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L' Orchestre Sympathique - L'Orchestre Sympathique Live In Detroit CD (album) cover


L' Orchestre Sympathique


Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.18 | 3 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
3 stars 3,5 stars really!!!

Just like their first album, this was also recorded live, but this time The French Canadian state radio taped and produced the album. A bit surprisingly, they chose this gig just across the Canadian border, but anyway it is quite a stellar concert. As with their debut album, L'OS realized that recording their gigs was definitely the cheapest way to release their album, something that was currently done frequently (as with their rivals Aquarelle) , as jazz-rock groups were having a harder time finding record labels and producers for their music. The line-up is the same as on the debut album, and there is one track common to both albums, but this version is much longer and fairly different. The second track Houmalaya is a continuation of the track of their debut album. So this second album is made almost of entirely new material.

The opening pure-jazz track is the exception before L'OS takes you on the superb path of their fabled philosopher Houmalaya's travels and ultimate disillusions. L'OS was a very percussive group and therefore does not escape the lengthy drum solo (something seemingly obligatory of the musical genre), but the track is impressive with its funky bass. Queeche Valley (or is it Quiche?) is much closer to what Maneige (around Libre Service) did a few years before them and where still doing now. Perpetual Balouba is almost twice the length it was on the debut album and received a colder treatment than previously a bit in the Coltrane style. Closing Bulle De Gin is another showcase for Vanasse's tuned percussions and a charmer. Vanasse is a much less demonstrative player than Benoit Moerlen (of Gongzilla fame) but just as much a virtuoso. I do find this album not quite as good as their debut, but certainly not less progressive, simply much jazzier that rock.

Unfortunately L'OS, Aquarelle and Maneige never achieved the commercial success of their countrymen Uzeb, whom I found MUCH less interesting: the public's reaction is always a bit of a wonder. Never released on Cd, this album is rather hard to get at, and strangely enough, might just be easier to get on the old world as after their third (and last) live album, l'OS will relocate in Paris and regularly gig there until 86, without recording anymore. Vanasse and Richard are still playing nowadays and "recently" did a reunion gig.

Sean Trane | 3/5 |


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