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Zao Osiris album cover
3.84 | 64 ratings | 6 reviews | 31% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1975

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Shardaz (4:48)
2. Isis (9:32)
3. Reinna (4:23)
4. Yog (8:05)
5. La Rhune (4:08)

Bonus track on 1995 Musea CD
6. Montreal (11:44)

Total Time 42:40

Line-up / Musicians

- Francois "Faton" Cahen / keyboards
- Joel "DUD" Dugrenot / bass, vocals
- Yochk'o Seffer / saxophones, vocals
- Jean-My Truong / drums, percussion
- Jean-Yves Rigaud / electric violin
- Marc Chantereau / percussion
- Pierre "TY BOUM" Guignon / percussion

Releases information

LP Disjuncta 000004 (1974, France)

CD Musea FGBG 4130.AR (1995, France)
CD Belle Antique BELLE 071338 (2007, Japan)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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ZAO Osiris ratings distribution

(64 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(31%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(47%)
Good, but non-essential (19%)
Collectors/fans only (2%)
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)

ZAO Osiris reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Syzygy
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars The second Zao album was recorded without the distinctive vocals of Mauricia Platon and marks the band's shift from Zeuhl with a touch of jazz fusion to jazz fusion with a touch of Zeuhl. The net effect is a fine album that is both more accessible than their debut but also less distinctive, often sounding like generic European jazz rock that could have emanated from any number of fusion bands.

Aside from a shift to mainly instrumental pieces, the music generally settled into a comfortable groove where Fender Rhodes, bass and drums laid down a solid backing for the sax and violin to solo over, as opposed to the complex interplay of vocal, violin and sax on Z=7L. As the sax was in the hands of Yoch'ko Seffer this wasn't necessarily a bad thing, and Jean-Yves Rigaud was no slouch on the electric violin, so there are some stunning moments here and there. The rhythm section is occasionally bolstered with additional percussion and there are some Zeuhl influenced wordless vocals from Seffer and bassist Joel Dugrenot on a couple of tracks including the opening Shardaz. The stand out is Isis, which opens with some lovely ethnic percussion and flute before a smoky midtempo minor key groove kicks in and Seffer's gypsy soul shines through his solo, followed by Rigaud playing his electric violin through a variety of effects pedal before the whole thing ends as it began after almost 10 minutes. The CD reissue contains another extended work out in Montreal, which features some complex congas alongside the bass and drums and is almost the equal of Isis.

3.5 stars for the original version, with an extra half star for the reissue with Montreal. As other reviewers have pointed out, this is closer to Weather Report than Magma, but when the ethnic influences are added to the jazz fusion it turns into a potent brew indeed. Fusion fans will love it, Zeuhl heads may be a little disappointed.

Review by Mellotron Storm
5 stars On ZAO's second album they have lost the stunning vocals of Mauricia Platon who has left,leaving the vocal duties to Dugrenot (bass player) who sang the low notes, and Seffer who would sing the high notes. There would be two guest percussionists in their lineup as well, and Seffer would not be playing clarinet on this one, only sax. As their liner notes state, they did not wish to have "Osiris" released on a major label and so turned to a new label called "Disjuncta" which had been created by Richard Pinhas of HELDON fame. He was a friend of Cahen and a cousin of MAGMA's singer Stella Vander. Thanks to Pinhas' hard work "Osiris" outsold their debut "Z=7L". One year later the label went bankrupt unfortunately and "Osiris" was deleted. Thankyou "Musea" for reissueing this amazing recording.

"Shardaz" opens with drums and sax as vocal melodies come in. Violin after a minute as the tempo picks up. The vocal melodies are prominant much like what you would hear on some MAGMA records. Piano before 3 minutes, and the bass is nice and heavy that follows. "Isis" is pastoral for 1 1/2 minutes until we get some guitar melodies that come and go as warm sax melodies play on. The drums and sound are building, and the tempo picks up 6 minutes in. Great sound ! Violin arrives a minute later. A calm takes over (that reminds me of the intro) for the final minute of the song. What a ride that was. "Reinna" features drums, bass, piano and sax while Zeuhl-like vocals arrive a minute in causing the instrumental work to take a back seat temporarily. Some great drumming and sax work follows. Piano and violin join in and we are cooking now ! Percussion too as this is quite jazzy.

"Yog" features deep vocals and piano that are contrasted with instrumental outbreaks. I love this stuff ! This is such a beautiful passage.The song takes off after 2 minutes with sax and vocal melodies taking center stage. It calms down 5 minutes in and check out the drumming after 6 minutes ! Vocal melodies end the song. "La Rhune" is a very good song with bass, percussion, drums and piano leading off before sax comes in followed by violin after 3 minutes. The bonus track is a live song that Seffer and Cahen recorded with members from Quebec artist Robert Charlebois' band who showed a great deal of interest in ZAO, and actually recorded three tracks with Seffer and Cahen in 1973. This one is called "Montreal" and it's truly an amazing live Zeuhl song at almost 12 minutes. Guest female vocals along with relentless bass and drums. Seffer especially stands out with his sax work. Cahen is incredible on the keys as well.

This is not as challenging as their debut was, but it's not inferior either. These guys (Cahen & Seffer) were a big part of MAGMA's early sound and also composed a lot of their music then as well. "Osiris" is a feast that is as satisfying for me as their debut. 5 stars.

Review by Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Choosing a career in Zeuhl isn't the path of least resistance. Not only will every note you play be compared to Magma, it will most likely also be dwarfed by the output of that one true great Zeuhl band. And, given Magma has about 200 fans, there's little perspective you'll ever be staging a live show for more then 30 dedicated Zeuhl heads.

In case your bandname is Zao, you might even be discarded for being too much jazz fusion and too less Zeuhl. Compared to Magma (here we go) the jazz influence is decisively stronger and the album fits better alongside Magma's first two albums 1001° then say MDK or Köhntarkösz. Zao employs two singers that add a Zeuhl flavour to the album. The music is slightly droning and rhythmically repetitive. Also that is fittingly Zeuhl.

The quality of the material however goes up and down. The opener is rather disappointing, a lifeless rhythm, weak riffs and little or no melodic development. On the better pieces such as Isis and Yog, the musicians show their skills in arranging and playing together. These songs are focused and well balanced, but still nothing happens that really kicks this album in action for me. The CD re-issue adds a Live Montreal tracks that shows the band in full Jazz-Fusion mood. One of the better tracks here.

A decent Zeuhl/Jazz Fusion album, but nothing exceptional for me.

Review by Warthur
3 stars Zao may have been one of the first Zeuhl bands to spring up in the wake of Magma's inauguration of the style - founded, as it was, with Magma refugees - but you'd be forgiven for considering Osiris it a retreat from the Zeuhl style rather than a willing embrace of it. Veering back towards jazz fusion, the group aim not for the murky, fast-paced, volcanic fusion of Magma's early days but a more sedate and laid back variety of jazz-rock, of the sort propagated by Weather Report at around the same time. To my ears, the main Zeuhl influence is in the percussion, which at points locks itself into a hypnotic groove of the sort Magma would make use of - but it's never quite so heavy or martial as Magma gets, nor does it sustain itself for as long. A pleasant enough album, but not exactly a cornerstone of the genre.

Latest members reviews

3 stars The second Zao album retained the core Zeuhl-related lineup led by Seffer & Cahen, but the scatty female vocals of Mauricia Platon were replaced by Seffer and bassist Dugrenot, with additional percussion provided by Marc Chantereau and Pierre Guignon. Like the debut album, Osiris is linked to ... (read more)

Report this review (#2534530) | Posted by bartymj | Monday, April 12, 2021 | Review Permanlink

4 stars 1974 "Osiris". It is music that added WEATHER REPORT to MAGMA. A kooky rhythm and the uplifted thrilling ensemble are features. Moreover, there is jazzy, in addition to performance that becomes tense melodious respect, too. On the other hand, the bass was not very emphasized. The scene to whic ... (read more)

Report this review (#81411) | Posted by braindamage | Sunday, June 18, 2006 | Review Permanlink

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