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MAHJUN

Jazz Rock/Fusion • France


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Mahjun biography
MAHJUN was an underground prog band that started out as an psychedelic folk ensemble MAAJUN. It was named after one of the founding members Jean-Louis MAHJUN who played violins and mandolins on the records; other founding members were Cyril LEFEBVRE, Jean Pierre ARNOUX and Alain ROUX who were all skilled on multiple instruments. Result of their many influences was on their first album in 1971 a very avantgarde take on folk music combined with hard rock. Two years afterwards they renamed themselves into MAHJUN and incorporated more of a jazz sound into their eclectic sound. Their catalouge is recommended to both jazz influenced folk music and the avantgarde music.

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MAHJUN discography


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

3.00 | 1 ratings
Vivre La Mort Du Viex Monde (as Maajun)
1971
2.10 | 2 ratings
Mahjun
1973
5.00 | 1 ratings
Mahjun
1974
0.00 | 0 ratings
Happy French Band
1977

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MAHJUN Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Mahjun by MAHJUN album cover Studio Album, 1973
2.10 | 2 ratings

BUY
Mahjun
Mahjun Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

2 stars It's unknown to me what happened between the 1971-73 period, but there is a number of reasons to believe that Maajun were put on ice and regrouped again by their leader Jean-Louis Mahjun: First comes the change of name, which was now simple the surname of the leader.Then, it is the revived line-up, which featured only Jean-Pierre Arnoux from the first album.P. Beaupoil was now on bass/percussion/piano, Haira on organ, P. Rigaud on saxophone/trumpet and D. Barouh/Mouna on voices.The band even got a signing from the Saravah label and went on to its private studio for a second album.Here comes yet another reason to proove the fresh start of the band.The album was titled simply ''Mahjun'' and it was released in 1973.

The variations between the old Maajun and the new Mahjun do not stop here, because soundwise there are quite a few differences between the two albums.The presented work was now much closer to Jazz Rock with some dark and furious saxes in evidence, passing through more experimental Avant Folk fields with ethnic tunes and throwing in some strong elements from FRANK ZAPPA's humourous edges, both in the lyrical and music department.''Mahjun'' appears to contain elements even from Circus, Theater and Cabaret Music, led by the massive trumpet and the happy sax tunes.There are still some VAN DER GRAAF GENERATOR touches in their style, but they have drowned into a mystical world of experimental, disjointed ideas.Apart from some short and directionless pieces with elements from Jazz and Ethnic Music, the album is certainly driven by its two long tracks.''Les enfants sauvages'' is a decent effort into Ethnic Jazz with crying saxes and trumpets, flavored by nice female vocals and percussion with only occasional help by the bass and electric guitar.Pretty weird stuff, but it has the charm of the genuine debut of the band.Unfortunately I cannot be that kind with the 13-min. ''Chez planos'', which is actually an attempt on Experimental Folk with some jazzy vibes, having a rather minimalistic sound and the sporadic, richer moments are only saved by a good rhythm section and the interactions between the trumpet and sax, but these minutes are too limited to appreciate this piece.

Much dissapointed by this effort, after listening to a very promising debut.It could be a nice addition for fans of Ethnic Music and Jazz Rock, but be warned that there are plenty of atonal and misleading parts in here.Not my cup of tea for sure...2.5 stars.

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 Vivre La Mort Du Viex Monde (as Maajun) by MAHJUN album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.00 | 1 ratings

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Vivre La Mort Du Viex Monde (as Maajun)
Mahjun Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

— First review of this album —
3 stars There is a certain point when Progressive Rock knocked the door of every major country, it was propably with I Giganti's ''Terra in bocca'' in Italy,Tommorow's Gift self-titled album in Germany and King Crimson's ''In the court of the crimson king'' in UK and worldwide.In France this moment came possibly in 1971.Maajun were a hippie rock group, leaving in a comune and refusing to adapt the casual lifestyle, found during the summer of 1970 by teenagers Jean-Louis Mahjun (vocals, violin, mandolin), Cyril Lefebvre (guitar, banjo, organ), Jean Pierre Arnoux (drums, sax), Alain Roux (vocals, sax, flute, Jew's harp) with Roger Scaglia joining on electric guitar soon afterwards.Despite their social-inspired lyrics they were able to found a recording home on Disques Vogue and released their debut ''Vivre la mort du vieux monde'' in 1971.

Unlike 90% of the early Prog groups refining Classical and Jazz elements to their sound, Maajun were unique on blending their Hard Rock with powerful Folk elements, experimental variations and psychedelic passages.The first side of the LP is a great Progressive Rock with complex structures, bizarre breaks into Ethnic-styled improvised moves and over the top vocals, usually dealing with an anti-political attitude.Their style is full of rapid changes with strong flute and violin workouts, only comparable to bands like GNIDROLOG or CIRCUS, going a few steps beyond with lots of harmonica and accordion tunes in the instrumental lines, supported always by acoustic guitars.Their style moves even further with the 17-min. ''La longue marche'', opening with sinister multi-vocal lines and haunting Ethnic vibes, before exploding into another complex adveture of Psychedelic/Folk/Prog, usually dominated by melodramatic and theatrical singing harmonies.The music tends at Avant- Garde fields at moments, the saxophones come in evidence with obscure scratching jams and VAN DER GRAAF GENERATOR are added in the list of resemblances, although it is unlikely Maajun had ever heard of the British group around the time.Despite its intricate and experimental style the epic of the album still reveals some of the group's Hippie style of life with obvious rural breezes, while the combination of Heavy/Psych grooves with the romantic folky passages and the satirical lyricism is absolutely efficient.

Maajun's first effort is not a masterpiece, but it is a very good album with excellent both musical and historical value.Not an everyday listening, this one requires the listener's full attention to be appreciated.If so, the music grows with every listening, resulting a warmly recommended album, full of experimental and trully progressive flavors...3.5 stars.

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