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Phil Manzanera releases two new albums Print E-mail
Written by Matt   
Monday, 10 November 2008

phil manzaneraThe highly-respected, Roxy Music guitarist Phil Manzanera, whom many of you would also have enjoyed as part of David Gilmour's touring band on his 2006 tour (and subsequent CD/DVD releases), enjoys a thriving solo career. Some of you may have heard his wonderful 2004 album, 6PM, partly on the strength of David guesting on it.

Today (November 10th) Phil releases not just one, but two new albums - "Firebird V11", an absorbing collection of new songs, and "The Music 1972 - 2008", a 2CD and 1DVD set, chock full of good stuff looking back over his impressive back catalogue.

With both packages, you'll see why Phil is so highly regarded as a guitarist and songwriter.

firebird v11 Firebird V11 sees a team-up with drummer Charles Hayward, renowned bassist Yaron Stavi, and award-winning Polish pianist Leszek Mozdzer, who also cropped up on David Gilmour's On An Island, and played at the Gdansk concert.

The album grabs you from the start, with its fascinating blend of straight rock, jazz-rock, and almost improvisational passages, with echoes of Phil's work from the past, courtesy of his distinctive guitar style, combining effortlessly with the other musicians to create something quite special.

Inspired by the eponymous red and white guitar, which has been a staple of Phil's musical journey for the past 35 years, the album goes in many interesting directions.

Particular standout tracks include Cartagena, which in places almost feels like early-mid period Genesis, but given a more contemporary edge; the soaring title track; and the final track, After Magritte. To hear an excerpt of each track of the album, visit firebirdv11.com.

Phil Manzanera - The Music 1972-2008 takes in 25 tracks, either written or co-written by Phil, covering a career playing as a solo artist, and with the likes of Roxy Music and Brian Eno. Phil revealed the criteria for which songs were selected:

 "When choosing the songs and music from a body of work that, so far, has spanned 35 years, I did wonder if some common thread would emerge, and I guess it did... namely my passion for experimentation and musical exploration through sound and collaborations. I have never wanted to play it safe, even if it means, as the great music writer Ian MacDonald said of me, 'soaring like an angel one minute and stumbling like a sleepwalker the next'."

phil manzanera the music 1972 - 2008 The DVD which accompanies the set is a nice collection of items, mainly consisting of live performances from various years. There's also a fascinating 23-minute documentary, "From Revolution To Roxy", which has Phil narrating his life story - rather bizarrely, whilst driving his car! With the frequent inclusion of Super 8 film, from his childhood days in Cuba during the time of the Revolution, through the Roxy Music years, right up to the present day, it is the perfect precis of his life and career for the uninitiated. For the Gilmour completist, there is also footage of Phil and David working together on the 6PM project, which lead to the almost three-years they spent together on the On An Island project.

The set boasts a great selection of tracks, with disc 1 of the CD focusing on his first 20 years, working with Bryan Ferry and Brian Eno, amongst others, and disc 2 taking in the most recent 10 years. To hear excerpts of each track on the album, visit www.manzanera-themusic.com.

Both albums can be ordered, along with the rest of his extensive back catalogue (and signed by Phil, too) from the newly created www.Manzanera.com. Alternatively, you can order them through many other retailers.

Amazon are selling Firebird V11 from Amazon.co.uk. Amazon Germany, Amazon France, and Amazon.com also have it, but are charging a fortune for it as an import. Use the UK store, or Phil's site, to save yourself a lot of money!

Turning to the 2CD and 1DVD "Phil Manzanera - The Music 1972-2008", again should you choose not to use Phil's site, you can order through Amazon.co.uk. As before, Amazon Germany, Amazon France, and Amazon.com also have it, but are charging a fortune for this as an import as well. As with Firebird V11 we urge you to use the UK store, or Phil's site, to save yourself some cash!

 
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