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Gong - Gazeuse! CD (album) cover




Canterbury Scene

3.93 | 388 ratings

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3 stars Gazeuse (a.k.a. Expresso) marked the point where Pierre Moerlen took over Gong and delivered a completely different album in comparison to everything else that we have heard from Gong up until now. Actually, seeing the name Allan Holdsworth should probably ring a bell with most fans of Soft Machine or Bruford conveying that there is going to be some Jazz Rock/Fusion featured on the album.

The songwriting is divided between Pierre Moerlen, who is credited for three compositions, Allan Holdsworth, credited for two, and Francis Moze, who is credited for Mireille. This is one of the main problems for me with Gazeuse because it doesn't add up to more than the individual performances that it incorporates. Holdsworth's tracks sound like classic Holdsworth guitar-driven mellow Jazz Rock/Fusion material, Moerlen's compositions are very rhythmically driven pieces, while Mireille is almost a Magma sounding work which just reminds us that Francis Moze was once a member of that band.

I'm sure that fans of Jazz Rock/Fusion will enjoy what this album has to offer and even though it might be considered the best introduction to Pierre Moerlen's Gong the whole experience falls short of the excellent mark due to the lack of a real band effort. I have previously mentioned my dislike for Allan Holdsworth who seems to be preoccupied with delivering the same stale performance on every album he is featured on. I've recently heard a Beatles tribute album where Holdsworth did his take on Michelle and I could pretty much foretell exactly which direction he would take the whole performance just by hearing the first couple of notes. My only question was: Why?

Now that I've done my regular Holdsworth-gripe let's move on to the stuff I really liked. Moerlen's compositions are easily the strongest pieces where each of the three tracks show a completely different side to the band's sound. Expresso and Mireille are definitely the most memorable pieces out of the bunch featuring a very playful and energetic style while Percolations Parts 1 And 2 starts, presumably with Part 1, slowly and only picks up pace towards the second half with some really pleasant sounds of vibraphone.

Overall Gazeuse is a pretty decent piece of Jazz Rock/Fusion that I'm sure the fans of the genre will be happy to experience. Personally I automatically knock off a star for the lack of a flow between the different compositions and Allan Holdsworth's usual esthetics. The second star goes because I don't hear any real stand-out compositions that would make me want to return to the album and make it an important part of my Jazz Rock/Fusion collection. Hence, good, but non-essential.

**** star songs: Expresso (5:58) Percolations Parts 1 And 2 (10:02) Shadows Of (7:48) Esnuria (8:02) Mireille (4:11)

*** star songs: Night Illusion (3:42)

Rune2000 | 3/5 |


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