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Forgas Band Phenomena - L'Axe Du Fou - Axis Of Madness CD (album) cover


Forgas Band Phenomena


Jazz Rock/Fusion

4.33 | 89 ratings

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5 stars Relentless jazz-rock from drummer Patrick Forgas and a crack team of six getting right down to business on this follow up to 2005's Soliel 12 and maintaining the fire for nearly sixty minutes. Axis of Madness indeed, and the four-cut Cuneiform release has the kind of hungry intensity usually heard on great debuts only to wane from that point on. Here the ensemble have hit a very satisfying stride as they feed off of Forgas' new material, Karolina Mlodecka's spirited violin on top leading with Benjamin Violet's high-octane guitar, Igor Brover's ivories quietly echoing the violin/guitar interplay, and the weighty rhythms of Forgas and bassist Kengo Mochizuki.

'La Clef' burns as it introduces each member and their strengths, a perfect opener, Dimitri Alexaline and Sebastien Trognon spinning their brass throughout the bends, twists, turns and recesses of Patrick Forgas' work. The longest piece at 16 minutes, 'L'Axe du Fou' [the title] is more varied; quieter at times with space to build slowly and with some traditional fusion on hand. Forgas appears to have been influenced by the RIO movement but brings a refined and deliberate jazz sensibility to his music that helps the project to sound like more than just some rebellious Europeans getting weird. Closer to Mahavishnu in their prime or early National Health. 'Double-Sens' is spidery as it builds its ever-growing web, rocking, funking...just jammin', man, and always from a group with their eyes on the ball, unwilling to let the fine music slip into cacophony. The mark of a superior band of players.

Finishing the set is airy 'La 13eme Lune', the violin returning to center stage interspersed with flute and trumpet lines. I'd think fans of anyone from Phil Miller to Bill Bruford would quite like this release. It'll be interesting to see where they take it from here. World-class stuff and one of the best jazzrock releases of 2009. Maybe the best.

Atavachron | 5/5 |


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