Exposé Online banner

Serge Bringolf — Strave
(Soleil Zeuhl 27, 1980/2011, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2013-04-01

Strave Cover artMagma has been known to lean into jazzy territory from time to time, and the Canterbury bands (Soft Machine, Matching Mole) did so even more strongly. Bringolf brings elements of both zeuhl and Canterbury together into an interesting flavor of music. If you're prone to classifying things, you'd probably say this is jazz - large ensemble fusion specifically - though the more Magma-esque touches might throw you off. But hey, they're European, so maybe you don't expect it to be real jazz anyway. The core of this 1980 recording (originally a double LP) is Bringolf at the drums and bassist François Grillot; a brass section, strings, and mallet percussion round out the sound. And of course there's a vocal section as well, providing parts in true zeuhl tradition. All four side-long tracks from the original release are presented with good sound quality - a very live feeling - with my only complaint being a slight lack of oomph in the low end on the bass, but that's perhaps the tone Grillot used on his fretless electric. The musicianship throughout is outstanding, with every player getting a moment in the spotlight, and the compositions are quite solid as well, full of interesting twists and sections. At times, there's a similarity to the extended Mahavishnu on Visions of the Emerald Beyond. Given its genre-straddling sound, Strave is a worthy gem that should should appeal to fans of both jazz and progressive rock without alienating either side.

Filed under: Reissues, Issue 40, 2011 releases, 1980 recordings

Related artist(s): Serge Bringolf

More info
http://www.soleilzeuhl.com

Latest news

2018-02-18
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

2018-02-15
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

2018-02-14
Tom Rapp RIP – Singer / songwriter Tom Rapp, best known with the band Pearls Before Swine, passed away on February 12, at the age of 70, after a battle with cancer. » Read more

2018-01-30
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

2018-01-18
Christian Burchard RIP – Multi-instrumentalist Christian Burchard, who founded the seminal band Embryo in 1969, has died at the age of 71. His January 17 passing was announced on the band's Facebook page. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

The Gentry - Sweet Gossip TV – Sweet Gossip TV is the second full official recording by the duo of Steve Taylor and Gino Mari, heavily influenced by The Cure and the Psychedelic Furs. The band has come a long way since their first...  (2006) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues