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Gandalf - Gandalf featuring Steve Hackett - Gallery Of Dreams Live (part 2) CD (album) cover

GANDALF FEATURING STEVE HACKETT - GALLERY OF DREAMS LIVE (PART 2)

Gandalf

 

Crossover Prog

4.00 | 3 ratings

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SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator
Symphonic Team
4 stars Self-realization

Like Steve Howe with Paul Sutin, Steve Hackett also recorded an album with a New-Age artist; with Gandalf Hackett recorded the album Gallery Of Dreams in 1992. The present live album is the second of two recently released live albums that were recorded at a show in Gandalf's native Austria on tour in support of Gallery Of Dreams when Hackett joined Gandalf and his band on stage. As far as I understand, parts 1 and 2 were released separately and then also together with a re-issue of the Gallery Of Dreams studio album as a three disc set. I've heard these albums on Spotify where the two live discs are listed as separate releases, part one of which has a picture of Hackett and this second part having a picture of Gandalf.

For someone like me who came to Gandalf as a Hackett fanatic with very little prior knowledge of Gandalf's music, I must say that I was very pleasantly surprised by these two live albums. Gandalf is clearly a very talented performer on a number of instruments. The opening is an acoustic piece that reminds me a bit of Steve Howe's playing style (not his aforementioned work with Paul Sutin but his more usual fare). The first part of The Keeper Of The Old Forest is performed on Sitar (Is this Raga-Rock?), while the second part goes in a more jazzy direction. The Wheel Of Life is a nice piano-driven piece and Face In The Mirror is a bit rockier. Featuring Steve Hackett on electric guitar, the latter contains some excellent guitar work (of course!). This is the only track on this disc that features Steve (while on part 1 he appeared on four tracks including a couple of Genesis classics).

Gandalf himself certainly knows how to play guitar as well which can be heard on guitar-dominated pieces like Hand In Hand. The longest number here is Self-Realization which begins in New-Age mode but develops gradually and ends up assuming an improvisational nature. The closing Invisible Power also allows some instrumental workouts this time in a jazzier vein.

Overall, this is a varied live performance of very high quality spanning two separate discs. Initially I gave both part 1 and part 2 the three star rating, but after further listens (and also after having a slightly greater familiarity with Gandalf's vast discography) I decided to raise my ratings to four stars. The two discs clearly belongs together and had they been released together as a double CD the rating would have been four stars in the first place. This second disc is definitely recommended in conjunction with the first and together they make up a very nice addition to a Prog collection and a great introduction to the music of Gandalf.

SouthSideoftheSky | 4/5 |

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