Gazeuse! was the first in a successful line of strictly jazz-rock sessions for percussionist Pierre Moerlen and company â€” compositions that stressed jazz more than rock and which generally strayed away from lyrical content. This 1976 recording, also released under the title Expresso, was the band’s first completely instrumental album, a companion piece to the later, somewhat warmer Expresso II, which is quite similar in sound and structure. To say Gazeuse! is percussive is an understatement. Drummer Moerlen is accompanied by brother Benoit and Mirielle Bauer on vibraphones with Mino Cinelu playing other assorted percussion. “Percolations” is a showcase for this foursome: Part one, a display of beautiful vibes and xylophones; part two, a technically superb drum solo. Pierre’s playing is fierce in this second part, exhibited by some truly volatile drumming near the close. Allan Holdsworth is the sole guitarist on the album and contributes two of his own compositions. His “Night Illusion” is a standout and reminiscent of Bill Bruford’s Feels Good to Me on which Holdsworth collaborated around the same time. Longtime Gong member Didier Malherbe adds spice to the proceedings with jazzy flute on “Shadows Of” and prominent sax on the slightly funky “Esnuria.” ~ David Ross Smith, All Music Guide
Kittyhawk – Islands
Chapman Stick, Guitar, Guitar [Fretless], Cello – Daniel Bortz (2)
Chapman Stick, Vocals – Paul Edwards
Drums, Percussion – Michael Jochum
Lyricon, Saxophone – Richard Elliot
Raymond Gomez – Volume
When listening to Volume, it soon becomes evident that Ray Gomez gets more soul, more feel, and more tone, than any other guitar player on the planet. Add in impeccable placed notes with “Albert King-like” timing, the album represents guitar playing that is hard to beat. Something else that needs to be said, Ray “rocks”. He is very keen on the groove within a song. Besides blistering leads, Ray keeps funk and rock groove rhythm in his playing. One could listen to Blues for Mez or West Side Boogie and say, “Well, there’s killer blues being played, funk being played, and a steady rockin’ groove. In essence, Ray Gomez is nothing short of a powerhouse. He gets more out of a guitar than is almost humanly possible, yet he does not overplay. Ray has the uncanny ability to play exactly what is needed for a song, yet with innovation, feel, and soaring power. U.S.A. is actually my favorite song on the record. It also establishes another front — that Ray is a damn good song writer and composer. Volume is a hidden gem that needs to be rediscovered. It’s still relevant and fresh today as it was when first released. Charles Wilson
Fusion 101 has been showcasing amazing new jazz-rock music from both independent and signed artists for a while now. You can hear these new artists daily, from 16:30-17:15 EST.
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