Noetra — Neuf Songes
(Musea FGBG 4034.AR, 1981/1992, CD)
by Henry Schneider, 1993-12-31:Even though the title of this CD reissue is Neuf Songes (Nine Musings), there are thirteen. Noetra recorded these thirteen thought provoking “musings,” one to ten minutes in length, between November 1979 and August 1981. Noetra, a large ensemble, featured: Jean Lapouge (composer, guitar), Christian Paboeuf (flute and oboe), Daniel Renault (drums), Denis Lefranc (bass), Pierre Aubert (violin), Pascal Leberre (clarinet and soprano sax), Francis Michaud (tenor sax and flute), Denis Vollet (cello), Claude Lapouge (trombone), Jacques Nobili (trombone), and Laurent Tardif (alto flute). Noetra successfully straddled the interface between rock, classical chamber music, and jazz without creating background music or falling prey to avant garde excess. Neuf Songes reminded me of the album Un Certain Pays by another obscure French band Human. Both bands created a unique blend of these musical styles. If bands like Art Zoyd, Third Ear Band, and Universe Zero stimulate you, but you prefer music a bit more in the mainstream, then Neuf Songes is for you.
by Rob Walker, 1994-02-01:This is fabulous, very intricate and occasionally dark, somewhat Canterburyish kind of stuff. The pieces are mellow and rolling as well as intense and energetic, the writing is excellent, and there is over 70 minutes of great music on this Musea CD. The instrumentation is based around a beautiful clean electric guitar, delicate and tasteful drumming, bass, violin, and oboe/flute with a bunch of other strings and woodwinds helping out. At some points it veers towards a 20th century classical style, where the drums drop out and there is some great woodwind and string polyphony, but for the most part the drumming and bass keep the music moving along at quite a palatable clip for most prog listeners. This album creates the same mysteriously peaceful kind of feeling I get from Laurent Thibault, and also at times reminds me of the group Oregon. The Canterbury component of the sound is kind of a mix of early Henry Cow, Hatfield, and National Health, though you shouldn't get the impression that Noetra goes off on "Dreams Wide Awake" type jams. The intensity on Neuf Songes is created by the wonderful composition, dynamics, and controlled dissonance.
Related artist(s): Noetra
ProgDay 2017 Announces First Bands – Flor de Loto, Sonar, and Infinien are the first three performers to be announced for the 2017 edition of the long-running ProgDay Festival. The 23rd ProgDay takes place Saturday and Sunday, September 2nd and 3rd, at Storybook Farm in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. » Read more
Allan Holdsworth RIP – Surely in the list of artists who have contributed to the sound of modern music, there is a special spot for guitarist Allan Holdsworth. His name is known to virtually every student of the instrument in jazz and rock, and his style has been so widely emulated that it's hardly worth mentioning anymore — we can just assume that every guitarist has Holdsworth as an influence. » Read more
Larry Coryell RIP – One of the greats of jazz guitar has left us at the age of 73. Larry Coryell was one of the founding figures of jazz fusion, but produced a significant body of work the bridged many styles. His group Eleventh House provided a unique take on the combination of jazz and rock that was distinct from contemporaries such as Mahavishnu Orchestra, Return to Forever, and Weather Report. » Read more
John Wetton RIP – After a long battle with colon cancer, singer and bassist John Wetton has died at the age of 67. As an integral member of such bands as King Crimson, UK, and Asia, his was one of the distinctive voices in progressive rock, lending a human touch to often difficult music. » Read more
Seaprog Announces First Artists for 2017 – The organizers of the Seaprog Festival in Seattle have announced the first set of confirmed performers for the 2017 festival. The best known names are Jack o' the Clock and Zero Times Everything, but a host of other bands are featured, mostly from the Northwest. The festival will take place June 2-4, 2017. » Read more