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Gong - Expresso II CD (album) cover

EXPRESSO II

Gong

 

Canterbury Scene

3.73 | 263 ratings

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Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer
4 stars GONG imploded after releasing "You" , their best album up to that point. Drummer Pierre Moerlen continued with the band name but changed to a Jazz / Fusion style. I must admit i'm a huge fan of the three albums that followed "You". First up was "Shamal" followed by "Gazeuse" then this one "Expresso II". They're basically a four piece band at this point with three guest guitarists, a violinist and a congas player helping out. Interesting to have Mick Taylor from THE ROLLING STONES here playing lead guitar on one track, as well as Allan Holdsworth on three songs. A fairly unique sound here overall as there are no keyboards but plenty of xylophone, marimba and vibes. American Hansford Rowe is excellent on bass, very prominant along with Pierre on drums.

"Heavy Tune" is just that once Holdsworth comes in on rhythm guitar and Taylor plays leads over top. Some good contrasts here between the guitar sections and the drums, vibes and marimba parts. Amazing tune. "Golden Dilema" is led early by drums, bass and vibes. Guitar before a minute. It's all very uptempo and intricate. It settles with guitar and bass after 2 minutes. Rhythm guitar (Hansford) is back as another guitar (guest Bon Losaga) solos over top 3 minutes in.

"Sleepy" sounds amazing when Darryl Way comes in on the violin. Intricate guitar from Holdsworth before 4 minutes. It kicks in before 5 minutes with drums, violin and vibes outfront. So good. The bass leads before 6 minutes. "Soli" opens with bass, cymbals, vibes then guitar. The guitar is excellent from Holdsworth later on, drums too. "Boring" sounds so good after 3 minutes as they really start to groove. Some good violin on this one too. Check out the bass after 5 1/2 minutes. "Three Blind Mice" is another good track with drums, tubular bells, vibes, congas, marimba, xylophone, bass and glockenspiel all helping out.

I can't give this anything less than 4 stars. A great addition to any Jazz Rock / Fusion collection.

Mellotron Storm | 4/5 |

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