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Jean-Pascal Boffo - Carillions CD (album) cover


Jean-Pascal Boffo

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4 stars Why is this guitarist underrated and not more popular in the progworld...His second album is a pure prog pleasure. A lot of people will compare him to Steve Hackett. Jean Pascal Boffo is,as a musician and composer, at least as talented as Mr Hackett.

'Carillions' is fully instrumental and obviously dominated by the lyrical electric guitar. The keyboard with typical 80's sounds is more than a supporting act and provides a dynamic background as well often answering the guitarist with short solos.

The best moments are: the entertaining first track 'Bienvenue au Pays', the longest track 'L Ile au Lutin' starting with a gentle acoustic guitar over dreamy layer of keyboad. 'F'te en Perspective' with a welcome piano and 'Horizon' and its fantastic guitar work.

Jean Pascal Boffo, has been promoting the rock progressif cause for the last 30 years, and should be more known and respected in the progressif community and this great album of symphonic rock will prove it.

Report this review (#1129698)
Posted Monday, February 10, 2014 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars For a second album Jean-Pascal Boffo expanded the line-up to a four-piece one and also split the responsibilities between the members with keyboardist Denis Batis arranging some of the album's tracks.Boffo and Batis were now surrounded by bassist Carlos Pavicich and drummer Herve Rouyer, a future member of Christian Décamps' band, who later made it to Ange's line-up.The new work of Boffo was entitled ''Carillons'', released on vinyl by Musea in 1987 and re-released on CD by the French label in 1993, featuring again a beautiful, fairytale cover.

The addition of the new members forced apparently a switch in music style and ''Carillons'' abandons the somehat folky sound of Boffo's debut for a much more electric enviroment, which now comes even closer to MINIMUM VITAL's sound or even better to STEVE HACKETT's works from late-70's/early-80's.The sound had become more dynamic and grandiose, but the atmosphere remained dreamy and ethereal in an awkward way, characterized by the impressive guitar plays of Boffo and the quirky synths of Batis.The style is basically a light Symphonic-Fusion with a deep sense for striking melodies but also evident tendencies towards technical efficiency, but Boffo's music journey is, as expected, memorable and delicate, despite the tremendous instrumental accuracy of his group.Most of the tracks are fast-paced with constantly changing solos and leads in the guitar department and a great dose of symphonic and jazzy keyboards.The acoustic lines are extremely limited in specific pieces, so are the folky leanings, and the new proposal is full of cinematic textures, fairytale melodies and elegant atmospheres, sometimes reminiscent of CAMEL.Great music, which is interrupted only a couple of times by laid-back numbers with a slight New Age/orchestral feeling, mostly based on keyboards, acoustic guitars and sampled effects.

Yet another very good album by the man, who dominated the French Prog scene during the 80's.Melodic Symphonic/Fusion in the vein of STEVE HACKETT.Strongly recommended...3.5 stars.

Report this review (#1195591)
Posted Wednesday, June 18, 2014 | Review Permalink
4 stars I'm really enjoying the discography of French guitarist and prog veteran Jean-Pascal Boffo. I'm five albums in and, no matter the style, everything has been extremely tasteful and well crafted. I've listened to an easy listening light guitar album of his, two of what I'd call Jon Scofield styled modern guitar albums, and now two definite Steve Hackett inspired prog albums from the late '80's(!).

I'm sure I'm in the minority, but so far I'd rather listen to this artist over Steve Hackett. I found his discography rather mediocre, weak, too idiosyncratic and incoherent for my tastes.

Carillons has a natural flow and the accessible rock is definitely progressive. The first two songs set the table and are the standout tracks for me. The second side really makes excellent use of instruments and space and sounds like the best fusion band Steve Hackett never came up with excellent keyboards too

My non expert opinion is this guy is one of the most criminally unknown on the worlds' guitar scene. Certainly not a masterpiece like I feel the follow up is but at the top of the best and most pure prog albums I've heard to come from the 1980's

Report this review (#1942713)
Posted Monday, July 2, 2018 | Review Permalink

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