Ange — Live Tour 2003-2004 - Par les Fils de Mandrin
(Musea FGBG-9016.AR, 2004/2006, DVD)
by Jon Davis, Published 2007-03-01I guess this is Ange. That's what it says on the box, though I can easily see that Christian Décamps is the only member of the band present from the band's heyday in the 70s. He's even got a female singer as a foil for his dramatic singing; and his son Tristan, who plays keyboards, sings as well. In any case, they run through the Mandrin album in its entirety before moving on to a selection of other tunes, all from the band's later years. I suppose this gives the band the best of both worlds: enough classic material to please oldtime fans and enough recent material for them to feel they're not has-beens. Tristan even gets a solo spot with the piano ballad "Le Bal de Laze." The only real weak spot is the drum solo, which while well played, brings the interest to a slump unsalvageable by any number of fancy editing tricks. Caroline Crozat's voice complements Décamps nicely, matching drama for drama, and they also do spoken dialogs. Guitarist Hassan Hajdi is a good player, though at times I find his style a little too much straight-ahead rock for music this complex. The video is very well produced and edited, a very professional job all round, and I can certainly think of worse ways to spend two hours of your life.
Krautrock Documentary Seeks Funding – The next installment of the Progressive Warriors documentary series will focus on the vast body of music that falls under the banner of "krautrock." As most of our readers will know, previous films have tackled RIO and the Canterbury scene, as well as what we might call "mainstream" prog rock. » Read more
Tomasz Stańko RIP – Tomasz Stańko, one of the greats of Eastern European jazz, has died at the age of 76. Stańko's career started in Krzysztof Komeda's quintet, where he contributed trumpet from 1963-1967, when he formed his own group. He worked extensively with Edward Vesala, Don Cherry, Zbigniew Seifert, Chico Freeman, Howard Johnson, Cecil Taylor, and many others. Many of his recordings have been released by ECM, an association that began in the mid-70s. » Read more
Soft Machine Set to Release New Music – It's been 50 years since The Soft Machine changed the face of music with their first album. Their blend of psychedelic rock and jazz was unique, and while the band went through many changes before disbanding in 1981 — by which time there were no original members remaining — they remained an innovative force with a style all their own. » Read more
7d Surfaces Happy Rhodes Back Catalog – We've covered singer Happy Rhodes before, both for her solo work and recently with The Security Project, but her 11 albums have been hard to track down. Until now. 7d features high-quality downloads of all her releases, and several of them are also available on CD. » Read more
Fred Chalenor RIP – We have news of another sad passing in the world of creative music. Bassist Fred Chalenor, whose creativity featured on albums by Tone Dogs, Caveman Shoestore, and many more, died on June 23, 2018 after a long battle with Alzheimer's. Tributes have poured in from the many musicians and fans whose lives he touched. » Read more