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SPHEROE

Jazz Rock/Fusion • France


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Spheroe biography
Despite having a stable career for almost the whole 70's decade, Spheroe remained widely unknown to the public for a long time. The band was formed in 1972 and consisted of Patrick Garel on drums/percussion, Gerard Maimone on keys, Rido Bayonne on bass and Micheal Perez on guitars. Spheroe had a good live activity, but had to wait until 1977 for their first official release. The self-titled LP was originally released on Cobra, later to be presented on CD format by Musea Records. Obviously influenced by Return To Forever and in a lesser extent Brand X, the band delivers highly-energetic jazz/fusion rock with tight performances and impressive musicianship. The pieces associate fever, nervosity, sometimes serenity but always musicality. Spheroe is into delicate, smooth, contrasted and impressionist music, based on melodic and harmonic research. Especially keyboardist Gerard Maimone had to be a great Chick Corea fan, his electric piano work is very solid and professional, but he also delivers strong doses of moog solos. Apart from the typical groovy and filled with interplays parts of the album, there is also lots of space for Michael Perez to show his talent with nice solos and decent melodies, while in some moments the music gets really dark with obscure guitar chords and massive ''in your head'' synths, creating a haunting atmosphere. This is a quite good release from a lesser-known band with both enjoyable and well-arranged jazz/rock music, fine interplays and always an intensive delivery. Recommended, especially to the fans of the genre.

Personnel:

Gerard Maimone - electric piano, moog, Korg, vibraphone, piano

Michel Perez - guitars

Rido Bayonne - bass, percussion

Patrick Garel - drums, percussion, keyboards

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SPHEROE Videos (YouTube and more)


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Buy SPHEROE Music


PrimadonnaPrimadonna
Musea 2002
Audio CD$18.58
$16.99 (used)
spheroe LPspheroe LP
INNER CITY
Vinyl$40.00 (used)
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SPHEROE discography


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

3.05 | 8 ratings
Spheroe
1977
3.51 | 7 ratings
Primadonna
1978

SPHEROE Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

SPHEROE Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

SPHEROE Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

SPHEROE Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

SPHEROE Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Primadonna by SPHEROE album cover Studio Album, 1978
3.51 | 7 ratings

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Primadonna
Spheroe Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Sean Trane
Special Collaborator Prog Folk

3 stars Second (and last) album from this later-70's JR/F French quartet (the standard prog line-up as RTF); well within the artistic continuation of their self-titled debut album, even if the pieces on Primadonna are a little more elaborated. Ten tracks ranging from 1.5 to 8 minutes of instrumental fusion, mostly penned by keyboardist Gerard Maimone and drummer "Cactus" Garel make this Swiss-recorded (in July 78) album a fairly-usual artefact of those days in French prog scene, graced with back-alley artwork. Musically, this album is nothing to write home about, despite the group's relatively virtuoso capacities and apt songwriting, but there is nothing to differentiate it from dozens of other groups of the times. Obviously taking their blueprint from an RTF inspiration, their music sounds like a cross of Brand X and RTF, with a very funky bass, courtesy of African-origined Ribo Bayonne. Unlike a lot of French group, Spheroe doesn't seem to have been affected by the cumbersome presence of Magma in the French skies and concert circuit, as they don't sound Zeuhl at all. In the jazzy side of the French rock realm, Spheroe were not alone outside the Kobaian gravitation zone, but they don't sound like the Moerlen-lead Gong, but a bit more in the Transit Express mould, but if Primadonna doesn't lack energy, I wish I could say the same about enthusiasm and inspiration. This has a bit of a going-thru-the-motion feel, just content of doing what it does (well), but not searching for its identity. Don't get me wrong here, this is a fine album that consolidates the genre, but it breaks no ground at all.

The Musea re-issue (now in a Mini-Lp format, made by MALS in Russia) is an interesting but not essential addition to the JR/F-inclined proghead, but as mentioned above, the movement was slowly coming to an end, and Spheroe were not the most original group of the French scene.

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 Spheroe by SPHEROE album cover Studio Album, 1977
3.05 | 8 ratings

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Spheroe
Spheroe Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars Despite having a stable career for almost the whole 70's decade,SPHEROE remained widely unknown to the public for a long time.The band was formed in 1972 and consisted of Patrik Garel on drums/percussion,Gerard Maimone on keys,Rido Bayonne on bass and Micheal Perez on guitars.SPHEROE had a good live activity,but had to wait until 1977 for their first official release.The self-titled LP was originaly released on Cobra,later to be presented on CD format by Musea Records.

Obviously influenced by RETURN TO FOREVER and in a lesser extent BRAND X,the band delivers highly-energetic Jazz/Fusion Rock with tight performances and impressive musicianship.Especially keyboardist Gerard Maimone had to be a great CHICK COREA fan,his electric piano work is very solid and professional,but he also delivers strong doses of moog solos.Apart from the typical groovy and filled with interplays parts of the album,there is also lots of space for Micheal Perez to show his talent with nice solos and decent melodies,while in some moments the music gets really dark with obscure guitar chords and massive ''in your head'' synths,creating a haunting atmosphere.This is a quite good release from a lesser-known band with both enjoyable and well-arranged Jazz-Rock music,fine interplays and always an intensive delivery.Recommended, especially to the fans of the genre.

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 Primadonna by SPHEROE album cover Studio Album, 1978
3.51 | 7 ratings

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Primadonna
Spheroe Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Second Spheroe album from 1978 entitled Primadonna is a step forward in their jazz rock sound. I've always liked this second album over the first. It's realy something strange that this band is so low rated here, the second album is not only low rated but aswell has no review, I wonder why. Still for me a very pleasent album with a lot to offer. Not necesarly an overblowing band from late '70's in jazz, but thie work, both albums are good and needs a better view if you are in this kind of musicc. I said this is more enjoyble than the first who was also a good one, but this time they are more confident in their skills and have better ideas than on first. Primadonna has the same ingredients as the previous one, jazz rock with some latino leanings, but not as DiMeola, they are more towards Iceberg and Return To Forever in places. All the pieces stands as good for me, in places even very good. I like very much the up tempo of the album with great interplay between musicians. A quite excellent parts , made to me to give easely 3.5 rounded up to 4. Pleasent all the way. One of those albums from the late '70's in jazz that are forgotten. The best pieces are all with a plus on Hep deliler bisi bulur and Arlechino.

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 Spheroe by SPHEROE album cover Studio Album, 1977
3.05 | 8 ratings

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Spheroe
Spheroe Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Spheroe is a franch jazz band from the late '70's. From the first listen I was impressed by the up tempo of the album, very energic and well played. I'm not agree with some of the reviewers from here that first album of this band is bad, not at all. Full of catchy interplays between the guitar and keys. They incorporated in their music some elements from jazz, latino jazz. It can't be compared with DiMeola for ex for the latino part , they are more towards Iceberg from Spain, at if for the jazz moments they are realy good and well executed. While this album is entirely instrumental, the musicians had enough space to show that they are capable to create something worth investigate by jazz lovers and prog listners aswell. Every pieces stands for me as good, well ok, nothing groundbreaking here, but this is not bad , not by far. The best tracks are all with a plus on the two pieces over 12 min, great musicianship and up tempo compositions. Maybe Spheroe is a forgotten band from France and aswell from jazz movement , but I think they desearve a better recognition. I will give 3 stars for sure, a good album all the way, but nothing close to masterpiece or something alike. Anyway Spheroe first from 1977 album and aswell the second one desearve some spins. Similar band Iceberg. The reissue of the both albums were made by Musea Records in 1998, so don't hesitate to give them a try. Good, but non-essential

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 Spheroe by SPHEROE album cover Studio Album, 1977
3.05 | 8 ratings

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Spheroe
Spheroe Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by pwawrzyn

5 stars Spheroe is one of the most impressive french band in the seventies. Their style is close to Return to Forever and Zao and new materials. The members of the band have been trained by the most famous jazzmen in most prestigious clubs. They are incredible musicians. For History, Magma members went to their concerts in 1975 and proposed them to join MAGMA. Their style is different from the majority of uninspired jazz rock bands from the seventies. Their compositions are really good and well constructed (really better than Brand X and Iceberg's ones for exemple).Another important point is that the technicity is also present but not limited to an exhibition of virtuosity (even if they are!). Honestly, I advise this first (and hard to find) record to each fans of Return to Forever and good french 70's Zheul. This album has been too long underrated, listening to it will make him become a classic.

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 Spheroe by SPHEROE album cover Studio Album, 1977
3.05 | 8 ratings

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Spheroe
Spheroe Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Atavachron
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

2 stars I go back and forth with this quite competent album from the French band Spheroe (an acronym for 'sphere' and 'hero'). On the one hand it is a tired brand of fusion that exudes the trappings of that form at its flat and soggy worst. On the other, it's a group of very good players doing earnest jazz-rock that is far from the worst I've heard. Lots of Fender Rhodes piano, spacey jams and Latin themes, I can't suggest this record to anyone but fusionheads though I give it credit for trying very hard.

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