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Maneige - Les Porches CD (album) cover

LES PORCHES

Maneige

 

Jazz Rock/Fusion

4.23 | 171 ratings

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Trotsky
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This 1975 album is another gem of the Queboicois prog scene, although I don't rate Maneige quite as highly as I do Harmonium or Pollen. I also happen to consider it to be distinctly superior to the succeeding albums Ni Vent Ni Si Nouvelle, which is more in the jazz-rock vein, and the pop-inflected Libre Service - Self Service. The music on Les Porches is more symphonic, and much more pleasing to my ears. It appears that the difference lies in the shift of control of the band's creative axis. Les Porches was written largely by keyboardist/flautist/saxophonist Alain Bergeron while the next albums were penned by Denis Lapierre

The music itself is occasionally astounding, particularly the gorgeous 19 minute opener Les porches de Notre-Dame, a glorious mixture of Bergeron's delicate flutes and Yves Léonard's contrapunctual bass, and an intense blend of Baroque and progressive folk. As piano gradually takes over, and strings build up, it comes as a surprise to hear the mournful vocals of guest Raoul Duguay execute a passage of passionate pain on Désouverture, which is the fifth segment of the track ... it is followed by a superb trombone solo and an all-out rockish jam that is actually my favourite bit of Maneige music ever.

La Grosse Torche is a short lively Baroque instrumental lasting just over a minute, so the rest of the album is essentially the 16 minute excursion entitled Les aventures de saxinette et Clarophone ... xylophone introduces an exuberant electric piano driven form of jazz-rock that's topped off by the sax and clarinet (as one would expect given the title of the track) ... it's all quite Canterbury in fact. Until that is a vicious biting riff that would make Gentle Giant proud takes over at the 4 minute mark ... the percussive jam that follows is quite superb, and while the track goes through a number of further mutations it is sax and percussion that occupy centre stage. I must say though that the ending is a tad cheesy. The final track Chromo is a propulsive flute-driven percussion-heavy bit of jazz-rock that foreshadows some of the music on Ni Vent Ni Si Nouvelle.

My advice is go to Harmonium and Pollen first, and make sure that when you come to Maneige, you investigate Les Porches before its colder follow-ups. ... 70% on the MPV scale

Trotsky | 4/5 |

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