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Transit Express - Opus Progressif  CD (album) cover


Transit Express


Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.90 | 22 ratings

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Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
4 stars TE's second album was recorded under the wing of Laurent Thibault at the Chateau d'Hérouville just over six months after the release of their debut album. Profiting from the best of French studio, the group took more time and it sounds like it. The group will even call for their bravura piece closing title track on US- born David rose who will play violin on the two-part epic. He would then join the group full-time. The very black & sober artwork doesn't reflect the music that well, but it is saved by the colour picture on the back side.

Being subjected to Thibault's influence, the group's usual jazz-rock sound (ala Mahavishnu) takes on a few Zeuhlian accent, most notably the throbbing bass on the opening track, but this valid a bit everywhere else on the album as is the Mahavishnu ambiances that were still percolating from Prolacit, but overall we're more between Moerlen's Gong and RTF (No Fantasy-era), although virtuosity-wise, I think the Corea's cohorts would win hands down the virtuoso contest, but this is not where TE is headed, either. Sometimes moodier, certainly more sombre at others, more sophisticated and yet more energetic, OP proposes us some wild imaginary trips beyond the realm of your living room.

The two part epic title track closing the album is the centrepiece and this is obvious from the first notes o the first movements, where the acoustic bass, piano and guitar all together feast like kings and once they go electric, they're pure genius with amazing interplay and Rose's superb violin and the fantastic groove they found.

Although you shouldn't be fooled by the album's name (the music remains resolutely jazz-rock and not symphonic), Opus Progressif is taking TE's music from where it had left off at the end of their debut Priglacit, and then bettering its formula, then by adding a violinist, they shift yet another gear and soar up even higher.

Sean Trane | 4/5 |


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