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

2018-01-18
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

2018-01-05
Ray Thomas RIP – On Thursday, 4 January 2017, the world lost Ray Thomas, founding member of the Moody Blues. Thomas sang and played flute, and was responsible for writing a number of the band's most memorable songs. He was 76. » Read more

2017-12-22
Roswell Rudd RIP – Jazz trombonist Roswell Rudd, one of the distinctive players of his instrument in many strains of music, has died at the age of 82. With a career stretching back to the early 60s and over a hundred recordings featuring his playing, he leaves behind a substantial legacy. He was diagnosed with cancer in 2013. » Read more

2017-11-16
Celebrate 10 Years of Fruits de Mer – As a special celebration for a decade of cool vinyl releases, our friends at Fruits de Mer records have prepared a limited edition reissue of an album by the first band ever to appear on the label: Schizo Fun Addict. The band is known for unusual release strag » Read more

2017-11-02
Mega Dodo Presents New Charity Album – Our friends at Mega Dodo have put together a lovely compilation of their artists performing new arrangements of nursery rhymes, and all the profits from sales of the album will benefit Save the Children. It features a number of artists we've covered. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Julie Slick - Julie Slick – Being from a famous music family has definitely helped bassist Julie Slick get a leg up on the competition. A graduate of the Paul Green School of Rock, Slick and her just slightly older brother Eric...  (2011) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues