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YOCHK'O SEFFER

Zeuhl • France


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Yochk'o Seffer picture
Yochk'o Seffer biography
Yochk'o Seffer is a Hungarian born musician who is among the finest winds player (mainly alto saxophone) in the history of progressive music. After spending much of the 1960s in Paris playing with a host of jazz musicians in a variety of clubs, he was recruited by Christian Vander in the early days of Magma and can be found on the album "1001 Degres Centigrade", as well as the two Univeria Zekt recordings. He soon left that band and with ex-Magma keyboardist Francois Cahen founded the band Zao, with whom he appeared on most of the band's recordings. During this time he also had stints with a improvisational jazz group named Perception and a jazz-rock group named Speed Limit. After recording Zao's fourth album, Seffer departed the band to embark on a number of solo efforts, but always associated with a group name. His first and perhaps most important such endeavour was Neffesh Music, which saw the recording of three LPs in the late 1970s - "Delire", "Ima", and "Ghilgoul". Their style is distinctly zeuhl but reflects Seffer's vision of his musical roots and the musicianship is nothing less than first rate. In the early 1980s Seffer embarked on another trio of albums with the title "Chromophonie", and his latest effort "YOG" commenced in 1996 with the release of the album "Pitchipoy". Yochk'o Seffer has collaborated with a panoply of wonderful musicians over his decades-long musical career and produced some of the finest zeuhl and jazz oriented music one will find on this site.

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YOCHK'O SEFFER discography


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YOCHK'O SEFFER top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.17 | 9 ratings
Neffesh Music: Délire
1976
4.06 | 12 ratings
Neffesh Music: Ima
1976
4.22 | 18 ratings
Neffesh Music :Ghilgoul
1978
4.00 | 3 ratings
Chromophonie 1 : Le Diable Angélique
1982
4.00 | 3 ratings
Chromophonie II
1982
4.08 | 4 ratings
Adama
1986
3.08 | 3 ratings
Prototype
1989
0.00 | 0 ratings
Ornette For Ever
1996
3.17 | 3 ratings
Yog I - Pitchipoy
1997
4.00 | 2 ratings
Yog 2 - Sefira
1998
0.00 | 0 ratings
Coïncidences (with Sylvain Miller)
2000
0.00 | 0 ratings
Sax Septour: Benyomash
2002
3.00 | 1 ratings
String Orchestra
2004
4.00 | 1 ratings
Yog 3 - Yochk'o Seffer Big Band
2006
0.00 | 0 ratings
The Voices of Tarogato
2006
4.00 | 1 ratings
Ezz-Thetics Travel
2008
3.00 | 2 ratings
Condor
2010
4.00 | 1 ratings
Acel Toll
2011
0.00 | 0 ratings
From New York To Budapest
2013
0.00 | 0 ratings
Acel III - Lyrikus-Szozat
2014
0.00 | 0 ratings
Hangosh - L'Homme Primitif (With François Causse)
2016
0.00 | 0 ratings
Neffesh Music - Sugàrzo Terep
2019

YOCHK'O SEFFER Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

0.00 | 0 ratings
Magyar Ló
1976

YOCHK'O SEFFER Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

0.00 | 0 ratings
Chromophonie
2010

YOCHK'O SEFFER Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.05 | 3 ratings
Chromophonie
1996
3.96 | 4 ratings
Neffesh-Music
2001
4.00 | 2 ratings
Adama/Ima
2003
3.52 | 4 ratings
My Old Roots
2007
4.87 | 6 ratings
Noce Chimique
2011

YOCHK'O SEFFER Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

0.00 | 0 ratings
Septuor
1976

YOCHK'O SEFFER Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 My Old Roots by SEFFER, YOCHK'O album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2007
3.52 | 4 ratings

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My Old Roots
Yochk'o Seffer Zeuhl

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

3 stars 3.5 stars. Another compilation album from Seffer that features music handpicked from 2 of his studio albums. In this case it's "Chromophonie 1" and "Delire" and the closing number was previously unreleased and recorded in 2005 with his Hungarian friend Lajos Horvath who is nothing short of incredible on the violin. We get ZAO drummer Jean-My Truong on a couple of tracks but he really is not a factor here being more in the background as strings, sax and piano lead the way here. No bass either is credited. The Margand String Quartet is here on several songs.

I actually quite enjoyed this but found it a little one dimensional surprisingly given it's a compilation record. The toughest song to appreciate is "Delire" at over 13 minutes being so repetitive with the sax, strings and piano. This one is not easy to digest at all. We get Zoltan Fekete adding guitar to one track and at that just to open the song but I'm not into his style. "Os-Gyoker" is a haunting piece that could have fit on his "Ghilgoul" record. Horvath adds violin on this one as Seffer offers up creepy piano lines at times. No Zeuhl on this one, more of a Classical bent to the music here.

 Neffesh-Music by SEFFER, YOCHK'O album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2001
3.96 | 4 ratings

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Neffesh-Music
Yochk'o Seffer Zeuhl

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Another compilation album from Yochk'o Seffer but this one has a lot of value compared to the "Chromophonie" compilation record I just reviewed. Half the tracks here are previously unreleased including an outtake from the "Ghilgoul" sessions called "Mazal". These tracks have bass and drums unlike the previous compilation I just reviewed including Jean-My Truong on three tracks but there's also two other drummers. And on bass Dominique Bertram who is nothing short of incredible. Oh and how about Mauricia Platon on vocals on that classic opener "Noce Chimique". We get the Quatuor Margand string quartet on five tracks. Seffer adds his usual sax, piano and bass clarinet but also synths and vocals. His Hungarian friend Lajos Horvath adds some unbelievable violin on several songs here. This is outstanding music!

Top three would actually include two of those previously unreleased tracks but first the opener "Noce Chimique" from the "Ima" album. By the way we get two songs from "Delire" another one from "Ima" as well as one from "Ghilgoul" on here. The opener is about the sax, bass and piano early before Mauricia arrives and check out how haunting it gets. Piano and bass lead before 3 minutes then add violin and drums at 4 1/2 minutes. Love that bass. Strings alone lead before 6 minutes for a minute then it's bass, soprano sax, drums and vocals. Bass is the focus from around 9 1/2 minutes to after 10 1/2 minutes when drums, sax and vocals return. Go Mauricia!

I also really like "Kalapoch-Tanz" with the piano and violin leading the way early before it turns more lively when bass, drums and sax arrive. Atmosphere after a minute and this sounds really cool. Just so impressive then Seffer lets it rip on the sax. Oh my! Last top three would be "Aditys" and in part for that Zeuhl rhythm. Synths on this one as well making it sound a little unique. Seffer adds vocals here too making it sound even more Zeuhlish. There are eleven ultra talented musicians on this recording and a one of a kind vocalist which makes this a must for fans of adventerous music.

 Chromophonie by SEFFER, YOCHK'O album cover Boxset/Compilation, 1996
3.05 | 3 ratings

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Chromophonie
Yochk'o Seffer Zeuhl

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

3 stars 3.5 stars. Seffer released "Chromophonie 1" and "Chromophonie 2" back to back in the early eighties. This particular album is a compilation of tracks from those two recordings and this was released in 1996. I am such a big fan of Yochk'o Seffer going back to the early MAGMA days but especially when I discovered ZAO. Seffer is Hungarian and has lived in France for years and we share the same birthday!

This is mostly Seffer but he has a fellow Hungarian violinist playing on three tracks and that female string quartet called QUARTUER MARGAND found on a couple of ZAO albums playing on two songs. And that's it, no drums, bass or guitar. Seffer plays bass clarinet but mostly sax here and piano. So yeah tough to rate because the music is over my head and the enjoyment factor isn't that high much of the time. And this is a compilation of previously released songs. I review as a fan not a critic so I went with the 3.5 star bailout. I really like it but I don't love it.

I really enjoyed Natsar II" for the vocals even though this song is the shortest at under 2 minutes. The next track "Bela Bcsi Emlekere" is great for the piano and violin interplay. A treat. I liked the start of "Galgal" with the multi-horns with piano. Sax and piano will share the spotlight on this one. Lastly "Mizwa I" for again the violin and piano. Just outstanding music here and the piano takes over after 5 minutes right to the end on this over 9 1/2 minute track.

I'm glad Musea released this as I have little in the way of releases that are quite like this.

 Yog I - Pitchipoy by SEFFER, YOCHK'O album cover Studio Album, 1997
3.17 | 3 ratings

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Yog I - Pitchipoy
Yochk'o Seffer Zeuhl

Review by pedestrian

3 stars In short, this instrumental album would suit fans of the fusion end of Zao with a particular penchant for saxophone. While this is certainly an aquired taste, it's a very solid 3 stars! But sitting through the whole thing in one sitting is too much for most.

Pitchipoy finds Seffer returning to his alto sax, which according to the liner notes he'd abandoned since the sixties, a statement I find strange since he plays the alto a fair bit on his album Prototype and indeed all 7 saxophones and more on Adama. Be that as it may; on Pitchipoy he ONLY plays the alto sax meaning his sound is very homogeneous, to the point of monotonous.

This album is the first outing of the new band/concept YOG, following on previous concepts Neffesh Music (his best) and Chronophonie. The new element in YOG is the introduction of electronic and programmed elements, tastefully introduced by Thierry Maillard. Secondly, synthesizer (also Maillard) are pretty ubiquitous througout.

The liner notes sum up the sound pretty aptly: "[Pitchipoy] celebrates the meeting of Bartokian folklore with Cuban binary feeling and American groove." The rhythm section is essentially fusion, with the groovy chops of Zao drummer Jean-My Truong at the center and Seffer stalwart Dominique Bertram on fretless bass. Needless to say they are absolutely first rate.

But this is by no means your regular fusion! First, anyone who knows Seffer will know he never stick to scales and chords you'd know the names of. His trademark tonality is all over this album, which most would call atonal although as always extended from Seffer's three sources of inspiration: Hungarian folk music, Bela Bartok and John Coltrane (the latter two he shares with Christian Vander). Finally Seffer and as usual Seffer's self-made "scupltophonies" (wind instruments which are essentially hollow sculpturs with a sax mouthpiece) feature, although not prominently. The most accessible track is probably the closer "Batkol", employing Cuban-esque "dancing rhythms" as Seffer calls them; I'd like to see the disco putting this album on...

On the whole there is a serious danger of an overdose of Seffer's sax playing, especially with only the alto throughout. With a few exceptions, it's midtempo fusion with little dynamics. Seffer isn't much into ballads and soft & tender playing, but goes on and on at a steady forte, constantly moving through his strange scales. With the groove relatively unchanging for stretches it can get monotonous. From now on I will not listen to the entire album in one go, but one or two tracks at a time. The keys innovative synthesizers and occasional strangeness of the sonic sculptures add variation, but you have to listen properly to enjoy it.

As an aside the cover artwork, designed by Seffer himself, puzzles me no end. Seffer own YOG painting would have been mightly cool on its own, but then he's decided to take a picture of himself with his alto dressed in dubious fashion, cut it out with scissors and stuck it on top, and written text all over it with two different fonts, huge letters, one of them with a silly effect. Is this some kind of split personality? One an accomplished painter, sculptor and musician, the other the most amateurish graphic designer?

 Neffesh Music: Ima by SEFFER, YOCHK'O album cover Studio Album, 1976
4.06 | 12 ratings

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Neffesh Music: Ima
Yochk'o Seffer Zeuhl

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars It was great to finally spend some time with this recording. While I much prefer the followup "Ghilgoul" there's lots to enjoy here. Three long tracks make up this album released in 1977 and it's pretty cool to see some of the names involved here from Seffer's former band ZAO. Mauricia Platon adds vocal melodies but she's not nearly as upfront as she was on ZAO's debut. Still it's great to hear her. Dominique Bertram on bass played on some later ZAO releases. We also get that all female string quartet from ZAO's "Shekina" album. On drums is Manu Katche who played with Jan Garbarek. A solid 4 star album in my opinion but something is lacking personally for me to up this rating.

"Ima" is the almost 20 minute side long suite. Quite abstract sounding if you ask me. Humming sounds as female vocal melodies join in. Sax joins in after 2 1/2 minutes. Kind of an eerie vibe here as it plays out. Bass 15 minutes in as the vocals step aside changing the flavour somewhat. Some new experimental sounds start to come and go before 17 1/2 minutes. Quite avant sounding here to the end.

"Ofek" opens with sax, female vocal melodies and more. Kind of melancholic before the tempo picks up as drums, keys, bass and more jump in as the sax and vocals step aside. Love the drumming, so intricate. The sax is back before 3 1/2 minutes. The string quartet arrives a minute later. Nice. The sax is back before 6 minutes as the drums pound away.

"Noce Chimique" opens with drums and bass as keys and sax join in. Female vocal melodies follow as we get runs of sound here. The vocals become more of the focus before 1 1/2 minutes. Some discordant piano before 3 minutes as the vocals stop. Strings before 4 1/2 minutes along with some nice bass lines. Strings only at 6 minutes then a minute later sax, drums, bass and more take over. I like this section. Vocals back to the fore around 11 minutes.

 Neffesh Music: Délire by SEFFER, YOCHK'O album cover Studio Album, 1976
4.17 | 9 ratings

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Neffesh Music: Délire
Yochk'o Seffer Zeuhl

Review by pedestrian

4 stars It is a minor tragedy (which could be easily rectified) that Yochk'o Seffer's Neffesh-Music albums from the late 70s have not been re-released in a coherent form. Unless you're ready to spend huge amounts of time and money tracking down and buying the now rare LP releases, it's really only the third album "Ghilgoul" that's available. On CD, the tracks "Heart", "Jonetsu for Judith" and "Delire" are found on the Musea compilation "My Old Roots", and "Orkana" is on the compilation "Noce Chimique" as well as the release called only "Neffesh Music" from Moshé-Naim. As far as I've been able to ascertain, the tracks "Streledzia" and "Ima (1ere partie)" have not been released on CD, although the latter appears to be the introduction to the 20-minute piece "Ima" which covered the whole A-side of the next album, "Ima".

Anyway, the first of the Neffesh albums is a little different from the two next ones, in that it features no bass guitar and also very little drums (only "Heart" and "Orkana" feature drumming by Zao bandmate Truong). For this reason there is much less of the jazz fusion feel which is so prominent at times on "Ghilgoul", and the Univers Zero-style chamber rock is a closer reference. It is arguably the least Zeuhl-like of the three for this reason.

Opener "Heart" is a stand-out track. It sets out boldly with a staccato figure performed by drums, strings and piano. Much precipitous string work follows before an almost anthem-like melody sets in with piano and tenor sax in unison, later also overdubbed with Seffer's otherworldly falsetto singing. This bit reminds me strongly of VdGG's "Killer", but it doesn't last. Instead the music suddenly sets off in a different tempo, and a solo duel occurs between Seffer on tenor sax and Seffer on mini-moog, accompanied by drums and...yup Seffer on piano. All of a sudden Stravinsky is nowhere in sight, and we're in free jazz land.

"Jonetsu for Judith" opens with jazz chords and tenor sax, and if it weren't for the mini-moog bass you'd be forgiven for thinking we're in more standard modern jazz for a little while. Seffer really gets to show his absolutely improbable technical ability on the saxophone here, a true son of Coltrane in style and texture. The string quartet is reduced to playing chords here. The result is a kind of eerie and somewhat unsettling landscape which is such a trademark of Seffer's more recent work (not least the "String Orchestra" album), and it really works well here because it's only the single track. In the last minute of the track, the music suddenly builds over a pretty groovy cello and mini-moog bass figure with some cymbals, and I'm thinking "wow, this is getting cool", but then the song is suddenly over just when things were really picking up. Pity.

"Orkana" is another highlight, featuring prominent mini-moog contrasting the rigid and claustrophobic piano chords. After several radical tempo changes the piece ends with an out-of-control mini-moog solo over frenetic drumming, presumably illustrating the song's title.

The short track "Streledzia" -- named after the bird of paradise flower -- I really enjoy. It's a light and beautiful piece led by a soaring melody on sopranino sax with string section and what sounds like bass sax beneath (which is funny, since only "tenor sax", of which there is no sign, is stated on the LP cover). "Bird of paradise" (without the flower) might have been a better title, because I can very much imagine the bird's dance to this music. The piece is interesting because it's structure is sort of inverted: it starts with strings and two saxes, and then the instruments fall off one by one, leaving the sopranino pretty much alone for the last minute. Normally you'd build it up, rather than take apart, but Seffer's not one to care for conventions.

The title track "Deliré" presumably tries to communicate a sense of delirium, and does so effectively. This piece is pretty inaccessible and very, very dense, with very close string quartet chords set against Seffer alternating between tenor sax and piano, occasionally overdubbed with his distinctive high-pitched vocals doubling the melodic themes. If you're a fan of Shostakovitch and free jazz you will enjoy "Deliré", although in honesty this track could be too much even for many hardy listeners. To be honest, I personally enjoy this track the least. Might be something for the most ardent RIO fans out there, and it's certainly unique.

Only a little bit of "Ima" is included here, as a taster for the upcoming album by that title (the LP cover states as much). It is a unique piece and very ethereal, notable for introducing (for the first time?) Seffer's self-made "sonic sculptures", twisted and wierd looking pipeworks with a saxophone mouthpiece attached (I think) which make very odd sounds indeed. No less than 4 bass clarinette tracks have been added as well, and Seffer's vocals multitracked into a ghostly choir. "Eerie" doesn't begin to do this justice. On top of all this runs a loooong tenor sax solo. Absolutely amazing, or possibly absolutely unlistenable, you decide.

In all a superb album, although not quite reaching the soaring heights of "Ghilgoul" or side B of "Ima" quite as consistently.

 Prototype by SEFFER, YOCHK'O album cover Studio Album, 1989
3.08 | 3 ratings

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Prototype
Yochk'o Seffer Zeuhl

Review by pedestrian

3 stars Compared to "Adama" a few years prior, "Prototype" despite its title is a far more conventional jazz album (apparently the title stems from the fact that Seffer plays a prototype Selmer bass sax on the record, featured on the cover photo; indeed the album seems to have been sponsored by Selmer saxophones and may have been some sort of demonstration record, who knows).

At this stage the music of Yochk'o Seffer has no more than a nodding acquaintance with the Zeuhl scene that made Seffer, well, if not famous then at least a name recognised by a few dozen. Only in some of the quick unison movements such as on "Sod" can we hear some remnants of the precipitous stuff so abundant on the Neffesh-Music albums, and the acoustic double bass work here is jazz through and through, and is worlds apart from the trademark electric Zeuhl bass.

On "Prototype" Seffer has assembled a standard jazz trio of sax, double bass and drums played by Americans Barre Phillips and Barry Altschul, respectively. A few of the tracks furthermore sports a violin (played by Debora Seffer) and on a couple of works we also hear a cimbalom playing what would conventionally be the piano part. Never one for conventional sounds, Seffer, who plays saxophones on 4 different sizes from bass to sopranino on this record as well as bass clarinette. The muscicianship is first rate, as always on Seffer's albums, and some arrangements are quirky and interesting such as the long duette between double bass and bass saxophone on "Ritual performance" starting out as a unison, heading into a dancing galloping competition, before converging again. Also typical of Seffer's music is to draw on Hungarian folk music for inspiration, something that's probably easier to hear on "Prototype" than his earlier albums where the compositions were so convoluted as to disguise its indivitdual elements.

There is the danger of getting saxophone overdose here, though, especially during the final tune "Solo for Seguie" which is just a 7 minute unaccompanied alto sax solo. That said, seveal tracks are pretty straight up and down contemporary jazz with a hint of free jazz here and there, and while a very safe purchase if you're enthused by saxophone driven contemporary jazz, it shows less of the mind-blowing invention and compositional ingenuity of the Neffesh-Music albums or "Adama", which are my points of reference.

 Adama by SEFFER, YOCHK'O album cover Studio Album, 1986
4.08 | 4 ratings

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Adama
Yochk'o Seffer Zeuhl

Review by pedestrian

4 stars This album (the CD version) is listed twice on Progarchives, both as an album and a compilation. Basically, it's a CD reissue with a bonus track ("Ima"), but the order of the original 7 tracks has been changed, and so has the cover artwork. Moreover, the title is changed from "Adama" to "Adama Ima", and to top it off, the cover notes from 1995 completely fail to mention that these recordings were made 9 years earlier. I've had to go to Seffer's homepage and do some detective work on whether it is in fact the same recording. It is, apparently, although I don't have the LP version to check. Ascertaining the provenance of the extra track "Ima" required another bit of detective work (more on that later).

Adama is a grand project, because it unites (for the first time, according to the liner notes) all 7 saxophones from sopranino to contrabass at the same time on a single album. All played by Seffer. And as if that doesn't make for a rich enough spectrum of reed horns for you, on the tracks "Trablair" and "Ima" Yochk'o also plays 6 sonic sculptures which he designed and fabricated himself. To enjoy this album, in other words, you need to like saxophones, and lots of them. That said, Seffer really pushes the instruments to the boundaries of what they can do, employing them in unsusual ways. Having got his hands on the extremely rare contrabass saxophone (which he poses with on the cover), he realised that the mechanical noise from the keywork was loud enough to have nice percussive properties in its own right. To call some of his arrangements non-standard would not be exaggerating: for example "La danse des ferrailleurs" is a piece for 3 contrabass saxophones and one baritone. Tell me you've heard that before...

Mind you: this is not a Zeuhl album by any stretch of the imagination, even though bits and pieces of the Zeuhl esthetic is evident. What style to call this music, though, I'm not so sure. I guess it goes in the contemporary jazz shelf somewhere. Nevertheless, Adama Ima should appeal to proggers who have a stomach for Zeuhl and RIO/avant-garde.

The highlights on the album for me are the two last tracks, "Trablair" and "Ima", which feature Seffer's musical sculptures as well as a 9-voice "choir" (all sung by Seffer). Treblair is extremely intense, and the effect of all the saxophones, sonic sculptures and ghostly voices is jolly insane! One of the most inspiring pieces of music I've heard. "Ima" on the other hand, moves slowly through several phases, in a long prayer. A 19 minute version of "Ima" was released as side B of the 1976 album by Neffesh Music of the same name. Confusingly, this version is longer, and it turns out it is a different version incorporating elements of the track "Ghilgoul" from the album by that name. It features the trademark string section of Neffesh Music who add a beautiful ambience; I particularly like the pizzicato cello work from about 16 minutes. All the way through the music twists and turns through various moods, carrying a single long long tenor sax solo most of the way through. Truly inspired. Why these strings players are not credited in the album cover I can't fathom. Another case of lack of information which gives being a Yochk'o Seffer that element of detective work.

According to some liner notes written for the original LP which featured 7 tracks, Seffer was inspired by Kabbalistic symbolism and the number 7, with 7 tracks featuring 7 saxophones symbolising the 7 days of creation. I find it hard to reconcile this with the fact that the order of the tracks was changed for the re-issue, though. Either way, serious thought has gone into the compositions here, each of which is even accompanied by a painting (also by Seffer himself). What the liner notes do state about interpretation of this work is that "Adama" -- "Earth" in Hebrew -- and "Ima" -- "Mother" in Hebrew and "Prayer" in Hungarian, unites to become "The prayer of Mother Earth".

In summary, this is really amazing music, and very awarding if you are willing to spend the time and energy delving into it. But it's definitely not for everyone; I guess most people would get saxophone overdose pretty quickly. But if you like some avant-garde and contemporary jazz you will swallow this whole.

 Noce Chimique by SEFFER, YOCHK'O album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2011
4.87 | 6 ratings

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Noce Chimique
Yochk'o Seffer Zeuhl

Review by pedestrian

5 stars "Noce Chimique" is one of three CD reissues of Neffesh-Music by Musea and is nothing short of a fantastic album (if you can call it that). It seems to consist of side B of the "Ima" album from 1977, one track ("Orkana") from the 1976 "Delir'" album, 4 tracks recorded in 1981 which I can't find on any of the listed albums (I can't guarantee that the recordings are the same as on these albums, since the cover sheet does not say it explicitly). Finally there is a great live recording of "Sifra" from the unbelievably fantastic "Ghilgoul" album featuring improvisations from a guest pianist and violinist. According to the cover sleeve these two (absolutely amazing) musicians told Seffer minutes before going on stage that "we just can't play "Sifra" -- it's too difficult!". So Seffer told them "I'll play the piano part and you guys just improvise". The result is extremely intense, absolutely baffling and perhaps the highlight for me even though it's just two pianos and a violin.

How to describe this music? Well, different tracks have different line-ups here, so the following will not fit absolutely all of it, but basically Neffesh-Music consisted of a fusion style rhythm section, Seffer on piano and saxophones and a string quartette. If you are familiar with, say "Dense" from the Univers Zero album "Ceux de Dehors" you'll have an idea of how the strings are used: fast movements, close harmonies and very rhythmically complex. Add to that a fusion groove, often bafflingly precipitous with some amazing bass work from Dominique Bertram, and you have an idea.

The rhythm section work and the use of vocal chanting places several of the tracks in the Zeuhl genre (although this music defies categorisation, really). The sound changes throughout, as does the instrumentation (for example "Orkana" features some prominent synth work), but the constant is extreme intensity, technically breathtaking performances throughout, and compositions which will reveal new facets even on the hundreth listen. Of course it comes with the usual warning that it's not for the faint of heart, but then you probably shouldn't be checking out Zeuhl in the first place... If it's not yet impossible to get hold of (some of Seffer's works are, sadly), get a copy right now before it's too late!

 Condor by SEFFER, YOCHK'O album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.00 | 2 ratings

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Condor
Yochk'o Seffer Zeuhl

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Hungarian born composer, musician, sculptor and avant-garde artist Yochko SEFFER has a long and distinguished career in which he's been active in musical projects one way or the other for most of his life, and where his tenures in the bands Magma and Zao arguably can be said to be ones which have drawn the most attention. In 1976 Seffer initiated a solo career, with just over a dozen original productions issued in his name since then. Condor" is the most recent of these, and this massive 3-CD production was released by Musea Records on their Musea Parallele imprint in the fall of 2010.

"Condor" is a highly ambitious production, showcasing many different aspects of Yochko Seffer as an artist, composer and musician, including depictions of his own artwork in the booklet. With flawless performance and impeccable production, this is a high quality production, of the kind where your own musical taste will be the sole deciding factor for whether or not you'll enjoy it. And while the stylistic expressions covered explore territories ranging from classical to avant-garde jazz, I'd think that the primary audience for this release, other than existing fans of the artist, will be a jazz-oriented crowd, in particular those who have a deep and true affection for the saxophone.

Thanks to naturalscience for the artist addition. and to NotAProghead for the last updates

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