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Carpe Diem

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Carpe Diem Cueille Le Jour album cover
3.87 | 98 ratings | 10 reviews | 22% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1976

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Naissance (3:23)
2. Le Miracle De La Saint-Gaston (3:38)
3. Laure (2:45)
4. Tramontane (3:38)
5. Divertimento (3:56)
6. Couleurs (21:41) :
- a) Phase Noir: Premiers Pas
- b) Phase Orange: La Traversée Des Sables
- c) Phase Vert: Dernier Village... Première Neige
- d) Phase Violette: Rencontre
- e) Phase Blanche: Les Portes Du Silence

Total time 39:01

Bonus track on CD releases:
7. Rencontre (Excerpt from Couleurs - English version) (3:22)

Line-up / Musicians

- Gilbert Abbenanti / guitar
- Christian Trucchi / organ, piano, String-ensemble synth, lead vocals
- Claude-Marius David / flute, soprano saxophone, percussion
- Alain Bergé / bass
- Alain Faraut / drums, percussion

Releases information

Artwork: Jean Roux

LP Crypto ‎- ZAL 6403 (1977, France)

CD Musea - FGBG 4127.AR (1994, France) With a bonus track, previously unreleased
CD CD MALS - MALS 055 (2005, Russia) With a bonus track
CD Belle Antique ‎- BELLE 071274 (2007, Japan) Remaster by Hirobumi Kawanishi w/ a bonus track

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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Buy CARPE DIEM Cueille Le Jour Music

CARPE DIEM Cueille Le Jour ratings distribution

(98 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(22%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(48%)
Good, but non-essential (24%)
Collectors/fans only (3%)
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)

CARPE DIEM Cueille Le Jour reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Sean Trane
3 stars 3.5 stars really!!!

After an honest debut album, which went unfortunately rather unnoticed (surely on the international level), they released their second album in the following year. Ceuille Le Jour (Carpe Diem in French) follows up where Passer Le Temps had left off, a widely symphonic music, bound to please most of the discerning fans of the style. With the line-up unchanged, it was most likely that they would be even tighter than on the debut album, and in some ways, this is true, but it does seem that they failed to really progress, just being content on reproducing their formula elaborated on their debut album. So we are again closing in on Ange, Atoll, Pulsar with a Hackettian guitar and a Latimerian flute (and sax had Andy played that) and always being good but rarely brilliant.

Obviously most fans will tell you wonders of the sidelong Couleurs, a 21-min+, 5-movement suite. And yes, as much as can be heard elsewhere in their music, this could well be Carpe Diem's apex, with many delightful passages, but the in the long-run, everything on their sight tends to sound a bit the same. The second side might seem rather different with a bunch of shorter tracks (all under 4 mins), but to no avail, the same timbre of music pervades through that vinyl side as well; Miracle is maybe their better track on this side.

Again, I find myself incapable of appreciating this type of symphonic rock: rather hard to explain though, since it appears that most of the right ingredients are present. Had these two albums been released half a decade earlier, they would've been most likely of Ange's stature.

Review by Cesar Inca
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This is one of the most beautiful prog musical works to come out of France: "Cueille le Jour" is Carpe Diem's sophomore release, which is full of beauty, magic and distinction. Carpe Diem's terrific sound is based upon an even combination of the most delicate jazz fusion (sax and flute parts, rhythm section) and symphonic captivating sensibility (keyboards and guitars). The magical tension of KC's melodic side melts fluidly with Pulsar's ethereal introspectiveness plus some hints to 73-75 Yessian sense of adventure, as well. All this works in order to create walls of inventive chord progressions that serve as sonic curtains upon which the wind, synth and guitar solos are displayed. These displays never distract the listener from the general ambience that the five musicians create as a well-oiled unit. 'Couleurs' is a notable masterpiece in its own right. The use of consistent moods in the carefully crafted framework sustaining the subtle build-up that fills the first quarter of 'Couleurs' is perfectly achieved: the keyboard's layers and phrases and the playful lines on flute and sax pretty much define the nucleus of the overall sonic development. Once the rhythm section is all the way into the fore, the band is ready to take the imposed melodic drive to a more extroverted expression. Reaching the 830 mark, the band turns to a space-rock oriented jazzy excursion that may remind us of the immence 'Le Publiphobe', the closer track of Carpe Diem's first effort. The sung portion is typical of French symphonic rock, like a mixture of early Pulsar and "Le Petit Violon"-era Mona Lisa. The instrumental finale bears a patent aura of magnificence, with the instrumentalists delivering a controlled pomposity all the wa ytward the last note. A brilliant suite, indeed! Though less impressive, I must say that the other 5 remaining tracks, albeit shorter, also show the band's ability to create attractive basic melodic lines and develop them cleverly, without saturating the listener. 'Naissance' finds Carpe Diem focused on exploring its spacey side. Further on, I honestly regret that tracks 3, 4 and 5 are not longer than they are, since I suspect that they would have benefited from a more detailed development: 'Le Miracle de la Saint-Gaston' displays a lovely melancholy within its overall reflective feel; 'Laure' is stated on folk-oriented grounds in an unusually playful mood for the band's standards; 'Tramontane' is yet another refined exercise on the band's jazzy side, as usual, based on a defined musical architecture and incorporating some spacey undertones. Like I said, I wish these tracks had been longer... but that's how it is, and all things considered, it's fine by me. The piano/soprano sax duet 'Divertimento' serves as a pretty closure in the guise of a notturno. A French 70s gem that deserves a place in any good prog collection.
Review by silvertree
4 stars This album reminds me of Arachnoid though it is mellower, less aggressive and less dark. I would say it is more optimistic (if music can be that). This is typical French progressive music in the same line as Atoll : symphonic mixed with fusion with great saxophone (a lot on the Canterbury side). It's essentially instrumental. The arrangements are quite complex so you'll need time to get into it, but you'll be rewarded !
Review by hdfisch
4 stars Carpe Diem's second release is centred around the epic track "Couleurs" which occupies alone one side of the original vinyl record and really reveals the full potential of this great band, just jazzy symphonic Prog par excellence. This composition presents a wonderful mix of twanging synth sounds, gentle guitar playing and graceful saxophone with some nice little percussive elements like mere hand-clapping for example. The music actually floats so pleasantly combining perfectly jazz aesthetics with old school symphonic rock that one doesn't realize at all its length. Only one of its five parts, "Rencontre" has some vocals, the one which is added with English lyrics as bonus track on the CD re-release. The remaining five tracks though being quite short below the 4-minute mark are by no means inferior and present their typical sound in a more concise way. Most of them are fully instrumental apart from "Le Miracle de la Saint-Gaston".

Finally I just can repeat saying that Carpe Diem is my absolute favourite French Prog band and their second release was at least as good as their debut, even slightly more versatile.There isn't any flaw present on neither of their albums and actually the only downer is that both are much too short and there aren't more releases from them existing. As I explained already in my review for their debut, I'll distribute my two 4.5 stars rating with once 5 and once 4 stars.

Review by Mellotron Storm
4 stars The mid-seventies were a great time for this band with 2 amazing albums under their belts and touring with bands like ANGE, MAGMA, MONA LISA, ATOLL etc. They actually were good friends with the guys from ATOLL and SHYLOCK.

The first track was a side long suite at over 21 minutes in length. It's called "Couleurs". The first 14 minutes really do drift along with lighter, Jazz-like sounds. This is so beautifully played. Sax, flute,bass, drums and acoustic guitar lead the way as they come and go throughout. The electric guitar is fantastic as well, just not as prominant, neither is the piano, organ and vocals but all are well done. This song is a symphonic delight to listen to. "Naissance" was a concert favourite. The sound builds slowly. Strummed guitar after a minute as drums and bass come loudly in right behind. Amazing sound. "Le Miracle De La Saint-Gaston" is a pastoral track with reserved vocals and flute with acoustic guitar. Awesome sound 1 1/2 minutes in as it gets louder with organ. I really like this track.

"Laure" starts quietly enough before becoming uptempo rather quickly. Flute and drums, and then organ and drums, and then guitar and drums. You get the picture. "Tramontane" is a cool, jazzy sounding song with percussion and bass followed by sax. Drums and organ take over. Sax is back ! Check out the drumming though. The guitar sounds great before 3 minutes. "Divertimento" opens with piano and is joined by sax. This one is mellow although the tempo does pick up 2 minutes in. "Recontro" is a bonus track with sax, organ and drums leading the way before English vocals come in. This is a previously unreleased track recorded at the same time as this album was. Excellent tune. The guitar 1 1/2 minutes in is a highlight.

Interesting that in the liner notes it says they also played with a band called METABOLISM from France, who they describe as not only being progressive, but PENTACLE-like. That's right Jim PENTACLE-like. All kidding aside I have to say that CARPE DIEM's two recordings are fantastic ! Tough to pick out which one is better really. The first one does employ a lot of spacey passages that aren't used on this one, but if I were you i'd get them both if you can. Great French band.

Review by Finnforest
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Carpe Diem's jewel, an essential French title

Carpe Diem's second album after the impressive debut "En Regardant Passer Le Temps" finds the band continuing with the "space fusion" sound, one of highly skilled compositions and perfectionist tendencies. While the first album had three tracks around 10 minutes long, here Carpe ups the ante with a juicy sidelong epic at over 21 minutes. Which album is the better one is clearly debatable. More on that later. Carpe Diem found their debut album well received and spent a good chunk of 1976 touring France in its support. In the summer the band moved from their rehearsal space in Nice to drummer Farault's barn in the country where they began to work on the compositions for their second album. Christian would begin by offering up the melodies and the others would construct and work their parts into the piece. With the good sales of the first album and their growing reputation the band was booked into Azurville Studios in Antibes. They were given 10 days this time to record the album and worked with incredibly diligence to produce such amazing stuff. The album was released in March of 1977 and did reasonably well but failed to break them in a big way. Later in the year after more gigs guitarist Abbenanti left the band wishing a more normal existence. They replaced him and soldiered on with more gigs and plans for a third release. But as the familiar story goes, punk was rising and the band became disillusioned with the lack of possibilities and promotion. Tragic really, because this was a band at the top of their game in every way and their 3rd album would have been stunning I would wager. But let's dissect this fabulous gem just a bit.

The five-part side long "Couleurs" suite is a masterpiece of French prog that is more impressive than anything on the debut. The first two minutes hint at a different approach with melodies that are the sound equivalent of birds climbing and diving through the air, followed by some hand clapping to signal the festivities at hand. Slowly the band comes to life and in the next several minutes I swear the influence is not the oft mentioned Gong or VDGG, but rather Oldfield. The sophistication and measured approach of the first album meets with more passion in this piece which is when things can get truly exciting to me. The rhythm and bass are as tight as ever but there is just a bit more color in the explorations of the guitars, sax, and keyboards. After 13 minutes there is an excellent break with a big keyboard wash followed by some fittingly smooth vocals, then it suddenly picks up and we get some very jubilant leads. It is impossible to cover the 21 minutes of twists and turns here and that's really the point. There is lots happening throughout this piece and it is quality and interesting. Love it. The shorter pieces of side two begin are "Naissance" which begins with subtle guitar tones over mellotron. Abbenanti plays some acoustic here and the bass has a bold Chris Squire feel to it. "Le Miracle de la Saint-Gaston" begins with flute and softly picked guitar. This one has nice dreamy vocals and again the singing is more about another texture, it's very peaceful and laid back. That's also the overall flavor here, one of Carpe's mellowest tracks with lots of melancholy. "Laure" has the coolest opening with the guitar work modified to an effect that is like bubbles-check it out. Bubbly also describes the rest of the track which takes an upbeat mood with flute, panned chunky chords in one part and nice electric leads in another. "Tramontane" slips back into a fusioney feel with saxophone and some intense drumming and lead guitar at times. "Divertimento" starts with just piano which is really fresh after all of the intensity, soon accompanied by lovely sax playing. Wisely the band stays away and this track becomes a piano/sax duet that is a fitting last recorded moment for Carpe Diem. The piano parts had to be recorded in but 15 minutes because the heat in the studio was causing the piano to go out of tune. The shorter tracks of side 2 suffer from not having the time to unwind and develop which one becomes enamored with after hearing the longer tracks on the two albums. What I do is sort of let them melt into one long suite in my mind, just pretend they are strung together and it works better. Hearing where this group was at makes me almost cry to think they actually recorded demos for the third album but never completed it.

Progweed's Greg Northrup notes "the trademark Carpe Diem sound is here in spades. Guitar-led flights of fancy, cosmic synthesizers, fluid woodwinds along with an incredible degree of compositional and harmonic sophistication.As should be expected, the musicianship is monstrous, the playing is tight and energetic, and the melodies veer from gorgeous to haunting.While unavoidably outshined and made less essential by Carpe Diem's magnificent debut album, Cueille le Jour nonetheless holds its own. Without presenting anything astoundingly different, or better, than anything off of En Regardent..., fans of that album will certainly find Cueille le Jour a satisfying complement." [Greg Northrup]

I disagree big time with Greg and others that the debut is better. To my ears Cueille Le Jour is the more enjoyable of their two albums and I give it 4 solid stars, perhaps 4 ½ if I'm in a good mood. The long Couleurs track is an amazing slab of symphonic prowess that holds its own against other side long epics, it has a comparable feel and importance to something like Hergest Ridge or Ommadawn. It seems less rigid and stifled than the first album to me which is why I like it a bit more. The sound feels more dynamic and spacious perhaps the result of better recording conditions or their increased experience. In any case it is essential to French prog fans and highly recommended to all symphonic, space, and fusion prog fans. The Musea CD release featured good sound quality, a detailed band history and nice photos. This is an outstanding piece of prog and a great introduction to the non-Ange part of the French scene for any newbie. You will enjoy!

Review by Flucktrot
4 stars As if their debut album was a warm-up--though I'm sure they did not see it that way when recording it--Carpe Diem release their tour-de-force in prog, Coleurs. Although there are some singles on the B-side, and ones that are fairly decent at that, the importance of this album lies in the epic.

Coleurs is really a wonderful piece. From the mysterious introductory sequence, in which every fourth bar has a missing beat, to the nicely paced final wind-down, this track is a treat throughout. Although there's little that's virtuosic or innovative about this piece, the genius lies in the slow build and the textures generated by the arrangements, including some wonderful soprano sax and subdued guitar. Just a series of catchy, dreamy melodies, delivered wonderfully, that leads to one of my top 50 all time epics.

So, of course the key piece is the extended one. That should be enough for most of us, but the rest function as decent throw-ins, if that happens to sweeten the pot. In all, unique, happy, and "real" prog.

Latest members reviews

4 stars Once in a while, a piece of music jumps out of the loudspeakers and grabs me by the throat. The opening track Couleurs is one of these pieces of music. The twenty-two minutes of music is a blend of symphonic prog, Canterbury prog and jazz. The opening salvos of moog is just heaven and utter he ... (read more)

Report this review (#237121) | Posted by toroddfuglesteg | Friday, September 4, 2009 | Review Permanlink

5 stars The second and last work "Cueille le Jour". Fantastic album. The sound is jazz-rock with classical sound. These are the highlights of this album. "Coleurs" is amazing. One of the most beautiful work of progressive rock. "Le Miracle De La Saint-Gaston" is a romantic work like CAMEL. "Dive ... (read more)

Report this review (#84742) | Posted by braindamage | Tuesday, July 25, 2006 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Carpe Diem is atmospheric and mellow example of french melodic prog of 1970s. Cueille Le Jour is band's second and last effort. Highlight is in my opinion Coleurs. Others have a bit less of development. But still nice and gentle listening. ... (read more)

Report this review (#50431) | Posted by Rainer Rein | Friday, October 7, 2005 | Review Permanlink

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