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PIENZA ETHNORKESTRA

RIO/Avant-Prog • France


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Pienza Ethnorkestra biography
Pienza Ethnorkestra was formed in 2001 by the duo of Daniel Jeand'heur (drums) and Thierry Bruneau (electric hurdy gurdy; plays in One Shot) who played and recorded under the name Pienza. They were later joined by James Mcgaw (bass ; who plays among others in Magma) and started touring France. Two other musicians occasionally joined them for these shows : Greg THEVENIAU (bass, guitar ; also plays in Snake Oil among others) and Boris BLANCHET (saxophone).
This group, renamed Pienza Ethnorkestra, then proceeds to perform all over France over 4 years and in 2006 releases a live album, Indiens D?Europe, from a show in a festival held in August 2005, which features the trio, McGaw, Bruneau and Jeand'heur. The album is released through Soleil Zeuhl and co-produced by 12 Productions.

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3.50 | 2 ratings
Indiens d'Europe
2006

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PIENZA ETHNORKESTRA Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Indiens d'Europe by PIENZA ETHNORKESTRA album cover Live, 2006
3.50 | 2 ratings

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Indiens d'Europe
Pienza Ethnorkestra RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by SaltyJon
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Like with John, I was first drawn to this album by the lineup. I love One Shot and ZAAR, so seeing that this band is made up of members of those two was a big plus for me. I wasn't quite sure about how James would be on bass, but I really shouldn't have doubted him - after all, he's a member of Magma, he can do anything! Daniel is a monster drummer, and Thierry is easily the best hurdy-gurdy player I've heard in any prog band. After checking out the samples available on the label's website (Soleil Zeuhl) I knew that I needed to check this album out.

The music on display here is all live (of course) and most of the compositions (three or four of the six) are arrangements of traditional tunes from various countries. I haven't heard the originals of any of them, so I can't compare the styles here to the originals, but I can safely guess that these are more chaotic. The band has a ton of energy here, which is always a plus. Some of the hurdy-gurdy lines really sound similar to some of the Irish folk music we have, which was an instant plus for me as I've always enjoyed that stuff.

This album really rocks. I'm not sure exactly what to compare it to (other than a combination of One Shot and ZAAR), but it's definitely a lot of fun. I'm hoping that the band plans to release more material in the future, but until then this one will have to do. I'd say it's definitely an excellent addition to your collection if you like chaotic/energetic live instrumental music. These guys really know how to play and keep me entertained.

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 Indiens d'Europe by PIENZA ETHNORKESTRA album cover Live, 2006
3.50 | 2 ratings

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Indiens d'Europe
Pienza Ethnorkestra RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

3 stars What grabbed my attention right away when I saw this on the Wayside Music site was that ONE SHOT's James MacGaw and Daniel Jeand'heur were part of this trio. Interesting that James is playing bass here instead of his usual guitar. The man plays bass the way I like it and i'm sure all his years with MAGMA haven't hurt in that regard. Rounding out the lineup is Thierry Millote who plays of all things Hurdy Gurdy. Now the closest band to this in style might be ZAAR just because they also used Hurdy Gurdy, but in my opinion this isn't nearly as good.

My issues are first of all that the sound quality is not that great. It could have been a lot better. Maybe it's because it's a live album I don't know. It just sounds noisy to me, chaotic. Now if your into that style fine, but i'm not. Also the Hurdy Gurdy often dominates with what sounds like a Middle Eastern violin gone mad. It wouldn't surprise me if I was the only negative review on this album but maybe I just expected much more considering ONE SHOT is one of my favourite bands.

Highlight for me is without a doubt the bass playing, it's very upfront and ground-shaking the way I like it. I still think this is a good album, I was just hoping for excellent or better. 3.5 stars.

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