Gong

Gazeuse!

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Gazeuse! was the first in a successful line of strictly jazz-rock sessions for percussionist Pierre Moerlen and company -- 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 Mireille 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."

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