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RHESUS O

Jazz Rock/Fusion • France


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Rhesus O biography
The French band Rhesus O was formed in 1971 by future Magma keyboarder Jean-Pol Asseline with musicians from the jazz and jazz-rock field and released one self titled record. Soft Machine is the main influence to be found on the record and to a lesser extent Magma, Miles Davis and Frank Zappa. The record presents a melodic jazz-rock with folk and classical elements, based on an instrumentation of two keyboarders: Alain Monier on organ and Jean-Pol Asseline on e-piano and harpsichord, two bass players: Guy Pedersen on double bass and Francis Moze on electric lead bass, Thierry Blanchard on drums and Alain Hatot's sax & flute arrangements.


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Discography:
Rhesus O (1971)

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3.27 | 9 ratings
Rhesus O
1971

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Showing last 10 reviews only
 Rhesus O by RHESUS O album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.27 | 9 ratings

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Rhesus O
Rhesus O Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars 4.5 stars. RHESUS O were a Jazz/ Rock band from France and this is their sole release from 1971. I was reminded of SOFT MACHINE, MOVING GELATINE PLATES and NUCLEUS. They were a seven piece band with somewhat of a unique lineup as we have three bass players and often we hear two of them playing at the same time. One will be fuzzed out and the other normal although there is also double bass. And we get two keyboardists one playing electric piano and the other organ. Man this album has grown on me in a huge way as it has slowly revealed it's subtleties. Fancis Moze the former MAGMA member adds electric bass but also xylophone and guitar. Serge Lenoir plays electric bass as does Guy Pederson who also plays double bass. Another former MAGMA member Jean-Pol Asseline adds electric piano and harpsichord while Alain Hatot plays a variety of saxes plus flute. We have Alain Monier on organ and percussion and finally Thierry Blanchard playing drums.

"Cigue" opens with the organ floating along with bass, sax, cymbals and some filthy fuzzed out bass. Man this is so good! The sax over top and the drumming really impress here. I like how that organ floats almost non-stop throughout this track adding atmosphere. Some electric piano too and check out the harpsichord late. "Maldonne" might be my favourite as these guys drift into avant territory. Man this is experimental from the get-go with random drum patterns, discordant piano, dissonant sax and more, but it's all far out there man. This is dark and experimental but then the organ floats in before 1 1/2 minutes as it has become calm, but there's still strange goings on. I like the calm before 4 minutes as we get both male and female vocal melodies which seem to be Zeuhl influenced. Electric piano, sax, bass and floating organ eventually follow as it settles. It kicks back in around 5 1/2 minutes including some nasty bass lines. Great track!

"Crier Pour Donner" is led by sax, floating organ, bass and drums early on. I like when the electric piano comes in bringing NUCLEUS to mind as it speeds up briefly. These themes will be repeated. Some double bass too before 2 minutes then it settles right down 3 minutes in as electric piano, drums, double bass and bass lead the way. Love this stuff. Organ 4 minutes in then the sax returns. "Le Prophete Egare" is an uptempo track where the drums, xylophone, sax and bass standout. Guitar after a minute then a brief calm before it kicks in again with the guitar then sax leading.

"Preamble" is another favourite. Sax, bass and distorted bass lead as the drums support. Organ joins in replacing the sax briefly. Man the bass is nasty here. The sax lets it rip too and it's dissonant at times as the electric piano joins in. Some killer fuzzed out bass then a calm after 3 1/2 minutes with floating organ, bass and drums. Electric piano and sax before 5 minutes. Great section. It kicks in again around 5 1/2 minutes. "Eveil" opens with faint xylophone as the flute joins in then bass and cymbals. This is very pastoral. I'm reminded of NUCLEUS. A silent calm then fuzzed out bass and drums kick in along with xylophone and normal bass lines. The organ floats in then the tempo picks up as the sax starts to play over top. Nice. Love this stuff, so much going on.

"Outre-Tombe" opens with drums and the sax joins in. This is laid back as the organ floats in and electric piano helps out. This is so uplifting to me. Great sound 1 1/2 minutes in as it picks up more. The electric piano leads after 2 minutes then the sax returns late. "Parcours" opens with a throbbing bass line as some excellent electric piano joins in then organ and drums as it builds. Sax too as the pace picks up, oh and check out the distorted bass digging deep. They're grooving now. Killer stuff! Love that bass man. A calm 3 1/2 minutes in as the bass and electric piano continue like at the start of this amazing song. "Nos Baignoires Sont Enchantees" is the short closing number of less than a minute of xylophone, bass and percussion.

A must for fans of incredibly well played and innovative Jazz/Rock by some of the best players not only in France but in the World.

 Rhesus O by RHESUS O album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.27 | 9 ratings

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Rhesus O
Rhesus O Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars An early-70's French entry with strong Magma links.It all started in late-60's, when keyboardist Jean-Pol Asseline and drummer Thierry Blanchard played with bassist Gerard Prévost, future member of Zao, and participated in several Jazz-linked concerts, before deciding to form a regular band.Asseline and Blanchard were joined by organist Alain Monier, bassist Serge Lenoir and sax player Alain Hatot, forming Guige.They were rehearsing at Monier's family basement and were discovered by CBS, signing a long-term deal, folloed by a change of name.With Lenoir out for his military service Magma's bassist Francis Moze was recruited, but by the time of the first recordings Lenoir was back and the band had now two bassists plus Guy Pedersen, a Funk bassist, who joined them on double bass.The recordings took place at Chateau d'Herouville and the debut album came out in September 1971 on Epic.

An organic amalgam of loose Jazz, smooth Psychedelic Rock and intense Fusion was what this septet was offering at the time and the combination worked pretty great at moments, switching from dreamy interplays, powerful solos, ethereal sax lines and sinister Hammond organ waves.They do sound a bit like compatriots AME SON and, of course, MAGMA, although the Jazz component is more pronounced in ''Rhesus O''.The line-up of seven musicians allowed the band to create a vast palette of jazzy rhythms and solos, either performed with some furious electric piano and deep double bass or featuring the darker sound of organ, but always including the work of Hatot on sax.The music gets very dense and closer to Progressive Rock quite often with full keyboard/piano battles, electroacoustic changes and sax interventions in pieces which also include a more active role for the bass players.And there are even a couple of parts with some sort of Classical edge, executed on organ and harsichord.Best highlights of the album appear to be the fantastic changes between emphatic, dreamy, loose Jazz Rock and a more structured and Fusion-oriented Psych/Prog.At last a couple of folky, depressive flute parts add the album yet another dimension towards the end.

When Moze left to rejoin Magma he was replaced by Bernard Paganotti (who went on to become also a member of the French pioneers) and Richard Raux, a session sax player, who also played with Magma, Laurent Thibault and Popol Ace among others.The band was moving towards a more brass-oriented sound, but soon Paganotti and Raux quit along with original drummer Thierry Blanchard to be replaced by Chad-born Manfred Long on bass, Jean-Michel Herve on sax and Christian Ducamps on drums.1972 additions included also bassist Marc Bertreaux and trumpetist Michel Boss, but just when Rhesus O started recording new pieces Monier joined the army for his service and the contract with CBS came to an end, resulting the band's dissolution.Keyboardist Jean-Pol Asseline would also meet his destiny with Magma circa 1975, meeting again with Paganotti, and was a regular musician on Jean-Pierre Alarcen's solo albums.

Good, early-70's Jazz/Fusion with progressive overtones and slight, psychedelic explorations.Musea's reissue is a good chance to meet Rhesus O's rich and jazzy sound.Recommended stuff.

 Rhesus O by RHESUS O album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.27 | 9 ratings

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Rhesus O
Rhesus O Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Dobermensch
Prog Reviewer

3 stars A badly dated 'Magma' type album from 1971 which I don't think will hold much interest to anyone but the hardest 'Magma' fans. It's a dodgy recording from the outset, with poorly recorded instruments played in a formulaic 70's jazz manner.

Clearly below par in the Zeuhl scheme of things, it does still hold a certain form of charm in its simple direction - sounding more 60's than the era in which it was released. A naff album which is strangely enjoyable simply because it's quite upbeat with lots of horns blowing about willy-nilly. Lots of keyboards and real double bass pick things up considerably.

A lighter 'Magma' without the impending doom and martial beats is the best way to describe this album. Not bad, and there are some nice quiet keyboards and flutes thrown in at certain points before it goes all 'Starsky and Hutch'.

 Rhesus O by RHESUS O album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.27 | 9 ratings

BUY
Rhesus O
Rhesus O Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by snobb
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars The only album from French band Rhesus O. Possibly, most interesting is there are two future Magma members participated on this recording - bassist Francis Moze and keyboards player Jean-Pol Asseline.

Album's music itself is early jazz-rock influenced by Canterbury sound, with few Magma's flavours and plenty of sax player Alain Hatot soloing ( slightly in Miles Davis key). Interesting in some moments, the album is unfocused, and often sounds as jamming with free jazz elements. Compositions are very average, and even if there are some really interesting moments in musicianship, it's far not enough to save the album.

I like double keyboards and double bass scheme there, and it gives some really interesting sound combinations. Sax player is enthusiastic, but not original enough, so sax sound looks a bit overused there. Possibly, the best album's moments are these with electric keyboards and drumming interplays (and just some few sax touches added to sound).

Not a bad album, and possibly really interesting one for Magma roots researchers. Not good enough to be bought at extra money as obscure release though.

Thanks to alucard for the artist addition.

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