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L' Orchestre Sympathique

Jazz Rock/Fusion

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L' Orchestre Sympathique En concert à la Grande Passe album cover
4.19 | 42 ratings | 6 reviews | 21% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1979

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Citronnade (8:00)
2. Houmalaya (10:11)
3. Des lacs, des rivières, des ruisseaux (5:54)
4. Perpétuel balouba (8:31)
5. Biplane (7:33)

Total Time 40:09

Line-up / Musicians

- Mathieu Léger / drums
- Jean Vanasse / vibraphone, percussion
- François Richard / keyboards, flute
- Warren Stolow / bass

Releases information

re-issued by ProgQuébec

Thanks to Sean Trane for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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L' ORCHESTRE SYMPATHIQUE En concert à la Grande Passe ratings distribution

(42 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(21%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(55%)
Good, but non-essential (19%)
Collectors/fans only (2%)
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)

L' ORCHESTRE SYMPATHIQUE En concert à la Grande Passe reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Sean Trane
5 stars L'OS (as they are frequently known) is a group that has roots into such ancient bands as Lasting Weep (early 70's and where Maneige also originated) but for some reason never managed to secure a recording deal. So sick of this situation that they decided to produce their own album themselves by organizing a concert where the entrance fee gave you the right to a copy of the album once it was released. Their contempt for the recording industry is well shown by depicting the Grammophon label and the famous His Master's Voice spoof cover. And on the inside sleeve was marked all of the co- producers of the album, most namely the name of everyone that attended the concerts (4 in all)>> this was certainly an original way to get their album done.

And what an album this baby is!!! Clearly this debut album certainly rivals with Maneige's best works both in their early style of les porches and the later style of Libre Service. Citronnade (lemonade) is an amazing showcase for François Ricard's flute talents and Vanasse's superb Vibe playing. Houmalaya is the first part of their fabled Tibetan philosopher (you get plenty of far-eastern influences) and this track alone was worth the price of admission to the concert: grandiose!! Even the obligatory drum solo is good and certainly not overstaying its welcome. Their jazz-rock is always on the verge of classical, ethnic, jazz and rock music >> true fusion if I ever heard it.

The second wax slice side is more of that superb same and is a feast for your ears. Lacs is a scorching beauty, with Vanasse's vibes taking the cake with Richard's flute being the icing. Stolow's funky-jazz bass is also at the forefront on this track. At the halfway mark of the track, they suddenly drop a stunningly quiet interlude sounding like the Swiss quartet Circus on Movin' On's Dawn, before suddenly picking up again: awesome is the word. Vanasse's playing is reminiscent of Circus Fritz Hauser. Perpetual Balouba is a very moody track traveling up and down the chilled-out spine - this track will get a much harder treatment in their following album. The album is closing on the absolutely delightful Biplane.

Certainly one of the more stunning debut album in jazz-rock around that tilme, this album is simply a must, especially if you love Maneige's best works. This album got a recent released by the excellent label ProgQuebec and strongly deserves encouragement by you buying this incredible album.

Review by debrewguy
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars As I stumble upon more & more RPQ ( Rock Progressig Quebecois) at Spin-It, I constantly marvel at the both the shared influences, AND also at the differences in styles & playing that I encounter among those early groups from the 70s.

L'Orchestre Sympathique is no different. The other reviewers have noted the similarities with Maneige. I feel that the jazz side is a bit more pronounced here. But then I could just as easily say that Maneige had more to their symphonic side.

You'll find some avant moments, like at the beginning of Perpetual Balouba. You'll find a lot of great playing, too. But the most important thing to me , is that I come away with melodies and songs in my head even after I'm done playing this album.

Too often, I find many Jazz Rock / Fusion ensembles go for the gee whiz, did you hear that type of playing that emphasizes the technical abilities of their players, whether it's fast riffs and solos, complex and esoteric strucutres or compositions; as if the effort is dedicated to making things harder than necessary .

L' Orchestre Sympathique on the other hand are able to blend in virtuousity, and complexity while still entertaining the listener with, gasp, songs.

AH, if only I'd have been able to see them live in a club sitting back with a cold one on a Friday night .....

Review by Mellotron Storm
4 stars L'ORCHESTRE SYMPATHIQUE was a Jazz quartet founded in November 1976 by classicaly trained vibraphonist / percussionist Jean Vanasse, flautist / pianist Francois Richard, and drummer Mathieu Leger.They were joined by various bass players over the years.They released three live albums over their careers including this one recorded live at the La Grande Passe in April of 1979.They never could secure a record deal so there were no studio albums released unfortunately.The band would eventually move to Paris, France and toured Europe extensively from 1981-1985.They did reunite for one show at the Montreal International Jazz Festival in 2004. I must admit that after a few casual listenes I thought this was too flutey (is that a word?) but after some careful listens man I was so impressed with everything about this recording.The flute is prominant but the drumming is incredible ! And the bass is very deep and snarly. Just a very cool album overall. Love the cover art too.

"Citronnade" has this very presice and crisp drumming with lots of vibes and flute. It changes before 5 minutes as the percussion and drums lead and the flute settles back.Vibes and bass a minute later then the flute takes the lead again. Some vocal melodies too then back the original soundscape. "Houmalaya" opens with percussion, vibes and drums. Flute and bass before 1 1/2 minutes. It then settles with flute leading. A drum show after 5 minutes then the bass joins in after 6 1/2 minutes followed by flute and vibes. "Des Lacs, Des Rivieres, De Ruisseaux" is more of the same really and I like the chunky bass 2 minutes in. A calm 3 1/2 minutes in then it kicks back in a minute later.

"Perpetual Balouba" has this avant intro which is chaotic but very good. Piano in this one too.Vibes and drums take over as we get some growly bass and piano that come and go. Piano leads 2 1/2 minutes in then the vibes and drums return. Flute before 7 minutes. "Biplane" opens with flute then someone starts speaking to the audience as the flute stops.The flute returns when he's done speaking and it's quite spacey. Bass comes in and it's so impressive. It settles after 5 minutes with more spacey flute and sparse bass. Such a great track.

There must have been something in the water in Quebec in the seventies because there were so many talented bands. No just a lot of talent in that province. And this band was one of the best.

Latest members reviews

4 stars Another good thing coming out of Quebec, Canada. The Quebec scene in the 1970s was an excellent scene with Maneige as the bright shining light. Close behind them was this band. Very close, quality wise. There is no denying that Maneige is the main reference when it comes to describing this ... (read more)

Report this review (#362925) | Posted by toroddfuglesteg | Friday, December 24, 2010 | Review Permanlink

5 stars For those into percussion-led fusion of international caliber such as Pierre Moerlen's Gong,Brand-X or fellow countryman Maneige,this is a treat! Marvellous production despite limited budget and the fact that it is a live recording.All the instruments can be heard clearly.Good use of stereo pan ... (read more)

Report this review (#126639) | Posted by The Rock | Sunday, June 24, 2007 | Review Permanlink

4 stars "Wow - L'Orchestre Sympathique is represented in the Archives!", rejoices the child in my body... Yes - I ordered "En Concert..." on CD after visiting the homepage of ProgQuebec because I found this one my favourite release (and personal discovery) of ProgQuebec (all in all - my personal fave ... (read more)

Report this review (#76996) | Posted by Rainer Rein | Wednesday, May 3, 2006 | Review Permanlink

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