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Maneige - Ni Vent... Ni Nouvelle  CD (album) cover

NI VENT... NI NOUVELLE

Maneige

Jazz Rock/Fusion


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Sean Trane
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Prog Folk
4 stars 4.5 stars . This third album is somewhat different than its predecessor in that there is much shorter tunes in them , most of them definitely more jazzy, some slightly funky. One must note that for the first albums Langlois and Bergeron were the writers and from this moment on this will be for Lapierre and Schetagne.On the strenght of this one and its successor, people will classify them under the fusion label , and strictly on those two, I can only agree . These two albums were the only one ever released on CD.

Q : Look closely at the fold-out cover and think of which great infold of a great album this was inspired upon . The colours might help you for outside fold of that same cover. As for the music , this has still the distinctive Maneige twists and curves , sounding so "boppy" and happy , still mixing with such ease all acoustic and electric instruments. So moments are simply orgasmic to your ears. The reason why I don't rate this one as highly as the preceding ones is that those short pieces provide less unity as a whole album.

A : Think of the most positive of all groups to the point that they named themselves upon this positivism and think of their masterpiece with the green cover and open up the gatefold sleeve. Don't believe me? Go back and check it up!

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Send comments to Sean Trane (BETA) | Report this review (#30700)
Posted Tuesday, May 25, 2004 | Review Permalink
Cesar Inca
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Maneige is one of my absolute favourite prog acts from Quebec. Having started their recording career with two heavily chamber-influenced albums, their third one "Ni Vent. ni Nouvelle" finds them exploring their jazzier facet with a refreshed attitude. This is something that really helps their sound to achieve a renewed colorfulness all over the new repertoire, of which a large part is provided an uplifting spirit. The chamber stuff is still there, but notably more subsided in favour of the enhanced jazz factor. The instrumentalists' skill is showed but not showed off: the exquisite performances delivered by all six members (plus some occasional collaborators on string instruments) are cleverly constrained by the well-ordained musical ideas and perfectly integrated arrangements. Hither and thither you may find some influences from Gentle Giant, the jazz side of 71-75 Zappa, Canterbury, Weather Report, but nevertheless, it is true that the final result is not a dilettante mixture, but pure Maneige a voice of their own that shines above any external influences. The brief 'Le Gai Marvin' kicks off the album with a touch of slight picaresque, soon segued into the following track, 'La Fin de l'Histoire', a piece which starts with a solemn motif and ends with a delicate up-tempo jazzy coda, whose melody line is lead by vibes and piano. 'Les Folleries' includes a bunch of funky colors in the sonic palette, keeping and enhancing the subtle complexity and clever interaction that had been already present in the previous numbers: definitely, this is one of the album's most emblematic pieces, a privilege shared by 'Douce-Amere', 'Le Gros Roux', '11 Juillet' - all of them, perfect examples of the band's immaculate performing skills and rich musical vision. 'Les Epinettes' is a beautiful piece that keeps the listener attuned with Maneige's gentle side; and so does 'Mambo Chant' immediately after, with the band adding nuances of Latin jazz whose tones get increasingly intense near the end. Later on, this same gentle side in 'Au Clair de Prune', if only with an increased dose of sophistication. 'Time Square' closes down the album as if it were the soundtrack to a brief humorous sketch in a TV show: sheer simple joy at the end of the road, delivered with the exquisite finesse that has been present all around. I'm really enthusiastic about this album: this Canadian prog fusion masterpiece deserves a 5 star rating, and each individual musician involved deserves a gold medal.

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Send comments to Cesar Inca (BETA) | Report this review (#30701)
Posted Monday, February 07, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars Third album by my favorite Québec progressive rock band. This time, they went for a jazzier style even if they still show strong folk influences. Maneige has always been great to blend folk elements into their fusion. Their first albums may even be classified as folk-classical instrumental rock but, in Ni vent Ni nouvelle, they clearly added more jazz elements.

This album is one of the most enjoyable instrumental album I've heard in my life. However, the sheer happiness of this album may prove to be irritating if you're feeling depressed. It's got to be the most vibraphone-happy album I've heard. In fact, the really important presence of melodic percussions contributes to make this album so joyful. The beautiful flutes and piccolos also has to make you smile. The only tracks that are not 100% happy are the two jazzier pieces : Les Épinettes and Mambo Chant. These two are truly wonderful. The album ends with a song that I would use without any doubts as a theme for a kids or comedy show.

The musicianship in this album is outstanding. There aren't any solos or showoff. The musicians always play together but it's easy to see the skills of these guys. The playing is cristal clear.

To make it short, I recommend this album to anyone who likes music. In fact, I recommend most of Maneige stuff to anyone on this website. I don't see how anyone can be truly disappointed. 5 stars!

Air vibraphone time!

-Bern

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Send comments to Bern (BETA) | Report this review (#80887)
Posted Saturday, June 10, 2006 | Review Permalink
Trotsky
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars This wholly instrumental album from another of the legends of Queboicois prog has a few pleasing tunes, but frequently projects a tepid, sterile feel that doesn't give it enough of an identity, certainly when compared to some of the passionate playing on Les Porches. Mind you, when I first heard the opener Le Goi Marvin I was excited ... nice flute, violin passages, fancy vibraphone work, tight playing, diversity, energy, the lot. Another outstanding piece is La Fin De L'Histoire, which starts off as flute-led folk-rock that will tickle the fancy of the Tullers out there, before a great guitar/sax exchange of solos and a funky percussion segment round the piece off.

However, despite some occasionally outstanding playing (I really like the drummer's control and chops) I tend to lose interest round about the time the fourth piece Les Epinettes kicks off. It's almost as if the middle of the road sound cancels out the inventives of the arrangements. There's also a cheesy Latin fusion thing going that rears its head far too often for my liking (Au Clair De La Prune has some horrible "fusion-lite" sections that I really hate, parts of Mambo Chant are downright annoying, while the less said about the silly concluding track Time Square the better!).

Also striking out in a different direction, Douce Am Re has a big guitar solo from Vincent Langlois that could inspired Mark Knofpler's whole career! I like the bubbly world feel of Le Grox Roux, which has some great bass work from Lapierre (who seems to have doubled up as the rhythm section ... although to be fair three other people are credited with percussion!) but really most of the second half of this record is wasted on me.

If this were the only Maneige album I'd ever heard, I would confidently deem the group to be an overrated entity, but because I know Les Porches has some superb playing that makes this record all the more frustrating. This jazz-rock is extremely competent but there are dozens of bands plouging the same field that I find to be more dynamic ... 55% on the MPV scale

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Send comments to Trotsky (BETA) | Report this review (#82111)
Posted Tuesday, June 27, 2006 | Review Permalink
Moatilliatta
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Maneige is one of my favorite recent discoveries. They are a fine fusion group from Quebec. Ni Vent...Ni Nouvelle is one of the fortunate Maneige albums to be released on CD. After hearing the brilliant and beautiful Les Porches, which is not available on CD (hopefully not for long), I pounced on this one.

While the compositions are shorter, they maintain the high level of quality from before. The general mood is very light, airy and happy. Occasionally they break from that and get into some pretty heavy jams. In short, we have memorable melodies, a good rhythm section to back those melodies, and some of the best auxiliary percussiom implementation I've ever heard. Maneige are surely among the top groups who use auxiliary percussion. Take a look at all of those instruments! We have timpani, latin timpani, cenceros, Chinese blocks, taboukas, gong, darboukas, wood drum, woodblock, maracas, spoons, Basque drum, chimes, glockenspiel, vibraphone and tubular bells. Each of which is used with precision, making it one of the most interesting, and colorful fusion albums from one of the most interesting and colorful fusion groups.

All in all, Maneige is not a group to miss. Fusion fans especially need to get their hands on at least one of their albums.

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Send comments to Moatilliatta (BETA) | Report this review (#82381)
Posted Saturday, July 01, 2006 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars These guys really blew my socks off ! Classically trained and very creative. Shorter songs this time which didn't go over too well with song writer and keyboardist Jerome Langlois, who left prior to the recording of this album because of that.This is so different, the variety of instruments, the xylophone, vibraphone and on and on, all creating a fresh, energetic album that is truly progressive.

"Le Gai Marvin" features lots of flute as other sounds come and go.This is a short intro tune. "La Fin De L'Histoire" has some atmosphere to it. I really love the way this one sounds. Flute leads the way for the first half then it changes to a more uptempo track. "Les Folleries" is a song that seems to show off almost all of the instrumentalists playing abilities, a mixed bag that is yet very cohesive. So much going on here once it gets going. A collage of intricate sounds. A change after 1 1/2 minutes. Very cool to hear the guitar and sax trade soos as the bass digs deep. Amazing stuff ! I could almost mention the drumming on every song, it's pretty amazing. Check it out before 4 minutes. Flute is back. The song continues to change and evolve. "Les Epinettes" is pastoral to open with piano and acoustic guitar leading the way. Flute comes in and leads.

"Mambo Chant" opens with piano melodies. Bass and guitar join the percussion and synths. Piano is back leading before 2 1/2 minutes. Drums and bass are prominant a minute later. Sax late with percussion and drums. "Douce-Amere" has these xylophone sounds that sound pretty upbeat and silly. Drums join in with guitar. Vocal melodies 2 minutes in sound great. A change after 3 minutes to a good beat with atmosphere then guitar joins in. Amazing sound ! "Le Gros Roux" opens with bass and vibes. Flute and drums take over.The contrasts continue. "Au Clair De La Prune" is jazzy to open. Lots of sax throughout the first half then it settles as flute leads the way. "11 Juillet" becomes uptempo with some great sax and drumming. "Time Square" is the silly 1 1/2 minute closer. The bonus tracks come from the live record "Composite" and the four songs truly are worthy additions. Love the flute on the last live song, it really reminds me of the flute that SINKADUS is famous for. "Douce Amere" boasts some terrific guitar. And "Etrange Hiver" is a beautiful flute laden song.

Looking for something a little different ? You can't go wrong with this record. After their self titled debut this is my favourite from them.

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Send comments to Mellotron Storm (BETA) | Report this review (#94584)
Posted Sunday, October 15, 2006 | Review Permalink
Gooner
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Maneige's first 2 albums had too many cooks in the kitchen and their sound was a mixture of Henry Cow- light, Gilgamesh, Gentle Giant influences and post-Daevid Allen Gong. Their first 2 albums were somewhat directionless best served as backround music while not quite being muzak. No question Maneige are talented bunch, but the first 2 albums were meandering jazz doodling, really(IMHO). However, _Ni Vent, Ni Nouvelle shows Maneige maturing with cohesive composition and some playful childlike melodies combined with a lightjazz ethereal flow(if that makes any sense to you, dear reader). Electric guitar appears more frequently. This is a percussion heavy album, not unlike Pierre Moerlin's Gong. Other points of reference would be Pekka Pohjola and the Spanish band GOTIC. Recommended.

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Send comments to Gooner (BETA) | Report this review (#194119)
Posted Wednesday, December 17, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars A beautiful album from a Canadian band from seventies. Classified as a fusion jazz band, I think that have lots of calm and spacey parts with lots of flute and classic guitar sounds. This album is a fusion of several styles, without the predominance of one. Excellent work as musical and full of virtuosity, that made a very important part of great progressive rock made in Canadá in seventies. Not in Harmonium vein but it is not inferior to those. This album had several tools in their design such as saxophones, violins, cellos, which despite the classics to make modern music. It has few moments of improvisation unlike many jazz fusion groups, but even these moments are very melodious and nothing exaggerated. We are facing a masterpiece of the seventies, with a complex sound but very pleasing to the ear. The quality of the musicians and their high performance make this album deserves 5 ​​stars. Required for those who like to collect prog rock of the seventies

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Send comments to Joăo Paulo (BETA) | Report this review (#442751)
Posted Wednesday, May 04, 2011 | Review Permalink
Warthur
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Steering a little closer to more traditional jazz fusion waters (with the barest hint of Canterbury here and there), Ni Vent Ni Nouvelle offers a somewhat more accessible variant of Maneige which will appeal to many fusion listeners but rather obscures their finer qualities and will certainly disappoint those hoping they would build on the magnificent foundation of Les Porches. Despite the switch to focusing on shorter tracks, the band still manage to work in some symphonic prog stylings here and there - sufficient to justify the Yes/Roger Dean influenced cover art, at any rate. Alain Bergeron's flute playing is particularly touching this time around, and the band adeptly incorporate a string section into their sound. Not groundbreaking like its predecessors, but good fusion nonetheless.

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Send comments to Warthur (BETA) | Report this review (#553674)
Posted Thursday, October 20, 2011 | Review Permalink
b_olariu
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Third album from this excellent band released in 1977 - Ni vent...ni nouvelle, this time the band optain for shorter pieces maybe because Jerome Langloisleft the band a year prior, he was the main composer of the band and the driving force for long eleborated compositions. Even this album is shorter with pieces all under 6 min, is no less intresting then Les porches. They infuse in the jazz fusion atmosphere lots of avant moments with some folk touches here and there becaus eof the use of the flute, and all album is instrumental. Not bad at all, maybe in places is even more intresting then some parts from previous album, at least for me. Not an easy album to listen, is quite complex with plenty of intresting moments. All pieces are at highest level, maybe those very mellow are not so attractive to me but no less inovative. Again 4 stars.

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Send comments to b_olariu (BETA) | Report this review (#760328)
Posted Wednesday, May 30, 2012 | Review Permalink

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