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Prog Folk • France

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Tri Yann biography
Tri Yann is short and Breton for "Three Jeans from Nantes", which was originally formed by three young fellows all named Jean - Jean-Louis Jossic, Jean Chocun and Jean-Paul Corbineau, and one lone Bernard Baudriller. They are one of Brittany's treasures, and present a lesson in true progression from simple traditional folk to electrified progressive folk, and a lesson in longevity, celebrating 37 years in the business in 2008.

While their first few albums showed much more enthusiasm than professionalism, their breakthrough occurred with "La Decouverte de L'Ignorance" in 1976, and they have never looked back. They represent the urban and gregarious face of Breton music, and feature multi-instrumental prowess and simply stunning vocal harmonies, with feet planted in all time periods. Over time they have grown in number and their concerts are known for elaborate costumes and theatrics.

The near-infinite discography of compilations of "hits", rarities, concerts and interview excerpts speaks to the near-fervour of their base. Most recommended apart from the aforementioned would be "Cafe du Bon Coin" and "Belle et Rebelle", but one of their compilations like "Inventaire Volume 2" and "Si Mort a Mors" might be the best place to start.

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TRI YANN discography

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

3.83 | 6 ratings
Tri Yann an Naoned
3.50 | 4 ratings
Dix ans, dix filles
4.00 | 6 ratings
Suite Gallaise
4.40 | 10 ratings
La Decouverte ou l'Ignorance
4.00 | 9 ratings
4.00 | 5 ratings
An Heol a Zo Glaz/Le Soleil est Vert
3.00 | 4 ratings
Cafe du Bon Coin
3.25 | 4 ratings
Le Vaisseau de Pierre
3.91 | 3 ratings
Belle et Rebelle
4.00 | 2 ratings
4.00 | 2 ratings
Le Pelegrin
3.25 | 4 ratings
3.00 | 4 ratings
3.33 | 3 ratings
Rummadoù (générations)
3.00 | 2 ratings
La Belle Enchantee

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

3.50 | 2 ratings
3.50 | 2 ratings
En Concert
4.33 | 3 ratings
La Tradition Symphonique
4.00 | 2 ratings
La Tradition Symphonique 2

TRI YANN Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

3.00 | 1 ratings
Trente Ans au Zenith

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

0.00 | 0 ratings
Inventaire 1970-1993
4.00 | 1 ratings
Inventaire Volume 2

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

TRI YANN Reviews

Showing last 10 reviews only
 An Heol a Zo Glaz/Le Soleil est Vert by TRI YANN album cover Studio Album, 1981
4.00 | 5 ratings

An Heol a Zo Glaz/Le Soleil est Vert
Tri Yann Prog Folk

Review by Kaelka

4 stars Nine years after their debut album, Tri Yann release their sixth opus and show how mature the band has become. All the band's different styles are there : the traditional song ("Guerre Guerre Vente Vent", very similar to their 1974 hit "Pelot D'Hennebont"), the medieval ballad ("Si Mors A Mors", dedicated to the memory of the duchess Anne de Bretagne), but also "Le Grand Bal De Kermaria An Isquit" with its delicious little flute danse), the instrumental suite made of several traditional Irish or Scottish tunes put together ("Suite Ecossaise"), the Breton song turned into a fast paced rock'n'roll number ("Au Jardin De Mon Père"), and all that on side A !

Side B's what makes of "An Heol A Zo Glaz" the proggiest of Tri Yann albums : a 22 minute epic suite mixing traditional tunes and compositions, with added meaningful (and even political) lyrics in Breton (written by Pierre-Jakez Helias, a very famous Breton writer and poet). In the whole of Tri Yann's career, it's the first and only attempt at the prog epic, and the result is superb.

"An Heol A Zo Glaz" (which, by the way, doesn't exactly mean "The Sun Is Green" - Glaz can sometimes be translated as 'blue' or even 'grey') is undoubtedly one of Tri Yann's best albums and can be a very good choice for those willing to discover the band's work.

 Belle et Rebelle by TRI YANN album cover Studio Album, 1990
3.91 | 3 ratings

Belle et Rebelle
Tri Yann Prog Folk

Review by kenethlevine
Special Collaborator Prog-Folk Team

4 stars Often bands that begin in the progressive genre veer towards pop at some point to stave off extinction. Folk groups may follow a different trajectory in which progressive elements are slowly introduced into the roots music such that they become as timeless as the traditional components. Such is the case with Tri Yann who, in 1990, issued an album that can fairly be considered progressive folk, with a sophistication far exceeding earlier albums while still matching their exuberance.

Even the title is a crafty play on words, translating to "beautiful rebel". The very opening song, "Le Renard", is confident Celtic rock with progressive leanings, and sets the stage for what is to follow.. The harmonies remain as stunning as ever, especially on "Gwerz Jorj Courtois" and the intricately rocking "Le Tourdion des Manants", as well as the African fusion of "Sur La Fosse Au Boulot".. The story-song "Korydwen Et Le Rouge De Kenholl" is the longest and best, based on a haunting traditional tune but rich in modern French theatrics. "La Petite Perrine, La Marchande De Coccinnelles" is a whimsical folk and roller that incorporates children's vocals and uncharacteristically bold electric rhythm guitar. The album closes well with the sultry title cut.

A remarkable effort for its time, especially given their prolific career even as of 1990, this rebellious beauty serves as a worthy point of introduction to the musical worlds of Tri Yann.

 Inventaire Volume 2 by TRI YANN album cover Boxset/Compilation, 1995
4.00 | 1 ratings

Inventaire Volume 2
Tri Yann Prog Folk

Review by kenethlevine
Special Collaborator Prog-Folk Team

— First review of this album —
4 stars This is an excellent introduction to the history of Tri Yann from the early 1970s to 1990. Even from their first albums, the group played traditional tunes with a more adventurous spirit than their contemporaries, and by 1990 they had embraced electronic instrumentation in advance of the techno-world craze to follow. In between, lots of Celtic rock with progressive flourishes. Keeping the chronological order was a wise move for typifying the transformations. What is hardest to believe is that this constitutes the second in a series, making the first a sure thing I would wager.

The first 4 cuts all showcase the group's vocal symbioses, with themes running counter current and back together. These early explorations are generally fast paced and enthusiastic, ready made for the live setting but also taking full advantage of available studio technology and production. Instrumentation is traditional but played with a youthful panache. The vocals are typically in French rather than Breton.

"Le Mariage Insolite de Marie La Bretonne" and "Mrs Mac Dermott" are slower melodies, showing the group's incorporation of more consciously courtly material. "Kiss the Children for me Mary" is a slow song in which the accompaniment is simply pipes and acoustic guitar until rock drums come in. It's still sedate but shows a taste for the more unconventional underpinnings of the progressive movement, not surprisingly given the period and Tri Yann's perfectionist streak. Another one in this vein is the masterful "Quand La Bergere", richly layered and sung, a hypnotic slow dance. Of note here is the constantly changing meter of the acoustic guitar accompaniment while traditional instruments weave in and out.

The period represented by the last half of the album is where the group really hit their stride. Instrumentally, they came close to OUGENWEIDE, STEELEYE SPAN and MOVING HEARTS with "Suite Ecossaise", especially the chunkier rhythm parts. "Les Cheveaux du Mene-Bre" is dominated by plaintive lead guitar then swarming electronic keyboards, almost a la PINK FLOYD. "An Tourter" proposes an extended repetition of a haunting vocal theme with sinister rhythm guitars and fiddles, in a manner that could make more conventional progsters blush. But "Korydwen et le rouge de Kenholl" tops them all, a narrative epic in which the group proves it can still shine in both directions circa 1990. The fiddle theme in the instrumental section is the coup de grace.

If you are lacking innovative Breton music in your collection, and who isn't to some degree, do augment your inventory with this superb compilation.

Thanks to kenethlevine for the artist addition.

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