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Prog Folk • Canada

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Connivence biography
Never really a full group of musicians per se, Connivence was more of a collective name for artistes, solo or groups from the same region: Hull, just across Ottawa opposite the river and into Quebec land. These artistes actually found easier to share recording costs and release in 77 on the same record their personal tracks, but also playing on each other's works. From single artists Legault, Soucy to the groups Oasis (jazz-rock) and Nous Autres (sometimes close to Anthony Philips), this Connivence name housed dramatically different styles but most of them worthy of a listen to progheads. The "group" will produce three albums (until 84) with different line-ups and the second one will be heavily induced by Syncope (another prog group). The third one is more electrified or electronified and jazzed-up.

Sadly none of the three albums have been released under the Cd format and their vinyl records are not that easy to find, either.

: : : Hugues Chantraine, BELGIUM : : :

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CONNIVENCE discography

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

3.59 | 11 ratings
3.93 | 8 ratings
Connivence II
2.67 | 3 ratings
Connivence III

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

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

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Showing last 10 reviews only
 Connivence by CONNIVENCE album cover Studio Album, 1977
3.59 | 11 ratings

Connivence Prog Folk

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Connivence, as indicated by the word, was not actually a normal band, but a collaboration of musicians and groups from the Ouatouais area of Quebec, Canada, who decided to record an album all together in order to share the financial load of the recordings.Four composers and a regular band appear on a first output, released in 1977 on Kebec Disc.

Two tracks are credited to Robert Soucy and these come as an intersting offering of sweet and harmonic Folk Rock with nice orchestral parts, based on violins, piano and acoustic guitars.Gilles Legault contributes with three tracks of dreamy Folk/Folk Rock.''Dans ta fenetre'' from the opening side is a pure acoustic Folk ballad with sensitive vocals, while the two tracks of the flipside follow more or less the same vein, though ''Blanc-bleme'' contains some nice synths towards the end.The opening side contains also two compositions credited to Steve Burman, among the most challenging tracks of the album.''Le boyau en liberte'' is incredible instrumental and quirky Progressive Folk with fast piano paces and hard violins on the forefront, while ''Le pit de sable de Lucerne'' has an intense Chamber Music/R.I.O. feeling ala MIRIODOR with great work on saxes, piano and clarinets.Philippe Legault is the only artist appearing with only one track, ''La villageoise en ville'', of romantic Orchestral/Folk Music with an excellent atmosphere based on the delicate flutes, the sensitive piano and the ethereal female choirs.The two longest tracks of ''Connivence'' belong to the group Oasis and are definitely the proggier ones as well.''Happy Endings'' is great jazzy Progressive Folk, featuring a solid rhythm section with strong violin parts in the vein of DIXIE DREGS, JEAN-LUC PONTY or KANSAS along with superb saxes.The closing ''Lapin'' is even more amazing.Melodic Symphonic/Folk Rock with lovely string parts and furious interplays between flutes and violins to go along with some top-notch breaks.

It seems that this album sums up the whole Prog Folk scene of Quebec at some point.Its material ranges from melodic folky tunes to full-blown Progressive/Folk Rock ones with professional performances.Most of them are very good and deserve a strong recommendation...3.5 stars.

 Connivence II by CONNIVENCE album cover Studio Album, 1979
3.93 | 8 ratings

Connivence II
Connivence Prog Folk

Review by Sean Trane
Special Collaborator Prog Folk

4 stars If Connivence's first album was a rather confusing compilation of tracks from different artistes into a collective, the second album released the next year is much more of real album from a real artiste. Behind the astounding and superb watermill artwork of the cover, we're still dealing with pastoral folk, even if the folk gets naval as well with a couple of tracks. Neither Soucy or Oasis cared to participate to this effort, leaving Steve Burman and the duo Nous Autres and newcomer Guy LaFrance to fill the album, which gains in cohesiveness compared to its predecessor.

Nous Autres contributes to pure or trad folk songs like Quebec Au Printemps (a cheesy ode to Quebec that was obviously aimed at airplay) and Le Bateau or Une Goutte De Sang. But most of the tracks are hovering between folk rock and folk jazz, induced by Syncope's presence in backing Burman and LaFrance (see 1959 and Dac). Sometimes you'll hear chunks of early Harmonium influences, but then again the head-twisting Saskatoon is close to a jig in its last developments.

In the typical Quebec fashion, delicious female vocals are present, here France Charron on four tracks) including the delicious Le Mat, set to cello and strings, and the superb flute-laden Chanson D'Amour pour France is a Burman & Syncope tune with some jazz arrangements, but Dac and Cocottes De Kazou are much in the same mould. Nous Autres is back with the superb S'Il Y A De L'Amour that can only send shivers down your back. And wait until you get to the closing stunner Accouche Qu'On Baptise to get the same shivers.

Since these albums have never received a Cd reissue (legit or boot), there is only one hope for most of progheads to one day hear Connivence's first two collaborations, and that hope's name is ProgQuebec, but Connivence's vinyls are still quite cheap , the only trick is to ship them through the expensive Canada Post, but no doubt you'll not regret doing so. Certainly worth a listen (and a few more), Connivence is the perfect music to get in close to your mate and start making some connivance;

 Connivence by CONNIVENCE album cover Studio Album, 1977
3.59 | 11 ratings

Connivence Prog Folk

Review by Sean Trane
Special Collaborator Prog Folk

4 stars First record of a group that is more of an amalgam of artistes linking under the Connivence name in order to make an album, this relative uncommon procedure delivered three albums that are worthy of the proghead's interest, especially so if he is into Folk Prog. Basically a blend of folk-duo Nous Autres and jazz rock group Oasis, it also includes some solo English-speaking songwriters (but French-singing) who are playing with those two groups. Sounds confusing? Well, Kinda! But these guys were all acquaintances from the Ottawa river valley, just across the federal capital of Ottawa.

After reading the first paragraph, you'd have to believe that this album would be very eclectic, uneven and with a wide spectrum, but actually, the album is fairly focused and most of the tracks are folk, folk rock or folk-derived prog. So eclectic this album is but for its own good: they folk-jazz-rock is sometimes head-twirling, at times virtuosic and all the time very charming.

The opening progressive instrumental jig (aptly called Gigue) is calling your ears to attention right away, with the hippy-folk idealist Dans Ta Fenętre being a stark contrast in sobriety. With Boyau De La Liberté reminding you of the opener (minus the open jig) and its violin reminiscent of Kansas' Robby Steinhard, the album is made to please even the most demanding proghead. Even if Grande Valse is fairly cheesy, Sable De Lucerne is modern classic-influenced and the tracks sounds like a RIO marriage between Univers Zero and early Maneige. And with the superb Villageoise track closing off the first side of this Ottawa voyage, you realize that once again, Quebec still has many hidden gems still waiting for Cd releases.

But with the second side to go, opening strangely with Happy Endings (an instrumental symphonic-jazzy jig) which is like a cross between Maneige and Aquarelle, again the second track is leading us in a very sober folk couple of tracks written by folk duo Nous Autres, one of which can be likened to Anthony Phillips' works on his "private parts and pieces" series. The album closes on a head-twisting pastoral symphonic Lapin, which fittingly ends this great album.

While not a real masterpiece of Quebecois music, the first Connivence album is very worthy of any proghead's interest and it is a shame their albums (no Cd re-issues and vinyls getting scarce) are getting hard to find, because even most Quebecois seem to have forgotten about this amalgam of artistes, which will release two more album under the same formula, but with different participants.

Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition.

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