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Ville Emard Blues Band - Ville Emard CD (album) cover


Ville Emard Blues Band

Jazz Rock/Fusion

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Sean Trane
Prog Folk
3 stars 3.5 stars really!!!

This second album is their only studio recordings, but shows a fairly different facet (smoother and more refined) of the group. Not that the group got any smaller than its live version, on the contrary, there are 25 musos happening on wax slice. Nor has the music gotten less eclectic either: it is still rather wide-spectrummed, ranging from Piano tracks to full-brassed rock pieces, while passing though wild spacey jazzy fusions. Clearly this album is more bassist Bill Gagnon's with his excellent funky playing (he's also the producer), even if his closing track, the aptly titled Guess Who's Coming To Jam is relatively hard to integrate.

The album is a bit schizophrenic sharing some pure acoustic songs on half the tracks and some hard jazz-rock on the other half. Needless to say that for the proghead's interest those last ones are the most interesting, but compared to their first live album, their fusion is harder-driven, more extreme and if well recorded, not always easy on the brains. Some of the album's highlights are the superb and dramatic (brass section) Walter's Van and the highly intricate Machine Infernale (where one of the riffs resembles strongly The Who's Who Are You track some three years before the time), both Gagnon pieces.

So this live album shows a fairly different side of the group , but at the same time, it confirms the group's direction of a jazz-rock inferno that was rivalling and being as innovative as Mahavishnu or early Weather Report

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Posted Wednesday, February 7, 2007 | Review Permalink

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