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Jean-Paul Prat

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Jean-Paul Prat Masal album cover
4.19 | 37 ratings | 3 reviews | 41% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1982

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Masal (42:20)
2. Messagers De Notre-Dame (15:56)
3. Maran Atha-Sélah (9:13)
4. Valse Funèbre (5:11)
5. Origines - Seconde Partie (3:33)

Total Time: 76:13

Line-up / Musicians

Track 1 lineup:
- Jean-Paul Prat / drums, piano, vocals
- Hervé Gourru / bass
- Jean-Jacques Willig / piano, synthesizers
- Viviane Galo / piano, vocals
- Norbert Galo / guitar
- Alain Escure / guitar
- Carlo Grassi / guitar
- Eric Duval / percussions
- Gérard Geoffroy / flutes, quena, panpipes
- Richard Heritier / saxophones, flute
- Georges Rolland / saxophones
- Richard Negro / trumpet
- Gilles Morard / trombone
- Bernard Morard / French horn

Lineup track 2:
- Jean-Paul Prat / drums, keyboards, bass, trumpet
- Alain Escure / guitar
- Carlo Grassi / guitar
- Richard Heritier / saxophones

Lineup track 3:
- Jean-Paul Prat / drums
- Richard Heritier / saxophones, flute
- Alain Escure / guitar
- Carlo Grassi / guitar
- Jean-Pascal Boffo / bass
- Jean-Jacques Willig / keyboards

Lineup track 4:
- Jean-Paul Prat / piano, keyboards
- Richard Heritier / saxophones
- Alain Escure / guitar
Jean-Pierre Comparato / bass

Lineup track 5:
- Jean-Paul Prat / keyboards, percussion, backing vocals
- Richard Heritier / backing vocals
- Alain Escure / guitar
- Thierry Deverrewaere / backing vocals
- Betty Lefevre / backing vocals
- Nathalie Seauve / backing vocals
- Sylvie Prat / backing vocals

Releases information

Self-produced and released at first, later to be distributed by:
Ere Force, LP, 1983
Musea, LP 1986
Musea, CD FGBG.AR, 1995

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Rivertree for the last updates
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JEAN-PAUL PRAT Masal ratings distribution

(37 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(41%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(38%)
Good, but non-essential (22%)
Collectors/fans only (0%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

JEAN-PAUL PRAT Masal reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Mellotron Storm
4 stars Jean-Paul Prat is a very talented Frenchman who seems to be able to play any instrument he gets his hands on given some time to figure it out. He'll be the lead guitarist in one band and the keyboard player in another. He's also been the lead vocalist. On this particular album he's on the drum-kit. In his late teens he was a big fan of DEEP PURPLE and CHICAGO but his biggest inspiration was MAGMA. He would not only meet Christian Vander but he and his 14 piece band who are featured on the 42 minute track here called "Masal" would open for MAGMA on one of their tours. Once you hear this track you'll catch that Zeuhl connection pretty quickly. In fact most sites have this album listed under the Zeuhl genre.The remaining songs on here are bonus tracks and from later in his career with a smaller band and they aren't Zeuhl but more Jazz flavoured. I like how the Wayside site calls this album a Big Band Zeuhl record. Now I must admit i'm not into orchestral music because I don't like hearing 10 violinists and 10 sax players and 10 whatever instruments playing the same notes that create a "big sound". No thankyou ! You can keep your Classical music, but fortunately this doesn't degenerate too much into that. It does enough though for me to keep it at 4 stars lets put it that way.

"Masal" starts off with those deep, dark sounding bass lines as it builds. How good do these drums sound ! Horns kick in around 2 1/2 minutes. Love that growly bass. A calm after 5 minutes then it starts to build with piano, then drums, then bass. So good.The guitar is screaming at one point after 8 minutes. A change a minute later as it picks up and horns come to the fore. Amazing sound 11 1/2 minutes in then it settles back.Guitar then horns return before it settles again before 16 minutes. Drums and horns start to build then it settles again before 18 1/2 minutes and again before 21 minutes and after 23 1/2 minutes. Each time it builds after the calm. Drums pound away 25 minutes in. It settles a minute later. A beat with flute come in. A calm at 28 1/2 minutes then we get laughter as it kicks back in. Horns are prominant.Piano and chunky bass before 32 minutes as drums impress as usual.The guitar joins in and rips it up. A calm 34 1/2 minutes in. Relaxed guitar 38 minutes in. It picks up 39 1/2 minutes in then settles back with vocal melodies and piano. It's building again.What a killer track that is.Definitely a 4.5 star album. A Prog lover's delight.

Most feel the bonus tracks are just as good as the title track but I don't,well not quite anyway. "Maran Atha- Selah" is though. Piano, bass and drums build and this sounds really good. Horns before 1 1/2 minutes then guitar. A change after 5 1/2 minutes as it turns dark and the tempo slows down some. Another change before 12 minutes as it calms right down with piano. It kicks back in after 13 minutes but settles back again quickly. It kicks back in one more time at 15 minutes to end it. "Messangers De Notre-Dame" is very good as well with that good beat along with piano and horns. "Valse Funebre" isn't as good but I still like it. "Origines-Seconde Partie" fortunately is under 4 minutes because I don't like it at all. It's all about choirs and vocals like being in church really.

So 4.5 for the original album that is one long track released in 1982.The bonus tracks are impressive except for the last one in my opinion. So yes don't even hesitate to get this if you like adventerous music with lots of horns and a Zeuhl flavour.

Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars French composer, drummer and keyboardist Jean-Paul Prat was born in 1953 in Louhans and was the founder of the Masal group back in early-70's.Masal had a great live activity, opening for bands such as Magma, Gong and Soft Machine, playing a Zeuhl-influenced Prog Rock, but disbanded in 1976.For some years Prat was found in the line-up of different bands, even relocating in Germany for some time, but in early-80's he had the chance to recollect Masal with both old and new bandmates.He recorded an album in July 82' at Studio Venus in Longueville, which saw the light over a year later on the tiny Stand-By Records and had a limited distribution.

The album was credited to Jean-Paul Prat's name, though it was actually a collective effort by the new Masal core, including no less than 11 musicians.Although the band was inspired by MAGMA's music back in the 70's, there is little Zeuhl influence on ''Masal''.In fact the music has much more to do with the personal works of Finnish composers such as PEKKA POHJOLA, JUKKA GUSTAVSON or ANSSI TIKANMAKI, a jazzy-inspired Progressive Rock with lots of variations and different movements.''Masal'' consists of a very long eponymous suite, clocking at 42 minutes, split in two parts on the original issue due to the limited capacity of vinyl pressings.The music is simply outstanding and far from the aesthetics of the age.Superb, orchestral and uncommercial Prog/Jazz Rock, performed like a long symphony and highlighted by a grandiose section of wind instruments and the notable guitar work of the three guitarists appearing on the album.''Masal'' passes through many dramatic textures with impressive guitar moves outbattled by masterful trumpet and sax solos, while these are often interrupted by several smoother moments with Classical-, Jazz- and a bit of Folk-influenced themes (incuding some fantastic, dreamy flute parts) with a clam but still quite impressive atmosphere.There are also plenty of complicated, heavy breaks with a KING CRIMSON-guided adventurous approach.Piano and synthesizers are used with perfection, offering measured moments of a unique mood, usually combined with the great guitar parts.The result is an unbelievably tight long piece of music with a unique atmosphere of its own, a milestone of the instrumental Prog music of the 80's.

A decade later the album was re-issued by Musea on CD, offering this piece of music in its entirety without the break of the vinyl issue.This edition contains also five unreleased tracks performed by Masal after the release of their debut, originally contained in cassette only releases.The line-up of the group was now significantly reduced, but most of the tracks feature the performances of guitarists Alain Escure and Carlo Grassi along with sax player Richard Heritier, all of them had participated on the debut album of the group.All of them follow a similar style with Masal's sole 80's release with excellent, refined and jazzy Progressive Rock with dominant work on saxes and trumpets, soaring guitar washes and some very atmospheric synthesizers.Maybe the music at moments is less dramatic and more optimistic, but the unique talent of Prat composing skills is still there to offer another few excellent tracks.

No doubt, this album is a must-have for all fans of instrumental Progressive Rock and even more for anyone deep into Symphonic/Jazz Rock.The vinyl issue would be an excellent purchase, the CD-bonus track edition would be an even better.Nevertheless, this is an amazing piece of music.Highly recommended.

Latest members reviews

5 stars It's hard to find albums that really freeze the soul with a powerful, beautiful and an almost perfect musical proposal. But 1982 Jean Paul Prat "Masal" reach the goal with a superb masterpiece hard to define because the eccelctic mixture of genres and styles that build this magical album. " ... (read more)

Report this review (#302189) | Posted by progadicto | Monday, October 4, 2010 | Review Permanlink

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