui qui a rentré la liste des participants dans la base MW :-)
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4.5/5 (2 view(s))
4.5/5 (2 view(s))
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