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Agharta - Agharta CD (album) cover




Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.37 | 12 ratings

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Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
3 stars Sole album of this JR/F band that had released their sole album at the ultimate end of the Quebecois prog boom; even though their music has more to do with Weather Report than Maneige or Sloche. This is an instrumental wind/key-led quartet that received much help from the well-travelled percussionist Michel Seguin, thus a guitar-less line-up which only increases the WR reminiscence.

Graced with a Magritte-like surrealist artwork, Agharta's album delves in the jazz-funk/fusion of the very late 70's and early 80's and seems to stick quite close to what Weather Report was or would be doing during the Victor Bailey era, even if often a tad more reflective and a wee bit less flashy in virtuosity. Also a bit of an asset to Agharta's sound is Veniot's ability to play sax, flute and clarinet to add some variations, something Shorter didn't do. Most of the tracks are upbeat, funky (especially 6i'me Avenue), some are downright World/Caribbean (Chants Des Iles), some are almost cosmic (Soy, probably my fave of the album), others are more of a showboat with solos ala RTF like Big Sur and its drum solo bit, while the only exception is a slow ballad (Femme Et Enfants) and the album closes on the aerial Daucile.

Agharta is never derivative, despite some moments that might make you think of (much) better- known artistes like Le Train, that's familiar stuff, but can't really place it anywhere else. Hardly essential an album, but every JR/F follower would (or should) welcome this album as a consolidating block of the genre on their shelves.

Sean Trane | 3/5 |


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