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Gong - Leave It Open CD (album) cover

LEAVE IT OPEN

Gong

 

Canterbury Scene

2.98 | 37 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

beebfader
3 stars `Leave It Open' marks the end of Pierre Moerlen's stint as band-leader and follows on from where Time Is The Key left off. Once again here is the readily identifiable Pierre Moerlen sound, bright Vibes and Marimbas (from Francois Causse) playing against chattering drum patterns, augmented by the ever present Hansford Rowe on Bass, and the Holdsworth-esque Bon Lozaga on Guitar. Interestingly, Saxophone veteran Charlie Mariano (Charles Mingus) is also featured here, giving a slightly more obvious jazz slant to proceedings.

Once again the meat of the album is the first side which is fully occupied by the title piece, and is a resounding success. Moerlen's music seems to work best when the ideas are allowed to flow around the ever evolving themes and patterns created by tuned percussion, and there is some exemplary guitar and saxophone playing interspersed with some sparkling vibraphone. This is a very detailed piece which sustains interest throughout, and ends appropriately enough with an open ended layered percussion solo to conclude some 19 minutes of worthwhile and inspiring music.

Once again, it is the shorter pieces on the old `side two' which prove a little problematic. Five pieces occupy the remaining 20 minute playing time with varying degrees of success the best of which are probably the very funky `It's About Time' and Rowe's `Stok Stok Stok Sto-Gak' which features muscular playing from all concerned and fine guitar playing from Lozaga, but none of it is what could be called essential listening.

In many ways this is directly comparable to the last gasp of Gong's contemporaries Soft Machine: Land Of Cockayne in that it features the last remaining member of a once revolutionary band, playing heavily session orientated music and bears absolutely no resemblance at all to the original model. Taken on it's own terms this is a good listen, but like it's predecessor Time Is The Key largely due to the first half of an otherwise patchy album.

beebfader | 3/5 |

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