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Gong - Gazeuse! CD (album) cover

GAZEUSE!

Gong

 

Canterbury Scene

3.93 | 390 ratings

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Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
3 stars 3.5 stars really!!!!

Before starting the review, this album was apparently released in the US under the name of Expresso, which will explain why the following album will bear the name Expresso II. After the still very GonG-ian Shamal, where the spirit of Daevid was not completely erased yet, as can be seen by constant traits of humour in the instrumental music, Gazeuse is a rather different object, retaining a certain form of rock in their jazz-rock, that they are very much comparable of Canterbury bands like Hatfield, Gilgamesh or National Health. Even though Hillage is gone and replaced by Alan Holdsworth (ex-Nucleus and Soft Machine), the group is now in majority French in its personnel, Howlett being replaced by ex-Magma Francis Moze (also playing keyboards).

Gong is now a full-blown jazz-rock outfit, a very percussive one at that with no less than four members playing percussion instruments as disparate as marimbas, congas, drums, glockenspiels, maracas and temple blocks (even leaving a lengthy percussion passage at the end of Night Illusion; thus leaving only Holdsworth (guitars & violin), Malherbe (winds) and Moze (pianos) front the septet with solo instruments. With a stupendous and colourful (dare I even say joyous) artwork, it is a little amazing to notice that the album is so serious: Shamal and Gazeuse should've traded artworks to fit better the musical content. Moze's Kobaian-speaking bass adds a little je-ne-sais-quoi to the music that makes this album quite enjoyable. Holdsworth's heavy guitars often take the group to a Canterburian trail (the future National Health and UK guitarist is clearly blossoming in Gazeuse), and his composition Shadow Of is one of the album's highlights. While Gazeuse has no links whatsoever to the Daevid-ian Gong, it is certainly no less an album, just as worthy but differently, but likely to appeal to a different kind of proghead.

Sean Trane | 3/5 |

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