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(302:56; The Peter Banks Musical Estate)
Harmony In Diversity was the main project for Peter Banks between 2004 and 2007, an improvisational trio with the line-up completed initially by drummer Andrew Booker and bassist Nick Cottam. While Peter is a known entity to many, either for his work with Yes, Flash or solo, but I remember Andrew and Nick working as Pulse Engine, a drum and bass duo using triggered sounds to be able to play live (I still have their album). Peter had seen them gig and decided it would be interesting to work with them, which is how Harmony in Diversity was born. The band played five gigs with Andrew, and another three with his replacement David Speight. They released just one album (‘Trying’), and rarely rehearsed material as it all about living on the edge and bouncing ideas off each other. Musically there are touches of sheer genius to be found within the five hours plus material on this six-CD set. Listening to Peter blast through “On The Sixth Attempt They Trod On It” is a masterclass of over the top electric guitar, yet there are plenty of others where it is more restrained and whimsical. That Nick and Andrew were able to keep it all together shows just how much they had been playing together and were able to stay in the groove. The first time I listened to this was on a day when I knew I wouldn’t be interrupted and listened to the whole set from start to finish in one go. The notes in the booklet are comprehensive and brutally honest, and all the music has been overseen and mixed by the three remaining members of the band (Peter of course sadly passed away in 2013). Andrew states that this really is everything that can be released, as they excluded a few cover versions which were never supposed to see the light of day, and some passages where things really didn’t work, and it has been scrabbled together from their own archives. There are times when wonders what is going on, and others when the listener is truly stunned. I doubt if many will sit and listen to the complete set as I did, but it is worth checking out.
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