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Gong - Gazeuse! CD (album) cover




Canterbury Scene

3.93 | 390 ratings

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4 stars What have I done wrong? How come I have not written-up my views about an album that meant a lot to me being a symphonic prog loyalist who really love Gazeuse! album by Gong? I don't know why - it's probably I keep following recent developments in progressive music that makes me over look this album from any of my reviews so far. In fact I have not reviewed much about Gong. Well, my history about this album dated back to days when I was so amazed with the guitar work played by Allan Holdworth. I thought I knew him the first time when I purchased UK debut album. He's just a terrific guitar player who has his own style of playing - and quite unique in a sense. My colleague then introduced me with another album by Bill Bruford 'One of a Kind' where Holdsworth played guitar. And then finally this album by Gong.

It's just amazing ...!

That was my first impression the first time I played the cassette I purchased on this album. Even from the opening track I could sense how the music would flow through all tracks in the album. The album created a clear image of how great music should be composed and performed excellently to satisfy the listeners. I don't really care whether this is much more jazz-rock or prog. In fact I thought the album has many prog elements if you consider it as a pure jazz-rock fusion music.

The opening track Expresso (5:58) blew me away the first time I listened to it as what I would have expected, i.e. wonderful guitar work by Holdsworth satisfied my needs. He is just marvelous. The track is basically a relatively fast tempo kind of jazz-rock music style with strong accentuation of guitar riffs and solo. Not only that, the drumming wok by Pierre Moerlen is really great and it's becoming an important component of the music. There relatively many changes tempo and styles throughout this highly energetic track.

Night Illusion (3:42) follows beautifully with heavy riff guitar as intro part followed with guitar solo backed by solid basslines and dynamic drumming work. In some parts I find some similarity with Chick Corea music - even though it has different textures. The guitar solo by Allan Holdsworth is stunning.

The third track Percolations, Part 1 + Part 2 (10:00) is basically a very unique one as it combines the ambient style with energetic, high-energy type of music especially during the combined work of drums, vibra, marimba and vibraphone that makes this track is quite different from any typical jazz-rock composition. Right after first four minutes of mellow and ambient style, the song then moves into a highly energetic style where drums work collaboratively with timpani, marimba and vibraphone. I do enjoy this later part as it's basically an enhanced drums. Why do I say it's "enhanced"? It's predominantly due to its great combination with other instruments. Yes there is part where drums play by its own but at the end it's augmented by other instruments as well. I personally enjoy this track because it's energetic. I have to admit great guitar skills demonstrated by Pierre Moerlen.

Shadows Of (7:48) continues to indicate the jazz-rck nature of this album. Right after intro part, Holdsworth gives his guitar work. What follow is then a great flute solo that enriches the overall composition followed by long sustain flute work. The stunning guitar work by Holdsworth returns back to the music after flutework. I really enjoy the guitar solo part from this track.

Esnuria (8:00) is another excellent track opened beautifully by drums and percussion work in relatively long duration until the overall music starts to roll. Allan Holdsworth continues his virtuosity in playing his guitar. Tenor sax and vibraphone play critical roles in its overall composition. I really enjoy this track as it has great composition and performance. What's so important also is how bass guitar, vibraphone and drums create good platform for soloist - including tenor sax - to perform their respective contributions.

Mireille (4:10) is basically a mellow track that provides the opportunity for Allan to play his acoustic guitar work. In some parts the guitar playing style reminds me to Paco de Lucia style.

Highly Recommended album

Overall, this album is an excellent addition to any progressive music collection. If you love jazz-rock, this is definitely yours. But if you are not - I think you still can articulate the components of excellent music. It's a 4+ rating overall. Keep on proggin' ...!!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

Gatot | 4/5 |


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