Exposé Online banner

XII Alfonso — Claude Monet, Vol. 2 - 1889-1904
(Musea FGBG 4540.AR, 2006, CD)

by David Bischoff, Published 2008-01-01

Claude Monet, Vol.  2 - 1889-1904 Cover artGot a friend who only likes jazz or movie soundtrack music or both? Here's a disc to slip into their hands with a wink. It just might turn them into prog-heads. XII Alfonso have fashioned here a unique yet familiar blend of background music that improves upon foreground inspection. The French, of course, are crazy for jazz, and their take on jazz is often more melodious than improvisational. Still, as France is the birthplace of impressionism in the visual arts, what better way to put a Gallic spin on jazz and prog than to go "impressionistic." Thus that ever-listenable group XII Alfonso have summoned forth a strong wash of rich imagery by naming this set after one of Impressionism's greats, Claude Monet. What might become a mishigosh in the hands of lesser musicians, becomes a savory beef bourguignon as served up by XII Alfonso. The strong melodic sense of the composers, along with their encyclopedic access to musical styles is what makes this like screen music. One moment you are in the cheerful street-circus atmosphere of "Madrid 1904" with tubas and castanets, the next you're on a whimsical vibes, flute and accordion dream in "Partition pour Pinceaux et Coquelicots." And don't worry. There's enough strong electric guitar work herein to satisfy prog fans. If there's one CD that you can put in your player and set "repeat" with while you paint marigolds or loll about with a croissant and the thickest of Sunday papers, this is it.

Filed under: New releases, Issue 35, 2006 releases

Related artist(s): XII Alfonso

Latest news

2018-07-09
Soft Machine Set to Release New Music – It's been 50 years since The Soft Machine changed the face of music with their first album. Their blend of psychedelic rock and jazz was unique, and while the band went through many changes before disbanding in 1981 — by which time there were no original members remaining — they remained an innovative force with a style all their own. » Read more

2018-07-01
7d Surfaces Happy Rhodes Back Catalog – We've covered singer Happy Rhodes before, both for her solo work and recently with The Security Project, but her 11 albums have been hard to track down. Until now. 7d features high-quality downloads of all her releases, and several of them are also available on CD. » Read more

2018-06-25
Fred Chalenor RIP – We have news of another sad passing in the world of creative music. Bassist Fred Chalenor, whose creativity featured on albums by Tone Dogs, Caveman Shoestore, and many more, died on June 23, 2018 after a long battle with Alzheimer's. Tributes have poured in from the many musicians and fans whose lives he touched. » Read more

2018-06-13
Jon Hiseman RIP – One of the great drummers of the rock era has died. Jon Hiseman was a veteran of such ground-breaking groups as Colosseum (I and II), Tempest, John Mayal's Bleusbreakers, and was a founding member of the innovative large band United Jazz + Rock Ensemble. » Read more

2018-06-05
Koenjihyakkei Seeks Funding for New Album – It's been quite a few years since the last new studio album by the amazing Koenjihyakkei. Now they are preparing Dhormimviskha for worldwide release, and they're asking fans to pre-order via a Kickstarter campaign to help it happen. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Murat Ses - Umami – Umami is Turkish musician Murat Ses’ seventh solo album. Umami is a Japanese word meaning savory, which this new release is, not too sweet, not too sour, tangy but just right. On his latest...  (2008) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues