(All Album Reviews by avestin)
I discovered this after reading a recommendation by Meidad Zacharia on an Israeli prog forum where he posted recommendations about French progressive music bands. He said that while this came out rather late (1986) this is a gem and a highly sought after record. Well naturally that got me looking for this and the hunt was very rewarding since this album is a delight.
Though this is a live recording, surprisingly, it doesn’t sound so. Only when the crowd applauded at the end of each track, did I realize it is performed in front of a crowd. Their music has a fusion basis but there are more ingredients in those varied and rich compositions, which are filled with goodies that are accessible and easily grab my mind. Those are delightful uplifting tunes with violin and saxophone that play together spinning the ball from one to the other.
Some words about several of the tracks: the second track “Triphrons” has a great bass line, as if this were a fast speed zeuhl bass line. The clarinet (or whatever that instrument is) spirals around the bass tune and goes about jamming and dancing all throughout the track. At a certain point the violin joins in with its semi-out-of-key sound that adds a special flavor to the music. After 5:20 the music seems to be over and a calm passage begins, and then a shift to the usual rhythm lead by a flute and sax (?); a part which alternates between slower, softer bits to quicker and more energetic mood. The third track, “La Tuna”, is probably my favorite. Opening quickly with great piano giving the basic tune and rhythm and the sax half-jamming, half playing its part around this. The piano is later let loose to have its own creativity spree. At around 3:28 the bass gives a great line that will make you shake your head to the rhythm and the sax beckons its call and its back to the main theme.
The fourth track, “Cache Cash”, has a little funk mood in it and the bass and sax do a great work in providing a speedy, energetic mood. There is a short switch to jazz and after that the violin gives another visit with its special sound that shifts the mood slightly to a more awkward angle. Notice the bass work when the violin goes on with its joggling. When this is done another part prevails different from before which then succumbs back to the original theme. This track, which is the shortest in the album, is also the most versatile and the one with most changes in moods in it. I think track five “Arsenic”, and track six “Rondes De Nuit” will please jazz lovers, as they have familiar moves, tunes and rhythms from that “side” of the fence. “Arsenic” is also the one with lowest average speed… not that this is a set back tune, but it is the one with the least spilling energy of all tracks. And it’s a nice change in this mostly non- stop movement album. But it too has its faster moments.
While the basic theme of each track is probably set, there is room for some jamming and personal creativity and this gives it a free spirit feel to it. I think the band enjoyed themselves here tremendously as the playing is very enthusiastic. And indeed the music itself is energetic, filled with life and vibe. This is the kind of music that can get you moving when you feel less willing to do so. Not frantic like music, but gets you motivated to go with it along its musical stream. I enjoy very much the musicianship here, especially the bass and violin. They do an excellent work, which amounts to more than half of the pleasure I derive from listening to this.
This is one album that should be reissued, as it is a gem that is shamefully unknown and this should not be so. A great addition to any music collection, not necessarily a prog one (it is progressive music, though.)