Magma — Concert - Bobino 1981
(Seventh Records AKT V, 1981/1995, 2CD)
by Rob Walker, Published 1995-11-01
The latest release on Vander's AKT label is a two CD set featuring live material from 1981. The band at this point was fairly versatile, with multi-keyboards and horns joining the multi-vocal, bass, and drum lineup. Thus the song renditions presented here are generally full and lush, and bear some resemblance to the sound of late 70s fusion groups like Return to Forever. The selection of pieces on this set, though, is sort of a mixed bag. The version of "Hhaï" is as strong as the one on RetrospektÏw III, and features guitarist Jean-Luc Chevalier trading furious solos with Benoit Widemann on synth. Chevalier also contributes outstanding solos on an extended "Retrovision" as well as on the highlight of the set, a 30 minute previously unreleased "Zess." This Vander composition is in the classic Magma style, beginning with a long, mysterious choral incantation and concluding with a slow, dramatic crescendo to the finale of the piece. Aside from a very fusionish "Zaïn," the remaining tracks are rather weak, and tend more towards the style of Magma's next studio album, Merci.
Didier Lockwood RIP – Word reaches us today of the death of one of France's great jazz musicians, violinist Didier Lockwood. His playing bridged many worlds, from traditional jazz to fusion to progressive rock, and his talent can be heard on recordings by Magma, Clearlight, Pierre Moerlen's Gong, and many more. Lockwood was 62. » Read more
10 Years of Fruits de Mer - The Incomplete Angler – Those of you who are faithful followers of Exposé will know that we have been promoting Fruits de Mer and its side labels and releases from nearly its first year. Now music journalist and author Dave Thompson has written a book chronicling the past ten years as a celebration of this milestone. » Read more
Bill Bruford Ventures into Uncharted Territory – Drum master Bill Bruford, veteran of some of the most creative bands in history (King Crimson, Yes, Genese, etc.), is sharing some of what he's learned about being a drummer and a musician in his new book, Uncharted: Creativity and the Expert Drummer, out on University of Michigan Press. » Read more