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Maneige - Les Porches Live CD (album) cover




Jazz Rock/Fusion

4.04 | 19 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars After becoming acquainted with Maneige's first two albums through not exactly legal means, I rushed to wash away my sins by purchasing this album as soon as I knew of its existence. I wasn't exactly delighted with what I got, in comparison to the studio albums.

Les Aventures de Saxinette et Clarophone is a good, never dull performance, but it seems to miss all of the guitar work on the studio version, something I was very fond of. The studio version also sounds a little bit more exciting. Can't really judge on the performance of Chou-Fleur, as it is something I never heard before. The song itself, as Hughes Chantraine put it, sounds like a collage of bits and bolts from other songs. Features some lovely clarinet playing. The tiny booklet does not shed any light on it, but I suppose it could have been a track for Les Porches, but dropped to make the album shorter. In today's extended CD space, it would have been a welcome addition. The small pieceLa Grosse Torche was pleasantly improvised, with the flute more prominent than the studio version, mostly due to the lack of orchestral backing on the live stage. Gallerie III is so improvised, almost to the extent of sounding like a completely different song from the original, apart from a few seconds here and there towards the end. Chromo suffers from the same problem. Not that the songs are badly played - quite the opposite. But they are played in a way that they differ from their already near-perfect studio versions. My real beef with this concert lies in the next track.

Les Porches de Notre Dame starts off well, but its beautiful second half is scarred by poor improvisation, the omission of the fantastic vocal part (probably due to the absence of Raoul Duguay) and a somewhat sloppy performance of the final guitar solo. What flowed naturally and beautifully in the original studio version, here sounds forced, unbalanced, overacted. Jean Jacques kind of forgives the previous performance, ending the set on a positive note, with the band playing it beautifully and almost faithfully to the studio version.

This performance is not bad at all, but its just not as good as the studio albums. It is surely no good replacement for them. The band themselves admit so on the booklet. The sound quality is extremely good. You also get a good, unreleased tune. So, my advice is to be patient and wait for the CD release of their first albums, truly wonderful pieces. I know I will be getting them. If you want to get this first as a taste of what's to come, by all means, do so - if you enjoy this concert, you will be very pleasantly surprised once getting the original stuff.

Kotro | 3/5 |


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