Exposé Online banner

Anthony Phillips & Guillermo Cazenave — The Meadows of Englewood
(Astral Records CD999, 1996, CD)

Anthony Phillips — Private Parts and Pieces IX: Dragonfly Dreams
(Blueprint BP229CD, 1996, CD)

by Mike Ezzo, Published 1998-02-01

The Meadows of Englewood Cover artPrivate Parts and Pieces IX: Dragonfly Dreams Cover art

The most artistically inclined and prolific of all Genesis members past or present is (how ironic) also the least popular. Nevertheless Phillips has neither given up nor given in, as these two recent humdingers will prove. Consistently the quintessential Englishman shirks commercialism, unabashedly bucking incipient trends and refusing to dilute his work by cheap attempts to turn a few quid. For this alone he deserves at least a hearing. Part nine in the Private Parts & Pieces series, Dragonfly Dreams is one of Anthony's quietest low-key outings, but displays a finely-tuned maturity in his compositional language. PP&P 8: New England is probably the closest reference point here — with all the acoustic twelve and six-string solos and duets. "She'll be Waiting" offers a nice contrast as a vocal song, his finest vocal moment yet, while "Quango" breathes the fires of Latin America. Significant is that PP&P 9 is more cohesive than earlier parts of the series. It is hard to find an artist who consistently refines his craft in this way. Had I know at the time, Dragonfly Dreams would have made my Best-of-'96 list without question.

A very different entry in the Phillips canon, The Meadows of Englewood is the male counterpart to Dragonfly's female side, in that mostly robust and dramatic keyboard pieces dominate. The half-hour long title work captures the CDs spotlight. Some resemblance to Slow Dance may be discerned in the extended arrangement which runs through a stream-of-consciousness sequence of thematic statements and free-spirited diversions. After all this is one of only a few epics he has done for this kind of setting. A rare appearance of electric guitar elicits from partner Cazenave some inspired axe-wielding. The album's real kicker for me though is the seventeen-minute "Picaresca" where Ant's impassioned performance stretches the twelve strings to the point of breakage. Two pieces from other albums — "Lucy: An Illusion" and "She'll be Waiting" — pull in acoustic directions, but the main thrust of Meadows is the expansive undulating atmospheres that recall "Slow Waves, Soft Stars" and some of his library and soundtrack work.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 14, 1996 releases

Related artist(s): Anthony Phillips, Enrique "Quique" Berro García

Latest news

2020-10-14
Audion Is Back in Business – Our esteemed colleague Alan Freeman has restarted Audion Magazine after a seven year hiatus. The new incarnation is available online on their Bandcamp site. Audion's history goes back to 1984, and included 58 issues up to 2013. Issue #59 is available now, and #60 is in the works. » Read more

2020-10-06
Romantic Warriors IV – Krautrock (Part 2) Is in the Works – Zeitgeist Media, the people who have brought us the great series of documentary films chronicling the history of progressive rock, are working on the second installment of their examination of German music. Krautrock 2 will focus on artists from Münich such as Guru Guru, Amon Düül II, Xhol Caravan, Kraan, Witthüser & Westrupp, and Popol Vuh. » Read more

2020-09-09
Simeon Coxe RIP – Simeon Coxe, best known for his experimental electronics in the band Silver Apples, has died at the age of 82. The band's 1968 debut album set the stage for both German electronic music and experimental punk music a decade later. Coxe died on September 8 from pulmonary fibrosis. » Read more

2020-09-05
Gary Peacock RIP – Legendary bassist Gary Peacock, veteran of many recordings and performances with Paul Bley, George Russell, Roland Kirk, Bill Evans, Tony Williams, and many more. » Read more

2020-07-22
Tim Smith RIP – Tim Smith, leader of the eccentric band Cardiacs, has died at the age of 59 after many years of health problems. Cardiacs was known for intense and complicated music that combined punk energy with the rhythmic and harmonic sophistication of progressive rock. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Walt Ribiero - I.I – Walt Ribeiro is an American composer in his early 20s, influenced both by classical music and modern rock. I.I is probably best described as post-modern classical music. It consists of twelve pieces,...  (2008) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues