Seis de Mayo

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David Sprague
The members of Phish have never been shy about pushing boundaries when taking solo flights, but even by the band's standards, this latest offering from guitarist and guiding force Trey Anastasio packs plenty of surprises in its grooves. Seis de Mayo is made up, essentially, of Phish standards deconstructed and reassembled as classical pieces, some of which can be easily traced to their origins and others that are so radically revamped as to stand entirely alone. "All Things Reconsidered," which initially appeared on Rift, falls into the former category, with its core progressions transposed to string quartet and its tempo slowed down to a hazy fugue. The 12-minute ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David Sprague
The members of Phish have never been shy about pushing boundaries when taking solo flights, but even by the band's standards, this latest offering from guitarist and guiding force Trey Anastasio packs plenty of surprises in its grooves. Seis de Mayo is made up, essentially, of Phish standards deconstructed and reassembled as classical pieces, some of which can be easily traced to their origins and others that are so radically revamped as to stand entirely alone. "All Things Reconsidered," which initially appeared on Rift, falls into the former category, with its core progressions transposed to string quartet and its tempo slowed down to a hazy fugue. The 12-minute "Guyute" -- which incorporates snippets of several Phish songs, including the skittish "My Friend, My Friend" -- flows in an altogether more complex manner, thanks in part to the fluid playing of the 66-piece Seattlemusic Orchestra. With chattering brass, moaning woodwinds, and darkly looming tympani, the piece carries a Fantasia-like sense of cinematic grandiosity. Anastasio himself plays on just a pair of the disc's seven tracks, the most intriguing of which is "Andre the Giant," which he's retooled for African instrumentation, including a balafon essentially a Ghanaian xylophone that's masterfully played by Abou Sylla. Seis de Mayo is more conventionally classical than most rock performers' forays into "serious music," but you don't need a cheat-sheet in order to appreciate it on its own terms.
All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
With Seis de Mayo, Trey Anastasio returns to the willful musical obscurism that marked his ventures outside of Phish prior to his major-label unveiling as a solo artist, 2002's Trey Anastasio. That record was a delightful surprise since it was both eclectic and polished, featuring the singer/guitarist at his most tuneful and adventurous; arguably, it was better than any Phish album, and it certainly was useful in converting doubters. While 2004's Seis de Mayo isn't as obviously patchwork as One Man's Trash -- whose very title suggests its contents -- it is pieced together from sessions held between 2000 and 2003 and consists largely of reinterpretations of familiar Anastasio instrumental compositions, most now reworked to feature some sort of classical arrangement, ranging from string quartet to a full 66-piece orchestra on the nearly 12-minute closer, "Guyute Orchestral." Since Phish have a reputation as an improvistory band, some skeptics might think that their songs aren't so much composed as discovered, but close listening to Anastasio's work reveals that's not the case. Ironically, Trey Anastasio made a stronger case for his work as a composer than Seis de Mayo because it cast a wider net and accomplished more on its own terms. Seis de Mayo is disjointed and diffuse, sounding like an idea sketchbook through its first half before it moves to some very interesting work on the last three tracks, which aren't coincidentally pieces that he wrote with orchestras in mind. They all reveal considerable skill at writing for larger ensembles -- the arrangements are dense and lively, but not overly busy, pushing at dissonance without delving into noise, boasting some muscular themes and countermelodies -- and they're all worthwhile listening. It's not quite enough to make Seis de Mayo successful -- that first half doesn't work particularly well, and while the latter half is interesting, it's not necessarily absorbing -- but it is an admirable experiment that points toward bigger, possibly better, things.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 4/6/2004
  • Label: Elektra / Wea
  • UPC: 075596296229
  • Catalog Number: 62962

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Andre the Giant (3:46)
  2. 2 Prologue (2:43)
  3. 3 The Inlaw Josie Wales (2:50)
  4. 4 All Things Reconsidered (3:03)
  5. 5 Coming To (2:57)
  6. 6 Discern (Intro) (1:54)
  7. 7 Guyute (11:46)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Trey Anastasio Primary Artist, Acoustic Guitar, Conductor
Peter Apfelbaum Soprano Saxophone
Jonathan Fishman Drums
Dave Grippo Baritone Saxophone
Mike Hopkins Double Bass
Peter Wilson Timpani
John Rivers Bass
David Gusakov Violin
Mike Gordon Bass
Abou Sylla Balafon
Jennifer Hartswick Trumpet
Russell Remington Tenor Saxophone
Andy Moroz Trombone
Shelagh Abate French Horn
Troy Peters Conductor
Seattlemusic Group Track Performer
Fode Bangoura Djembe, Lead
Stacy Brubaker Flute
Jocelyn Crawford French Horn
John Dunlop Cello
Ann Greenawalt Oboe
Nancy Hartswick Clarinet
Karen Kevra Flute
Steve Klimowski Clarinet
Laura Markowitz Violin
Craig Olzenak Bass Clarinet
Jonathan Ranney Bassoon
Ana Ruesink Viola
Tom Toner Marimbas
David Ying Cello
Janet Ying Violin
Phillip Ying Viola
Timothy Ying Violin
Margaret Phillips Bassoon
Technical Credits
Trey Anastasio Arranger, Composer, Producer, Orchestration
Bryce Goggin Engineer
Fred Kevorkian Mastering
Brian Valentino Engineer
Chris Shaw Engineer
Tom Marshall Composer
Peter J. Carini Engineer
Troy Peters Orchestration, String Arrangements
Kory Kruckenberg Pro-Tools
Scott Lenhardt Cover Art
David Sabee Direction
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