Anderson/Stolt: Invention Of Knowledge album review
Jon Anderson and Roine Stolt met and jammed on one of the many prog cruises floating on the seas, two leading lights from two generations of prog join forces for a harmonious voyage of discove
It’s one of those inspired ideas which is almost so obviously bound to work that you fear there’s going to be a catch. While the optimist in us all gets excited, our inner pessimist whispers that surely it’s too good to be true. Well, this time, the optimist is right. Which is, of course, the only way the peerlessly positive Jon Anderson would have it.
Teaming up these two prog princes from different eras results in a beautiful album that’s effectively the best of both worlds. There’s no sense of cagey compromise or polite deference, and both artists extend themselves freely, exploring and expressing vast swathes of musical terrain which nonetheless sound a lot like what Anderson would call Yesmusic. While the singer has been cheerfully prolific in recent years – the ongoing collaborations with Jean-Luc Ponty and Anderson Rabin & Wakeman attest to that – this is arguably what devotees dreamed of hearing most of all. Invention Of Knowledge knowingly echoes elements of 70s-era Yes or Olias Of Sunhillow, without mimicking them. (Mimicking them would, let’s face it, be quite a task.) Not slavishly, though. It tunes in to the feel, the light and shade, of those hallowed works, and makes its own magic with that palette.
There’s a simpatico here which illuminates both these prog princes.