Exposé Online banner

Perception — Perception and Friends + Mestari (1972-1973)
(Great Winds GW3156, 1972/2012, 2CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2013-06-28

Perception and Friends + Mestari (1972-1973) Cover artOne of the members of the first graduating class of Magma, woodwind player Yochk’o (Jeff) Seffer joined up with three other like-minded players for a three-album free-jazz run in the early 1970s. The quartet, which included Didier Levallet on bass, drummer Jean-My Truong, and Siegfried Kessler covering piano, clavinet and flute, released their eponymous debut LP on the Futura label in 1971 (since reissued on CD by Mellow in 2001). The package at hand reissues Perception’s second and third LPs, Perception and Friends and Mestari, from ’72 and ’73 respectively, with almost an album’s worth of bonus tracks. What’s notable about Perception and Friends is the absence of Kessler on all but one of the five cuts, replaced on the others by Manuel Villaroel on piano. There are also a number of additional players sitting in, track depending (the Friends), including Magma alums Luis Toesca (trumpet) and Teddy Lasry (soprano sax & clarinet), plus Daniel Brulé on trombone, and three of the cuts feature multiple cello players, which all taken give this album a very different feel than its predecessor, or Mestari that followed. Like all free-jazz, things get a little chaotic at times, especially when there are that many cooks in the kitchen, but most of the music here is composed, just offering plenty of windows for improvisation. With Mestari, Perception went back to the core quartet (with Kessler returning on strictly electric piano, and penning one of the album’s finest cuts, opener “Chott Djerid”). In fact the album proper contains only three long tunes, the others written by Seffer and Levallet. Still jazz, still very free, but with a few less musicians in the mix going off in every direction, Mestari overall seems a lot more satisfying. Also of note is the bonus track “Waiting For Moby Dick,” featuring a reformed Perception in August ’79 featuring only Levallet and Seffer. By the end of ’73 Seffer and Truong would join up with bassist Joel Dugrenot, keyboardist Francois Cahen and singer Mauricia Platon for the first edition of Zao, and the rest is history. There’s a lot of excellence to be heard here in these two brilliant slabs of French jazz.

Filed under: Reissues, 2012 releases, 1972 recordings

Related artist(s): Perception

Latest news

2020-03-24
Bill Rieflin RIP – The sad news reaches us today of Bill Rieflin's death. Rieflin was best known as a drummer in bands ranging from post-punk to industrial to indie-rock to progressive rock, including work with The Blackouts, Ministry, Nine Inch Nails, Swans, Land, and King Crimson. Rieflin had been battling cancer for several years, and succumbed to it on March 24. He was 59. » Read more

2020-03-17
Cruise to the Edge and Seaprog 2020 Festivals Postponed – The worldwide outbreak of the novel coronavirus has started to produce casualties in the music festival world, and music festivals are not immune. We've had word that both the Cruise to the Edge (originally slated for March 27 - April 1) and Seaprog (originally June 5-7) have been postponed to later dates, with those dates to be announced. » Read more

2020-03-06
McCoy Typer RIP – Word reaches us today of the passing of one of the most influential pianists in the history of jazz, McCoy Tyner. His tenure with John Coltrane in the early 60s includes some of the most treasured recordings of the era, including My Favorite Things and A Love Supreme. After leaving Coltrane's group, he had a long and successful solo career. He was 81. » Read more

2020-02-18
Jon Christensen RIP – Word reaches us today of the passing of Norwegian drummer Jon Christensen, a musician whose sensitive playing did much to help define the atmospheric sound of ECM jazz recordings. His work with Jan Garbarek, Bobo Stenson, Terje Rypdal, and many more was sensitive and varied, adapting to a wide variety of styles while maintaining a distinct identity of its own. Christensen was 76. » Read more

2020-01-21
Gong Announces UK Tour for 2020 – Having spent the last few years touring the world, including dates in Japan with psych legend Steve Hillage, multiple headline European tours and festivals, America’s Cruise to the Edge festival, a South America headline tour, and a headline performance at Tomorrow Festival in China, the band have won the hearts of both traditional and modern Gong fanbases. During this live journey, Gong has delved further into the truly psychedelic, exploratory, and mind-expanding side of the music. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Gnomus - II – This is the second release of spontaneous compositions from this Finnish trio. Drums, keyboards and guitar wander into the outer reaches of deep space for improvisations that never really approach...  (2005) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues