Exposé Online banner

Jean-Jacques Chardeau — In Terra Cognita?
(L Records 1901, 2019, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2020-03-04

In Terra Cognita? Cover art

Chardeau’s latest project, In Terra Cognita?, is a dreamy musical journey around the globe, fifteen tracks featuring an astonishing number of top-flight musicians and singers, twenty years in the making, involving ten recording sessions throughout the United States, France, and the United Kingdom from 2017 through 2019, finally seeing completion in November 2019. Jean-Jacques Chardeau is a French composer, arranger, producer, keyboardist and singer, with about a dozen albums to his credit already; his music is eclectic, often eccentric, and doesn’t fit nicely into any single genre, but tends to be informed by many other styles throughout the album at hand, including rock, symphonic, pop, jazz, operatic, world music, and much more. What initially piqued my interest was the involvement of bassist Mark Andes, whom I’ve followed through his years with Spirit, Jo Jo Gunne, Firefall, and Heart, and indeed he is featured prominently on most of the tracks herein. But Andes is just one of many outstanding musicians contributing to In Terra Cognita? including violinist Jerry Goodman, guitarist Martin Barre, keyboardists Brian Auger and Francis Decamps, drummer Danny Seraphine (of Chicago), sax man John Helliwell of Supertramp, and many more world-class musicians, often a dozen or more playing on a single cut. Add to that many different singers we know well, most appearing on only a track or two: Alex Lighterwood, Michael Sadler, Christian Decamps, and many more. In addition, there are numerous world musicians that may only appear on a single track offering ethnic flutes, sitar, santoor, tuned percussion and more as Chardeau’s musical journet takes us from Moscow to India to Lhasa to Korea to Japan through the Pacific to Nunavut to Israel, Chad, Macchu Picchu, and more. It’s quite a journey, and one might be tempted to label this a rock opera, but it really isn’t that, even though we have orchestration on most of the tracks and a variety of singers, and an undeniable fact that no two cuts here sound like they are from the same album, it’s just Chardeau’s way of doing things, and on that note I would certainly call In Terra Cognita? a success.


Filed under: New releases, 2019 releases

Related artist(s): Jean-Jacques Chardeau, Martin Barre, Jerry Goodman, Brian Auger / Oblivion Express / Trinity

Latest news

2020-10-14
Audion Is Back in Business – Our esteemed colleague Alan Freeman has restarted Audion Magazine after a seven year hiatus. The new incarnation is available online on their Bandcamp site. Audion's history goes back to 1984, and included 58 issues up to 2013. Issue #59 is available now, and #60 is in the works. » Read more

2020-10-06
Romantic Warriors IV – Krautrock (Part 2) Is in the Works – Zeitgeist Media, the people who have brought us the great series of documentary films chronicling the history of progressive rock, are working on the second installment of their examination of German music. Krautrock 2 will focus on artists from Münich such as Guru Guru, Amon Düül II, Xhol Caravan, Kraan, Witthüser & Westrupp, and Popol Vuh. » Read more

2020-09-09
Simeon Coxe RIP – Simeon Coxe, best known for his experimental electronics in the band Silver Apples, has died at the age of 82. The band's 1968 debut album set the stage for both German electronic music and experimental punk music a decade later. Coxe died on September 8 from pulmonary fibrosis. » Read more

2020-09-05
Gary Peacock RIP – Legendary bassist Gary Peacock, veteran of many recordings and performances with Paul Bley, George Russell, Roland Kirk, Bill Evans, Tony Williams, and many more. » Read more

2020-07-22
Tim Smith RIP – Tim Smith, leader of the eccentric band Cardiacs, has died at the age of 59 after many years of health problems. Cardiacs was known for intense and complicated music that combined punk energy with the rhythmic and harmonic sophistication of progressive rock. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Progres 2 - Dialog S Vesmírem – This is a solid 76 minute live set from one of the better Eastern European prog bands. Progres 2 recorded several albums in the late 70s/early 80s featuring a rather dark and aggressive symphonic...  (1994) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues