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Patrick Forgas

Jazz Rock/Fusion

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Patrick Forgas Cocktail album cover
3.45 | 17 ratings | 2 reviews | 6% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 1977

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Automne 69 (0:50)
2. Monks (La danse des moines) (4:20)
3. Reflet d'ail (1:05)
4. Coeur violon (1:10)
5. Orgueil (1:35)
6. Vol d'hirondelles (1:25)
7. Cocktail (3:35)
8. Rituel (1:15)
9. Rhume des foins (5:30)
10. My Trip (18:30)

Total Time: 39:15

Tracklist for 2008 reissue:

1. Automne 69 (0:49)
2. Monks (La Danse Des Moines) (4:24)
3. Reflet d´Ail (1:06)
4. Coeur Violon (1:05)
5. Orgueil (1:38)
6. Vol D´Hirondelles (1:28)
7. Cocktail (3:42)
8. Rituel (1:18)
9. Rhume Des Foins (5:35)
10. My Trip (18:24)

Bonus tracks:
11. My Trip (demo 1975) (6:32)
12. Cocktail (middle section) (1:38)
13. Cocktail (main theme) (3:18)
14. Plein Les Poches (3:58)
15. Paris-Londres (2:43)
16. Nos Cheveux Emmelés (2:37)
17. Magie Major (1:42)
18. Comme Un Hibou (1:36)
19. Poursuite (3:16)
20. Elle Qui Attend (1:34)
21. Arrête-Toi (2.10)
22. Espoir (2.04)
23. Descendez Pour Vous Rhabiller (0:29)

Total time: 73:00

Line-up / Musicians

- Patrick Forgas / drums, vocals, percussion, guitar, bass, organ
- Jean-Pierre Fouquey / keyboards
- Gérard Prévost / bass
- Laurent Roubach / guitars
- Patrick Tilleman / violin
- Patrick Lemercier / violin
- François Debricon / saxophone, flute
- Bruce Grant / saxophone

Lineup for 2008 reissue:

Patrick Forgas - drums, vocals, percussion, guitar, keyboards, bass, sounds

Jean Pierre Fouquey - keyboards (1-10)
Dominique Godin - keyboard, sax (11)
Laurent Roubach - guitars (1-4, 6-8, 10)
Gérard Prévost - bass (1-8, 10)
Didier Thibault ? bass (11)
Patrick Tilleman - violin (1, 2, 10, 12)
Patrick Lemercier - violin (1, 3, 4, 6, 21)
Francois Debricon - sax, flute (2, 3, 7, 9, 18)
Bruce Grant ? sax (10)

Releases information

LP Gratte-Ciel/Musea 4074 (not available on CD)

Reissued by Musea Records in 2008 with 13 bonus tracks (LC 09709)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Raff for the last updates
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PATRICK FORGAS Cocktail ratings distribution

(17 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(6%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(41%)
Good, but non-essential (35%)
Collectors/fans only (18%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

PATRICK FORGAS Cocktail reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Sean Trane
3 stars Multi-instrumentalist Patrick Forgas developed a strange kind of psychedelic jazz-rock blending with latter 70's fusion, even more so for the second part of the 70's. While Forgas wrote and composed all of the music and he played roughly half the instruments on this album, it does not sound like a dodgy basement record with only him playing on it. I wouldn't call this album a group effort either, but the playing is tight and does not allow for indulgence. With a rather bland cartoon-like artwork (the back cover is much more fun and better fit for an artwork), this album was recorded in the spring and summer of 77, and released in the fall on the small Gratte-Ciel (sky-scrapper) record label, but as far as I know, this has never seen a Cd reissue, which is not the case for other albums of his. If you can imagine later Traffic mixed with some Jean-Luc Ponty, you might just have good idea of what awaits you on Coktail.

The first side of the vinyl is comprised of mostly very short tracks, with two notable exceptions, that brought a very varied atmosphere, generally light, funky and humorous, but none are actually really interesting either, as they seem to be serving as fillers. Only the longer Monks and Rhume De Foin (hay fever), the first with its almost 5 minutes seem to bring more depth, with a great groove underlined a superb bass line, with divine flute, sax and violin interplay. The second (and A-side closer) is a more reflective piece sounding like Traffic around the John Barleycorn Must Die album.

The B-side is taken-up by the lengthy (18-min+) My Trip, which actually is a fitting title, because this is one hell of a ride. If the first side was entirely instrumental, this track holds some vocals, which are not very strong though, resembling the usual French symphonic rock singing in the 70's. Again there is some particularly exciting violin playing (Tilleman plays on most of the better tracks of the album) very reminiscent of Ponty's then-contemporary albums, some dynamite sax (here Bruce Grant instead of Debricon on the flipside)

While Forgas might have appeared as an original and zany character in life, the music fails to represent this fully. For some reasons, as much as it is loaded with all the trumps, the album is a bit of a miss, but not far from a hit either. Hardly essential but still much worth a spin on your turntable.

Review by Raff
4 stars Patrick Forgas' debut album, "Cocktail" (originally released in 1977, but reissued by Musea in 2008 with 13 bonus tracks), would not be misplaced among the output of other non-English Canterbury bands, such as Supersister or Picchio Dal Pozzo. As the colourful, cartoon-like cover artwork immediately suggests, this is not the kind of music that takes itself too seriously, in spite of the high technical quotient of the performances. Forgas' Wyatt-like vocals (admittedly a bit of an acquired taste), with their quintessentially French air of sophisticated nonchalance, add to this relaxed, feel-good atmosphere.

The first ten tracks - most of them no longer than a couple of minutes - are those featured on the original version of the album. The 18-minute suite My Trip, strategically placed in the tenth slot, comes in a way as a surprise. The album's undisputed highlight, it is one of those compositions that are almost impossible to describe effectively, on account of its extremely diverse structure. While all the instruments contribute to the build-up of this tour de force, the real star of "My Trip" is Gérard Prévost's bass. A former member of Magma offshoot Zao, Prévost really makes the difference here, his stunning performance holding an otherwise rather fragmented track together. Opening in classic jazz-rock fashion, with echoes of Bruford here and there, it then turns more experimental, with Forgas' scat-like vocalising, and lyrical violin strains to soften the atmosphere.

The bass is also at the forefront in the brisk, uptempo "Orgueil", coupled with clear, tinkling guitar; while "Monks", which also features Canterbury's trademark fuzzed-organ sound at the beginning, is built upon a steadily weaving main theme, enriched by violin and flute. Forgas' elegantly measured drumming is a core feature of all the songs, enhancing even very short offerings such as "Reflet D'Ail" or "Vol D'Hirondelles". His peculiar singing style (a falsetto that sometimes reminded me of The Northettes, even more so than Robert Wyatt) fits the nature of the compositions, in which classic Canterbury stylings meet with funky touches (as in the almost danceable rhythm and vocals of "Rhume Des Foins"), besides the more obvious jazz influences. The latter are very prominent in the title-track, whose smooth, almost lazy flow reflects the carefree attitude implied by the album cover artwork.

The thirteen bonus tracks include alternate versions of some of the original songs, as well as previously unreleased material. The latter ranges from the oddly infectious tune of "Magie Major" to the darker, electronics-infused atmosphere of "Arrête-Toi" and "Espoir". Somewhat frustratingly, none of those tracks (with the sole exception of the demo version of "My Trip"), is longer than four minutes. While all adequate, they are not what I would call indispensable: the bass-driven "Nos Cheveux Emmelés", with its relaxed, jazzy pace and Canterbury-style organ in the background, is the only song that actually stands out. In spite of the album's undeniable strengths, it should also be stressed that 73 minutes are a bit excessive for the average listener's attention span, in particular for those who prefer to listen to albums in one sitting. On the other hand, Musea Records deserve praise for having rescued it from oblivion, even if not all the bonus tracks are up to scratch. Highly recommended to Canterbury and classic jazz-rock/fusion fans, as well as to those who appreciate an outstanding rhythm section, "Cocktail" is a very enjoyable, uplifting effort, worthy of a solid 4-star rating.

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