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Prog Folk • Canada

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Ungava biography
Some forum members might remember yours truly (that moi!) countering one of my fellow collabs humorously with having a genre Eskimo Prog.. Would ever there be such a category, Ungava would have to be the first in that category as they apparently came North of the Artic Circle (as would hint the Ungava name taken from the Ungava Bay in Artic Quebec), but another rumour had them coming from some small Quebec City suburbs Charlevoix. In either case, this trio was made of guitarist Devito, percussionist and singer Jacques Marois and bassist Richard Fortin at first, then becoming a quintet with the additions of Martin Perron (keyboards) and sax/flutist Maurice Bouchard. Their sole self-titled album, released in 77 featured a now-atypical hard prog that had its roots in folk and jazz rock (where as most of Quebec's prog movement had veered towards prog folk). Unfortunately this would be their sole album and it sank without a trace. Not much is known of the musicians' later career. Their only album is still waiting for a Cd reissue.

:::: Bio written by Hugues Chantraine, Belgium ::::

Why this artist must be listed in :
excellent Quebec prog

Ungava (77)

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3.09 | 18 ratings

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 Ungava by UNGAVA album cover Studio Album, 1977
3.09 | 18 ratings

Ungava Prog Folk

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars An odd Canadian trio, which propably originated from Charlevoix, north of Quebec City.Ungava were Andre Devito on guitar, Jacques Marois on drums/vocals and Richard Fortin on bass/vocals, but for their only self-titled album they were helped by Martin Perron on keyboards and Maurice Bouchard on sax and flute.The album was recorded at the Studio Mobile Filtroson in St. Fereal and released in 1977 on the small 36 label.

First and foremost it appears that Ungava were heavily influenced by YES, not the symphonic side of YES, as keyboards and long suites are either limited or absent, but the guitar work of Devito and the deep bass lines of Fortin are recalling the talents of STEVE HOWE and CHRIS SQUIRE respectively.Ungava's sound was much more ethereal and less complicated with plenty of soft acoustic parts and discreet use of electric piano and flute for a folkier atmosphere, but they had also their intricate moments with a complex, instrumental sound, featuring some strong jazzy vibes and the display of some synthesizer and sax plays.''Calcium'' and ''Tete de rock'' are nice examples of their style, showered by French vocals and containing some cool guitar solos and upfront bass lines next to keyboards and sax, while ''Hors d'Eden'' and ''Coyote'' are the Canadian version of YES, challenging music with the guitar workouts in evidence and complicated structures.The rest of the album are a mix of smooth, jazzy underlines and Folk Rock, having a more pronounced lyrical level and a dominant acoustic sound for a rather poetic exhibition of music.

Not much are known about the members, after Ungava dissolved.Jacques Marois worked as a sound engineer, appearing in Malicorne's live album ''En public'', while Richard Fortin guested on 1989 GNP's album ''Safety zone'', a project by Jim Gilmour and Steve Negus.

Pretty genuine Canadian Prog, a bit reminiscent of FLASH and YES, trying to control its Folk, light jazzy and progressive influences.The result is mostly satisfying and the album is recommended to all lovers of the mellower side of Prog Rock.

 Ungava by UNGAVA album cover Studio Album, 1977
3.09 | 18 ratings

Ungava Prog Folk

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Ungava is an obscure canadian band from late '70's releasing one album selftitled in 1977. They are one of the many bands that emerge from Quebec scene, but they come with an album quite late , when most of the bands already establish themself in major league of prog music, at least some of them. The music Ungava playes is rather a more towards heavy prog in places , with cruchy guitar lines, the an usual folk band, this style is very well melted with more guitar orientated elements ,some fantastic sax and flute moments gives a special atmosphere to this album. Here and there are soe jazzy parts with sporadic vocal arrangements, the album is mainly instrumental . The long time reissue on CD was made this year in 15.02.2010, when label Mandala (the one who released aswell Et Cetera or Polestar 1) decided to puted on CD another obscure but woth have it band from '70's Quebec scene. The best pieces are the opening tracks , the first two :Hors D'Eden Gorgo and Les Oiseaux Lumineux. 3 stars, a good album for sure, but nothing really impressive or essential, still a fair album with good moments.
 Ungava by UNGAVA album cover Studio Album, 1977
3.09 | 18 ratings

Ungava Prog Folk

Review by Sean Trane
Special Collaborator Prog Folk

3 stars 3.5 stars really!!!

Ungava's sole album came rather late in the Quebec prog boom and at a time when most of it had gone the prog folk route. This quintet developed a hard rocking often-instrumental jazz-rock with folk touches and strong guitars; but the group shared much excellent interplay from all five members. The vocals are not too sparse and courtesy of drummer Marois, doubled by bassist Fortin, and not that inclined towards Joual; thus making it comprehensible to those not mastering the new-world French. Bouchard's sax and flute also add a cool touch to soften Perron's often overly-symphonic keyboards. The two latter musos are presented as guests, , but appear on most tracks.

Ungava's mix of hard rock with jazz rock, with a touch of blues here and there (Tête De Rock) and another spoon of folk (Boréal) made them rather unique in their later-70's time frame, but can be likened to a much more instrumental Octobre or Dyonisos (without the heavy Quebecois accent), leaving them in a no-man land where only Sloche and Maneige would venture further in the jazz rock style. In that regard Perron's electric piano and Devito's electric guitars trading away brilliant & lengthy solos on the almost 7-mins Calcium (the album closer.) is one of the album's better moment. Coyote is a mid-tempo that drags on a bit, but the album Hors D'Eden (outside of Eden) opener is a pure delight and proves that you can live life to the fullest. Their music is not always fast either as Oiseaux Lumineux starts slowly and crescendoes to a mid-tempo with excellent bass lines and Devito's shining guitar. Elsewhere Coyote is just aa brilliant instrumental as Calcium is, while the closing Envol features some nice flute and electric piano.

Definitely one of Quebec's lost treasure and probably for a while longer (awaiting an improbable Cd reissue, which has seen life, care of the Mandala label), and further complicated by the released on an ultra small label, Ungava is certainly wortth the hunt provided you don't spend a fortune on the vinyl. Edit: But the late 00's CD reissue on the Mandala label might just make it easier for you to listen to this rarity. ..

Thanks to Sean Trane for the artist addition.

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