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EDITION SPÉCIALE

Jazz Rock/Fusion • France


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Edition Spéciale biography
Martial "Mimi" Lorenzini, one of France's most famous guitarists for his contribution to Canterbury band TRIANGLE, got together with female singer/keyboard player Ann Ballester, bass player Josquin Turenne des Prés and drummer Jean-François Bouchet D'Angely to form ÉDITION SPÉCIALE in 1975. Their style of groovy, accessible jazz-rock is highly comparable to that of RETURN TO FOREVER and BRAND X.

Their first album "Allée des Tilleuls" received mixed reviews, in part due to Ann's vocals that spoiled the effect of the excellent musicianship. Featuring virtuoso drummer and newcomer Alain Gouillard, the subsequent "Aliquante" and "Horizon Digital" were a definite improvement. Gouillard's drumming is so tight he could probably rival Bill Bruford. Both albums are rhythmic concepts based on very complex tempo cuts, where the guitar and violin interplay will remind the listener of MAHAVISHNU. Two excellent albums of world-class French fusion.

Recommended for fans of BRAND X, MAHAVISHNU ORCHESTRA, WEATHER REPORT, ISOTOPE, GONG and middle-period SOFT MACHINE.

: : : Lise (HIBOU), CANADA : : :

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EDITION SPÉCIALE discography


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EDITION SPÉCIALE top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.08 | 7 ratings
Allée des Tilleuls
1976
3.68 | 18 ratings
Aliquante
1977
3.38 | 9 ratings
Horizon Digital
1978

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EDITION SPÉCIALE Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Horizon Digital  by EDITION SPÉCIALE album cover Studio Album, 1978
3.38 | 9 ratings

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Horizon Digital
Edition Spéciale Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Horizon digital is their third album from 1978 and aswell their swansong. Almost same with predecesor but little les exciting in parts, keeping on first track Aurore the energic moments they used on Aliquante delivering some top notch passages. The instrumental section are great, maybe the vocal arrangements are not so intresting but never the less ok on Camara. Graced by an excellent gatefold cover art, Horizon digital desearves to be paraised but I don't think is their best work, Aliquante remains their most acomplished work from their career. All in all a fairly good album, but the magic of previous release here is not so present only on some passages. The Cd re issue by Musea has 5 bonus tracks, the pieces that suposed to enter on their forth album from 1980, but in the end the release never saw the light, they disbanded soon after in summer of 1981. 3 stars maybe in some parts 3.5 stars, still good but not so excellent as Aliquante.

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 Aliquante by EDITION SPÉCIALE album cover Studio Album, 1977
3.68 | 18 ratings

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Aliquante
Edition Spéciale Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Edition Speciale is one of the best jazz rock/fusion bands France ever had. A was completly knock out when I first listen to this second album named Aliquante from 1977, remaining one of my fav albums of the genre aswell. Very energic, up tempo kind of jazz rock with fusion elements with superb musicianship and very complex arrangements. The duels between Ann Balester's keyboards and Lorenzini guitar are top notch for sure. Also the new drumer Alain Gouillard show how great he is and very confident of his abilities, delivering some great chops here, very energic drumer remind me of Collins Brand X era or even with Bruford. I think this album is quite little unknown among listners, never bean very popular in comparation with other big names from that period like Brand X, Bruford, return to Forever, but I must confess this album kick ass from start to finish. All pieces are very good, specially the first 3 are simply outstanding Vedra, A La Source Du Rêve and So Deep Inside. Some vocal parts here alternating female/male vocal parts, who are ok nothing is over the top but pleasent most of the time, Ballester's vocals remind me in places specialy with canadian Et Cetera same attitude and tone of voice. All in all an album to be discovered by many listners as possible worth it, recommended for sure. 4 stars easy, excellent jazz rock/fusion. re issue by Musea on Cd with 2 bonus tracks, that will apper on their next album Horizon digital a year later.

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 Aliquante by EDITION SPÉCIALE album cover Studio Album, 1977
3.68 | 18 ratings

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Aliquante
Edition Spéciale Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Suedevanshoe

5 stars Incredible album mashing jazz and prog and funk delightfully. A beautiful ride, this album is (to my ears) smoother than an Arnold Palmer after 18 holes in the hot sun.

The record has been in my collection for a long time, yet I'd only played it sporadically. I felt it was great, it lived up to it's hype at allmusic.com, and I listened to #6 repeatedly "Fille du Ruisseau"

It's been on my turntable now for 4 days straight. Blissed out funkafied progjazz is what this treat is. This could just as easily be a Roy Ayers album if he had an affinity for progressive rock. Gorgeous in it's layout and carefully manicured, the sound of this album is culled from Zappa, Return to Forever, and other fusion artists of the day. Even some Gentle Giant in the bassline around the last fifteen seconds of #3 "So Deep Inside" and on into #4"Le Temps D'Un Solo".

It's the execution of the material that puts this masterpiece over the top for me. Each song is a short roller coaster that fits the perfect amusement park. Two bonus track thrown in from an almost equally as strong third album is icing on the cake.

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 Allée des Tilleuls  by EDITION SPÉCIALE album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.08 | 7 ratings

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Allée des Tilleuls
Edition Spéciale Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars Another quartet among the huge amount of Jazz Rock bands emerging from 70's France.They were formed and led by the force of guitarist Mimi Lorenzini,ex-member of the famous (at least in France) psych/rock group Triangle,featuring also female singer/keyboardist Ann Ballester,who had released a personal EP in late 60's.EDITION SPECIALE debuted in 1976 on UAS Label with ''Allée des Tilleuls'',an album re-issued in 2002 on CD by Musea with three bonus tracks.

While the band is playing definitely on the jazzy side of rock,the album is quite easy- listening,delivering some catchy melodies and vocal harmonies among the most demanding pieces.Maybe trying to access a wider audience the band also included the great English track ''Tomorrow Mourning'' on the original version,a catchy song-based piece of music with some fine moog solos.Regarding the other material in "Allée des Tilleuls" and leaving some of the pleasant vocal lines apart,this is quite good-executed Jazz Rock with progressive and psych elements with a bassist delivering constantly funky and elegant bass lines.Instrumentally the band is very talented.Ballester has not only a very pleasant voice,but she is a great keyboardist as well,offering nice piano passages and mainly captivating synth parts,which range from atmospheric fillers to extended solos.Lorenzini changes his style all the time:His decent solos,catchy grooves and rural-edeged playing jazzy breaks will leave every Jazz Rock fan satisfied.The truth is I can't find any obvious similarities with BRAND X or MAHAVISHNU ORCHESTRA.Maybe their approach is much lighter than these bands or the female vocals makes them quite unique,that I can't compare them to any other band.

Final taste?This is an enjoyable and pleasant listening with a happy mood throughout.Not something you will play very often on your CD player,but an album,which leaves a good musical taste for every now and then.Recommended,especially to followers of Jazz/Fusion- tinged Prog.

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 Horizon Digital  by EDITION SPÉCIALE album cover Studio Album, 1978
3.38 | 9 ratings

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Horizon Digital
Edition Spéciale Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Sean Trane
Special Collaborator Prog Folk

3 stars After the almost awesome Aliquante, ES came back the following year with a fairly different album, one that would be recorded in Chateau D'Hérouville and recorded by Laurent Thibault (see his section elsewhere in PA), with a very different line-up. Only the Lorenzini-Ballester couple remains with Gouillard on drums, bassist Turquenne passing through Magma (little wonder) and being replaced by Grillot and the group brings in ex-Gong Mireille Bauer (vibes & perc) as a sort-of guest on the way to Catherine Ribeiro & Alpes. It's my guess many progheads will prefer this present album over Aliquante, and no doubt the gatefold artwork will work subliminally for Horizon Digital, but you should trust (blindly) me on this one, go for Aliquante

One of the differences you will hear is a more Zappa-esque feel to HD, due to Mireille Bauer's vibraphones, this as noticeable on the fast tracks (Aurore) than on the slower moments (intro of Camara), giving a more Mother-esque feeling than a Gong-ian tone. Another difference is the much greater presence (and more intrusive) of Ballester's Steely Dan-esque vocals laced with weaker second-rate Zeuhlian influences. So overall the ES formula is returning to a sung popier format, Ballester's synths choices not being as successful as previously, and the group is even closing the album with a needless blues track.

If on the strictly vinyl album comparison point, Aliquante is a much better album than HD, once you get to the Cd reissues, Musea actually renders things more difficult, by adding five bonus tracks that were supposed to be ES's fourth album and recorded in 80. While remaining musically roughly in line with their third album, the group was now only a duo consisting of Lorenzini and Ballester plus guests, and by that time, they had been caught by a lot trends of the times, and tried to be much more song- oriented (as in commercially-oriented songs) with Ballester's voice returning to the fore, but the back up she got made the whole thing sound like Steely Dan and this time not just vocally, but musically as well. Actually the five tracks of the fourth unreleased album make a rather nice accompaniment to Horizon Digital's eight, but you will find a degradation of quality and inspiration, the pop thing being furthered even flirting with a reggaeish funk. Better first start with Aliquante and if that pleases you enough to find more about them, come to this one (and its successor as bonus) and then move to the debut if you're still interested.

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 Aliquante by EDITION SPÉCIALE album cover Studio Album, 1977
3.68 | 18 ratings

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Aliquante
Edition Spéciale Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Sean Trane
Special Collaborator Prog Folk

4 stars 3.75 stars really, but rounded up to the fourth star!!!

I've known ES for decades, having been given a copy of this album back in those days, and while I was still a bit too young to appreciate JR/F, I kept on regular but rare rotation, wondering why ES was not at least as well known as RTF, EH, WR, and MO as well as SM, or BrX.. Of course the superstar status of the members of those previously-mentioned groups, looking at ES, none of them reached the heel as far as fame was concerned. Clearly all four musicians were more than excellent at their trades,the most impressive being bassist Josquin Turenne induced a slight Zeuhl twist that is completely absent in other JR/F groups. Graced with a superb and intriguing artwork, Aliquante was ES' second album (that was news to me still in the late 90's, though) and it was to be the second last (I was aware but had also never heard the album), so I remained with a largely misinformed opinion of this group for decades. BTW, Ballester and Lorenzini were romantically involved.

Now having wisely stayed away from ES's debut (only heard it twice at a friend's house), it's clear that Aliquante is from another galaxy than its predecessor. One of the main drawback of the debut is Ann Ballester's vocals, which coupled with her rather good electric piano playing sounds like a third rate Steely Dan, something that will pursue the group to the end of its career. While all four musicians have clearly improved compared to the debut album, the main difference is that Aliquante is an-almost instrumental album: only two tracks are sung, the rest deploying a very solid and aerial JR/F somewhere between RTF and MO, but never reaching the awesome amount of virtuosity so present in those groups. While Vedra starts clearly on a Caravan-derived line, the track quickly develops a speed where our Canterburians couldn't have followed. Even if newcomer drummer Gouillard's play is very reminiscent of Collins' in BX, the group is often on RTF grounds without the ultra-funk of later albums (as I said Zeuhl is more applicable), but obviously the execution speed is limited. If they indeed overstretch their limits (the start of Temps D'Un Solo), it immediately sounds bizarre or out of tune.

And once Ballester's vocals do come in the band, they sound better controlled but could've been done without as well, but if you don't mind Steely Dan, you shouldn't find much problem on this album. According to Ann, the recording of the album was rushed by their new label RCA, which might explain why it has much less vocals than the other two, but you might want to consider this a blessing. As for her keyboard playing, she's right up there with her fellow musos, and there is little discussion about her choice of synth sounds, a trap that her much more illustrious compadres (Hancock, Zawinul, Corea) couldn't avoid.

Whether the two bonus tracks are a useful addition is rather of a personal taste, but they're both early writing/recording stages of the first two track of the next album Horizon Digital, but they beef up a rather short original album, so if Aliquante is the only album you're planning on getting, they provide enough added value to the album, if you don't mind their last album's much more vocal statement. .Clearly the group's better album, you'll probably have to start with this one, while knowing that it's probably the least representative of their works.

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 Horizon Digital  by EDITION SPÉCIALE album cover Studio Album, 1978
3.38 | 9 ratings

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Horizon Digital
Edition Spéciale Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Progbear
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Their third album was rather like ALIQUANTE, only more of it. Ann Ballester's singing voice gained in confidence, making this quite pleasing to listen to as she sings on three of the album's six tunes (I don't know if I'd quite consider the chanting on "Confluence" "singing" exactly). She's replaced her old ARP Omni (glorified string-synth) with an Oberheim polyphonic, allowing for an expanded palette of synthesizer tones. The Weather Report comparison creeps ever closer.

An extended guest-appearance by Gong's Mireille Bauer on marimba, vibes and other percussion really make this album soar. Really, one of the better fusion items from France, and highly recommended. I was disappointed to see two tracks from this tacked onto the end of Muséa's ALIQUANTE CD, a practice that practically screams out, "We have no intention of reissuing this in its entirety." A grave pity, as it's clearly their finest hour.

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 Aliquante by EDITION SPÉCIALE album cover Studio Album, 1977
3.68 | 18 ratings

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Aliquante
Edition Spéciale Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Progbear
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Quite strong French jazz fusion. The band are a tight unit, spotlighted by the nimble guitarwork of Marius "Mimi" Lorenzini, who interacts well with bassist Josquin Turenne des Prés and keyswoman Ann Ballester. Ballester contributes some rich synth tones courtesy of her ARP Odyssey and dazzles with her strong piano playing. An almost Canterbury feel pervades at times, but largely the influences seem to be American (i.e.: Mahavishnu/Return To Forever/Weather Report). Some of the pieces are infused with a Latin feel, bringing to mind the early RTF sides with Flora Purim. Ballester sings on many of the tunes, joined by Lorenzini and des Prés on "La Ville en Béton".

Bright, summery fusion, perfect for driving to the beach with the top down on your convertible.

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 Aliquante by EDITION SPÉCIALE album cover Studio Album, 1977
3.68 | 18 ratings

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Aliquante
Edition Spéciale Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by erik neuteboom
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Since a few months I've re-discovered the jazz rock music from the Seventies: MAHAVISHNU ORCHESTRA, Jean-Luc PONTY, Al DIMEOLA and RETURN TO FOREVER. And then I got this promo, what a treat! The French band EDITON SPECIALE released their album "Aliquante" in '77 featuring nine splendid songs, including two bonus tracks ("Camara" and Aurore") from the third album entitled "Horizon Digital". From the first track "Verda" I'm blown away by EDITION SPECIALE, these four guys knew how to please their audience! The dynamic and powerful music on the nine compositions is based upon a strong and adventurous rhythm-section, great interplay and lots of sensational soli: wah- wah drenched guitar and pitchbend-driven keyboard pyrotechnics. The only minor flaw concerns the vocals, in my opinion the sound fits more to soul and R&B than to jazz rock. But doesn't matter because most of the music is instrumental with strong hints from RETURN TO FORVER and WEATHER REPORT (but more guitar oriented). A must for the jazzrock aficionados!


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