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Gong - Gazeuse! CD (album) cover




Canterbury Scene

3.93 | 390 ratings

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4 stars Gazeuse is the eight full-length studio album by French/ UK Jazz/ rock act Gong. The six first albums by Gong mixed psychadelic rock and Jazz/ rock but with the departure of founding member Daevid Allen and his wife Gilli Smyth the psychadelic elements diappeared from Gongīs music leaving them a Jazz/ rock act. Gongīs seventh full- length studio album Shamal (1976) was as a consequence a very different album than their previous efforts. Personally I really enjoyed that album and was looking forward to listen to Gazeuse.

The music on Gazeuse is Jazz/ rock but some new elements have been added to Gongīs sound since Shamal and those elements mean that Gazeuse is a very different album compared to Shamal. The first thing I noticed was the inclusion of guitarist Allan Holdsworth to the lineup. He has replaced Steve Hillage (Arzachel, Khan) who allthough been credited as a full-time member of the band on Shamal actually only guested on a couple of tracks on that album. Allan Holdsworth was fresh out of The Soft Machine where he had played on the Bundles (1975) album. The inclusion of Allan Holdsworth gives Gong a much more guitar oriented sound on Gazeuse. His style is unmistakable. His jazzy and adventurous soloing is dominant in songs like Expresso, Night Illusion and Shadows Of. His solo in the latter is nothing short of amazing IMO. There are only six songs on the album and besides the three above mentioned songs Percolations, Part 1 & 2 is also worth a special mention. Itīs a 10:00 minute long song which features the whole arsenal of Marimba, Vibraphone, Timpani and every other instrument of that kind that Gong can play. The song also features a drum solo. It should also be noted that the music on the album is entirely instrumental which means that Gazeuse is the first fully instrumental album by Gong.

The musicianship is outstanding. Didier Malherbeīs sax and flute playing isnīt as dominant on Gazeuse as it was on Shamal, but when it appears itīs great for the variation in the music. The rythm section of Pierre Moerlen on drums and Francis Moze on bass is also one of Gongīs biggest assets. Tight, fast and precise playing means that the music never gets boring or repetitive.

The production is excellent. It suits the music perfectly.

I was not happy the first couple of times I listened to Gazeuse and I was sure I was gonna rate it 3 stars. It simpy sounded too jazzy for my ears but itīs grown on me considerably with each new listen and now itīs a 4 star rating. I like Shamal better though and I do miss the vocals from that album.

UMUR | 4/5 |


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