8

Flash featuring Peter Banks: In Public - Udder Chaos / Live At Cowtown Ballroom

Glenn Astarita By

Sign in to view read count
Track review of "Small Beginnings"

Flash featuring Peter Banks: In Public - Udder Chaos / Live At Cowtown Ballroom Late guitarist Peter Banks turned quite a few heads as an exceptional guitarist when he burst onto the scene during the initial manifestation of the progressive rock outfit, Yes. But due to artistic differences he left the band in 1970, and subsequently formed Flash, which was a quartet that illustrated stylistic similarities to Yes. The band released three albums from 1971-1973 and more or less developed a loyal following but never enjoyed widespread success. However In Public features the unit operating in hyper-mode, and signifies rare recordings, capturing the unit from a live performance in 1973 at a Kansas venue. In the album liners, composed a month before his untimely passing on March 7, 2013, Banks aptly sums up the band's raison d' etre by stating, "Despite all the usual accusations of pomposity and self-indulgence leveled at progressive rock, Flash has a vibrancy and optimism that transcended all the stereotypes of seventies rock music."

The musicians' enthusiasm radiates throughout the live event. And on what could be deemed as their signature song "Small Beginnings," Banks' versatility and marksmanship comes to the forefront. He steers the piece with upper-register and highly melodic chord developments that underscore Colin Carter's fervent and harmonious vocals. Here, the quartet morphs a circular motif into a linear series of progressions atop drummer Michael Hough's rumbling and sweeping patterns. They shift the parameters as Bank's steps on the distortion pedals to heighten the intensity. He even quotes from Rossini's "William Tell Overture" via burning licks in unison with the rhythm section, and fuses subtle volume control-based shadings and succinct harmonics with improvisational ferocity.

The recording quality on this newly unearthed gem is rather good and lucidly showcases Flash's prowess as an electrifying live act. This album should be deemed essential for the band's followers and admirers of Bank's magnificent guitar faculties. It will also serves as a noteworthy compilation album, especially for those who never delved into the ensemble's legacy.

Personnel: Peter Banks: guitar, backing vocals; Colin Carter: lead vocals; Michael Hough: drums; Ray Bennett: bass, backing vocals.

Year Released: 2013 | Record Label: Self Produced


Shop

More Articles

Read Over the Rainbow CD/LP/Track Review Over the Rainbow
by Paul Rauch
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Before The Silence CD/LP/Track Review Before The Silence
by John Sharpe
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Masters Legacy Series, Volume 1 CD/LP/Track Review Masters Legacy Series, Volume 1
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Backlog CD/LP/Track Review Backlog
by Mark F. Turner
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Process And Reality CD/LP/Track Review Process And Reality
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 24, 2017
Read The Picasso Zone CD/LP/Track Review The Picasso Zone
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: February 23, 2017
Read "Skronky Tonk" CD/LP/Track Review Skronky Tonk
by James Nadal
Published: June 18, 2016
Read "#knowingishalfthebattle" CD/LP/Track Review #knowingishalfthebattle
by Mark F. Turner
Published: January 23, 2017
Read "Cave Art" CD/LP/Track Review Cave Art
by Rokas Kucinskas
Published: August 20, 2016
Read "The Great Jazz Gig In The Sky" CD/LP/Track Review The Great Jazz Gig In The Sky
by Roger Farbey
Published: July 8, 2016
Read "Slight Freedom" CD/LP/Track Review Slight Freedom
by Dave Wayne
Published: December 10, 2016
Read "Transparent Water" CD/LP/Track Review Transparent Water
by Roger Farbey
Published: December 29, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!