Eclat — Vol. I & II
(Kezako 9601, 1992/1996, CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 1997-02-01
Eclat is a French five-piece whose style lies somewhere between the symphonic stylings pioneered by bands like Ange and Mona Lisa and the folk-directed tendencies of bands like Minimum Vital. There are also touches of neo-prog, jazz-pop, and other diverse influences. This release combines their first two releases, Eclat de Vers from '91 (originally on MSI), and Eclat II from '92 (originally on Musea), now both out of print. The main movers within the band are guitarist Alain Chiarazzo, who is responsible for all the compositions, and vocalist / lyricist Denis Carnevali, who sings only on the earlier album, but wrote all the lyrics for both. Chiarazzo's guitars are comfortable within a number of different styles, from laid-back acoustic oriented fills to buzzing electrified runs, yet it's most noticeable when delivering those blistering leads that punctuate some of the album's best moments. The keyboards and superb rhythm section play an equally important role in Eclat's overall sound, and deserve credit for the band's innovative arrangements. Vocals are in French, and delivered in such a way as not to overpower Eclat's instrumental might. While every song on the first album features vocals, a full half of the tunes on the second are instrumentals, allowing more room for the band to stretch out. Vocalist Christian Décamps (of Ange) guests on the disc's final track "Circus." It might also be mentioned that the second album is where they move into their more folk oriented rock directions, and is clearly the stronger of the two releases. In all, this is an excellent band who seems to be getting better with each new release, and will hopefully be releasing a third album soon. While waiting, be sure and check out these two earlier albums.
Ennio Morricone RIP – Famed composer Ennio Morricone has died at the age of 91. The creator of scores for more than 500 movies, some of his works have become the most recognizable sounds in the history of cinema. His soundtracks for Sergio Leone's Westerns made from 1964 to 1971, are iconic landmarks in film music, but he also composed for dramas, comedies, and other genres. He won the Academy Award for Best Original Score in 2016 for The Hateful Eight. » Read more
Keith Tippett RIP – One of the giants of British jazz has left us. Keith Graham Tippetts, known professionally as Keith Tippett, died today at the age of 72. His work from the late 60s into the 70s and beyond includes some of the greatest jazz produced in the UK, and stands as an impressive oevre to this day. » Read more
Phil May of The Pretty Things RIP – We were saddened to learn that Phil May, lead singer and founding member of The Pretty Things, has died at the age of 75. The band's 1968 album S.F. Sorrow is one of the enduring classics of the psychedelic era, and the group existed in various forms until finally retiring in 2018. » Read more
Jorge Santana RIP – Jorge Santana, noted guitarist, leader of the band Malo and brother to Carlos Santana, died on May 14 at the age of 68. Jorge and Carlos worked together on a number of occasions, though Jorge's career was centered around Malo, solo work, and with Fania All-Stars. » Read more