Rhesus O — Rhesus O
(Musea FGBG 4137.AR, 1971/1996, CD)
by Peter Thelen, 1997-02-01:
A lost relic from the early zeuhl period, Rhesus O was a band formed by keyboardist Jean-Pol Asseline and drummer Thierry Blanchard in 1971, along with five other musicians — among them Magma alumni Francis Moze (bass) and Alain Hatot (saxes, flute), and actually represents the first real Magma offshoot band, although at that point neither Blanchard or Asseline had been members themselves (Jean-Pol later joined during the Köhntarkösz / Live period after the dissolution of Rhesus O). Their style could be described as a mixture of Third and 4 period Soft Machine and the early Magma circa the first album or 1001C. The lineup included dual keys (organ and electric piano), dual basses (electric bass and double bass), and occasional xylophone, plus saxes (soprano, tenor, and baritone), flute, acoustic guitar, and drums. The playing is extremely tight and spirited, with a strong contribution from all the players. The album contains nine short to mid-length gems of sparkling jazz-rock, each with its own character and lifepulse. The sound quality is excellent, especially considering that these tapes are twenty-five years old. Were it not for the vintage instrumentation, one could easily believe this was recorded yesterday. Sadly, there are no tapes beyond what constituted the original album, so that's all you get, thirty-five solid minutes in all. This is definitely a must-have for all zeuhl fans and friends of jazz-rock alike.
by Henry Schneider, 2016-12-15:
Digging through their music archives Musea has unearthed another relic of the pre-Magma / zeuhl school of music. Recorded in 1971 at the Chateau d’Herouville, this short-lived band produced what many aficionados consider to be the first zeuhl album. Drawing on their jazz roots and close association with Gerard Prevost, Jean-Pol Asseline and Thierry Blanchard pulled together seven other likeminded musicians to create a rich and sophisticated music akin to Magma’s first album and Soft Machine’s Third and Fourth. With today’s CD technology and the tendency now to utilize it to the max, the roughly 36 minutes for the nine songs are just too short. It is too bad that Musea could not augment the original album with some bonus tracks. Rhesus O is an essential album for fans of this genre and could be a great place to start for the uninitiated.
Related artist(s): Rhesus O
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
Wolfgang Dauner RIP – Pianist Wolfgang Dauner, one of the pioneers of both European free jazz and jazz rock, has died at the age of 84. With his own groups and with the United Jazz+Rock Ensemble, his playing and compositions were a prominent presence in European jazz from the mid-60s until just recently. » Read more
Michael Allison RIP – Michael Allison, who since 1997 has been recording as Darshan Ambient, passed away on January 9th after a long and brave battle with cancer. He has been at at the forefront of the new ambient/electronic music scene, with over eighteen releases to his credit. » Read more
Neil Peart RIP – One of rock music's defining drummers has died at the age of 67. Neil Peart's work with Rush provided one of the templates for percussion in rock, and he certainly ranks in the top ten most influential drummers of the 20th Century. Peart retired from playing in 2015 due to health issues, and succumbed to brain cancer on January 7, 2020. » Read more