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Placebo - Marc Moulin - Sam Suffy CD (album) cover




Jazz Rock/Fusion

4.52 | 14 ratings

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Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
5 stars The gradual demise of Placebo was a slow process, the group playing its last concerts during 76, but by that time, their leader Marc Moulin was already working on different project, often messing about with Cos, but also released his first solo album in early 75, which would, like Placebo's albums, become highly influential, especially in acid jazz and trip hop circles around the millennium change. Strangely enough, Moulin returned to CBS to release Sam Suffy (a pun on the expression "Ca me suffit" >> It suits me fine) with an artwork depicting the justice's highest court on a sandy beach of the North Sea, making it a semi-legend in its own country. With an un-credited bass player, wind player Rousselet (ex Placebo), the drum stool shared by Morales (ex-Placebo) or Castellucci, Marc Moulin handles all of the keyboards himself, except on a short track.

Musically, Sam Suffy is not far away from Placebo albums, but if anything the album is more even, because unlike the group efforts, SS had few covers (just one, a short Monk composition), which was always the weaker side of Placebo. So MM develops a superb melodic funky jazz-rock that will work wonders in samplings three decades later. Some will say that SS owes much debt to Hancock's Headhunter, but these typical Placebo grooves existed since their earliest albums, so it's not like the similarity is inspired or influence by Herbie.

The opening Le Saure is an enthralling funky piece with a cool groove, where Moulin switches from one keyboard to another, a bit like Herbie does. The short Thelonius Monk-penned Misterioso is probably the more experimental album with Rousselet's flugelhorn drawing monster sounds. The short From track is keyboard bonanza with Jasper helping out on electric piano. An interesting exercise, where Moulin toys with a Moog. La Blouse is another smooth-gliding funky groove, so typically early 70's. The short Bougie is a duo between Rousselet and Moulin's bluesy piano, probably the weaker track around. The closing playful jumpy Beau Galop has Marc tripping on his keys happily, without a sole care in the world.

The flipside is made from the sidelong five-movement suite, lasting (17 minutes) with Castellucci on drums (as opposed to Morales on the other side). The moods range from happy to sinister, from the sublime to the orgasmic, from dissonance and animal noises (the third movement) to pure heavenly grooves, with Rousselet blowing from a Miles Coltrane to a Ornette Sanders, the bassist pulling from you some spine shivers with his delightful touch.

Reissued in the late 90's on the Counterpoint Records label (also doing the Placebo compilation), the Cd came in handy for those looking to investigate Moulin's early 70's music, because the vinyls were fetching a small fortune, because eagerly searched for in the acid jazz and trip hop circles. MM's SS album is probably Marc' best works of the 70's, and this Cd is warmly recommended to everyone into JR/F, easily earning its fifth star.

Sean Trane | 5/5 |


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