The notion of a band being a super group is a relative thing. More often than not a few things happen with “super groups”. The expectations from fans are high and the music is generally a disappointment. The group does not have a long lifespan. Extreme compromises, other musical commitments and member egos often times get in the way. Some “super groups” are far from super. Often times when reading the rosters of some so called super groups you do not know who the band members are. The frequency at which some musicians join and depart bands these days is staggering. Just because a musician was briefly a member of a large and popular band does not always give them credibility. A musician may have been with a band for one album or tour. For better or for worse that time in the band, however brief it may have been, will always be on that musician’s resume. Keyboard player Patrick Moraz played on one album by Yes and was a member for the resulting tour. His time with the band was brief, but he will forever be known as an ex-member of Yes. This is not a knock against Moraz, or other talented musicians in similar situations. Often times a press release will hype up a new super group by stating that the band contains members of several well known bands. This is no fault of the band members involved, record labels are in the business of making money.
There is a super group that seems like it would eventually form naturally. It has not happened as yet, perhaps it never will. The members of this potential band have all worked with one another, in varying degrees, over the years. All have shown themselves to be talented songwriters and skilled musicians. Each one has made a name for themselves in the world of progressive rock. The band would consist of Steve Hackett, John Hackett, Nick Magnus and Tony Patterson. In various situations and configurations they have toured together, and/or recorded together. Steve Hackett is obviously the biggest name in this grouping. However this would not be The Steve Hackett Band. Hackett has graciously shown that he has no problem sharing the spotlight. Each member of this collective has shown their willingness to share the spotlight with others.
Nick Magnus and John Hackett were a huge part of Steve Hackett’s studio and live band in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s. Steve Hackett and John Hackett continue to work with one another. Whether it is a guest appearance on a solo album, a guest live spot or a tour, the Hackett brothers continue to support one another. John Hackett has carved out his own niche as a solo artist and as the leader of The John Hackett Band. John Hackett is rightly recognized as a highly talented flute player. He is also a talented songwriter, guitarist and vocalist. His focus of late has been more on rock and roll and somewhat less on the classical side of his musical personality.
Nick Magnus has released six solo albums over the years. At this point in time it is a guarantee that at least one Hackett brother will make an appearance whenever Magnus releases an album. John and/or Steve Hackett make guest appearances on five out six of Magnus’ albums. Magnus has carved out his own niche of melodic, keyboard driven progressive rock.
The newest member of this collective is Tony Patterson. For fifteen plus years Patterson lead the Genesis tribute band ReGenesis. In recent years he has embarked on a solo career. Patterson has also collaborated with Nick Magnus and John Hackett on their recent solo albums. Patterson is a highly talented singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. His vocals are highly reminiscent of Peter Gabriel’s, but Patterson has his own personality as a vocalist.
All involved are engaged with their own musical pursuits. But it is apparent by the frequency at which they collaborate that they enjoy working together. Listening to the various albums that they have made together is all you need. Each individual is a strong songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. Patterson possesses a strong, melodic voice. The Hackett brothers are talented vocalists as well. The various collaborations by the four have produced some excellent music. Differing variations of the four have worked together in varying capacities. The Hackett brothers have guested on one another’s albums. Patterson has sang on Magnus’ albums. Magnus, Patterson, and Steve Hackett has appeared on one of John Hackett’s albums. Magnus has played on one of Patterson’s albums. Steve Hackett and Magnus have co-written songs for a few of Steve Hackett’s albums. It is apparent that these men enjoy making music together. Forming a band, consisting of four equals members, seems like the next logical step.
John Hackett – Checking Out Of London (2005) – An album where John Hackett does the unexpected. He leaves his flute at home and confidently steps up to the microphone stand, electric guitar in hand. Who knew that the man primarily known for his exquisite flute playing could produce such an incredibly chill rock album. Nick Magnus, Tony Patterson and Steve Hackett ably assist John.
Nick Magnus – Hexameron (2004) – Melodic progressive rock featuring lush keyboards and pristine production. The list of guest musicians includes the Hackett brothers, Tony Patterson as well as ex-Steve Hackett band member Peter Hicks. The album features a few instrumentals that showcase Magnus at his best.
Tony Patterson – Equations Of Meaning (2016) – Patterson mixes melodic progressive rock, world music and musical soundscapes to create a hauntingly beautiful album. The album sees Patterson handling vocals, guitars, piano, keyboards and flute. Nick Magnus leads a hand on a few tracks.
Steve Hackett – Wolflight (2015) – One of Steve Hackett’s best albums. Hackett proves that progressive rock artists do not have to be oldies acts. Hackett continues to progress his art four decades into his solo career. Wolflight is full of Hackett’s beautifully quirky mix of progressive rock, blues, folk, world music, classical and classic rock.