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
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