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ABRAXIS

Jazz Rock/Fusion • Belgium


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Abraxis biography
ABRAXIS was an instrumental fusion band from Bruxelles formed in 1976. The group featured musicians from other bands active in the same area in their heyday, like COS (namely keyboardist Charles LOOS and bassist Jean-Paul MUSETTE), and bands like PAZOP, WATERLOO and PLACEBO, which played in a similar fashion of jazz and Canterbury prog rock inspired music. Their only album can be recommended to fans of that 70's jazz rock style of the bands mentioned.

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ABRAXIS discography


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4.09 | 10 ratings
Abraxis
1976

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ABRAXIS Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Abraxis by ABRAXIS album cover Studio Album, 1976
4.09 | 10 ratings

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Abraxis
Abraxis Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by ProgSynthSolo

5 stars I'm going to keep this review short and simple because I just want to call attention to this great, great album!

Abraxis is a one-off album by a short-lived Belgian super group, comprised of members from several different influential bands of the Belgian scene. This is an excellent obscure gem of an album. If you dig jazz-fusion, and especially if you love to hear some good flute on a prog album (like me), this album is a must hear. There is not one bad track on here to speak of. This album was reissued for what I believe to be the first time on CD last year (2015) by the newly founded Paisley Press as the very first release in their catalogue, so obviously the publisher was giving top priority to get this great album out. Yes, I'm very enthusiastic about this nice little album!! So do yourself a favor and check it out!! If I had anything negative to say, it would only be that it's just too bad that these guys never managed another album.

 Abraxis by ABRAXIS album cover Studio Album, 1976
4.09 | 10 ratings

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Abraxis
Abraxis Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother
Special Collaborator Rock Progressivo Italiano Team

4 stars A mid-Seventies jazz/fusion band from Belgium, the superb Abraxis boasted musicians from other jazz-rock groups of the decade such as Pazop, Placebo and Waterloo, with keyboardist Charles Loos and bassist Jean-Paul Musette known to some prog fans as being members of Belgian band Cos, performing on their first album `Postaeolian Train Robbery' (but departed before the follow-up `Viva Boma'). Released in 1977, their fully instrumental debut is an enjoyable and impeccably performed mixture of flute dominated jazz, Canterbury inspired fusion, '70s funk and even a pinch of Zeuhl! As much of their music here was dominated by piano and flute, it gives `Abraxis' a frequent Focus-like quality in parts, actually quite classical and grand in a few moments here and there. Canterbury bands like Gilgamesh and the instrumental passages of National Health also come to mind, and definitely parts are still identifiable as Cos, although in a firmer jazz sound without the avant-garde vocal qualities and loopier elements of that band.

Brief opener `Clear Hours' is a more fusion-flavoured version of something that could have come off the first Camel album, a breezy and immensely likable tune with constantly twisting guitars, grumbling bass, peppy electric piano spirals and loopy synth trills all duelling back and forth with quickie little call-and-response soloing runs between each-other. The gently melancholic flute, dramatic piano and overall classical sophistication of the four-part sixteen-minute suite `Valse De La Mort' reminds instantly of the classic Seventies-era Focus albums, whimsical and reflective one moment, stirring with spontaneous improvised manic bursts the next. Humming bass, fiery nimble guitar licks, dreamy shimmering keyboards and rambunctious drumming all have their moments to shine in this exquisite piece.

`Sweetank' opens the second side and is the highlight of the disk, a delirious and splintering jazz-fusion tantrum crammed with funky swallowing Zeuhl-like bass, wiry electric guitar, glistening electric piano, huffing flute and loopy electronic breakdowns over thrashing drum spasms. Sadly it's over in barely 4 minutes, just a teasing fling that leaves you craving more! `Billy the Keith' is a laid-back romantic simmer-down with a slightly syrupy melody (but it's oh-so charming all the same), `Jeronimo' is a cheerful runaway electric piano and cheeky flute-peppered interlude, the almost seven minute `Bolle Winkel' is another lengthier fusion workout where all the musicians get ample soloing moments to shine, and the fleeting closer `Arhumba' is a playful piano/flute powered ditty.

Needless to say, the musicianship is consistently outstanding throughout `Abraxis', with the entire 37 minute LP flying by without a trace of inferior material emerging. A true obscure reissued gem that could not be more welcome, if a Canterbury/jazz-fusion flavoured mix of Focus, Camel and Cos with a pinch of Zeuhl sounds intriguing to you, track it down immediately!

Four stars.

 Abraxis by ABRAXIS album cover Studio Album, 1976
4.09 | 10 ratings

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Abraxis
Abraxis Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars ABRAXIS were a Jazz/ Rock band from Belgium who released this lone self titled album in 1977. It's an all instrumental affair with most of the music being composed by keyboardist Charles Loos the former COS member. We also get the bass player from COS as well as flute player Dirk Bogaert from PAZOP, and the drummer from PAZOP. Now the music here certainly isn't as adventerous unfortunately as the two bands I mentioned, in fact I find it a little light-weight at times but I also feel it's worth the 4 stars. Many mention that there's a Canterbury flavour to the music and I did think of CAMEL at times mostly because of the flute. We also get guitar on this one.

"Clear Hours" is one of my favourites. Man this is like the sound of a beautiful summer's day. I like how the flute gives a sunny vibe here but the bass is a good contrast because of how prominent and deep it is. Some nice guitar a minute in which is replaced by the flute, then the keys as they all trade solos the rest of the way.

"Vaise De La Mont/ A Boire/ Eta/ Manger" is a four part suite worth over 20 minutes. A slow relaxed start with flute, keys and picked guitar until 4 minutes in when we get piano only and it's impressive. Beautiful stuff. The flute is back at 5 1/2 minutes and it's solo at first and very relaxed as a light beat joins in a minute later. A change before 8 minutes as we get some depth with guitar, bass, keys and a beat. I like this a lot. The guitar starts to solo over the top in an intricate manner then he starts to light it up 9 1/2 minutes in until after 10 minutes when the keys replace the guitar. Nice bass 12 minutes in then the flute starts to lead in this pastoral section. Piano takes over 13 1/2 minutes in. A change after 15 minutes as flute, bass and drums lead the way in this catchy passage. Silence before 16 1/2 minutes then piano, bass and strings take over. Mellow is the word.

"Sweetank" has prominent bass as the flute and light keys swirl over top. I like how the bass drives this one and the drums too of course. It's the guitar's turn before 2 minutes then the bass takes the spotlight a minute later. Pretty cool. Some excellent drum work here as well. The tempo picks up late. "Billy The Keith" is laid back with flute over top. It's got more depth 2 minutes in with that bass. Some nice piano and guitar comes in late. Good song.

"Jeronimo" opens with uptempo piano before everyone joins in. "Bolle Winkl" is another favourite. It opens with solo bass as the flute and drums join in. Catchy stuff as the guitar joins in as well. He's lighting it up before 1 1/2 minutes followed by keys as they continue to trade solos. Flute to the fore after 2 1/2 minutes as it settles down. It starts to build with flute still leading the way. Piano leads after 4 1/2 minutes as it tinkles away. I'm reminded of CAMEL late. "Arhumba" has relaxed piano melodies to start with bass as a light beat helps out. Strings swell as they come and go. Piano only 3 minutes in as strings join in late to end it.

Like the MASTER CYLINDER album I reviewed recently I wish this had less of those lighter moments, but like with that album I have to give this 4 stars because it's that good.

Thanks to historian9 for the artist addition.

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