Forgas Band Phenomena

Soleil 12

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The music of drummer Patrick Forgas' octet is intriguing and sometimes a little difficult to classify. In ways it is reminiscent of some of the more adventurous fusion band projects of the 1970s, blending together the sound and power of rock with jazz improvisation yet in a scope that is a bit like a classical symphony. The four selections on Soleil 12, which includes the episodic 34-minute "Coup de Théâtre," keep one guessing but they generally progress and evolve logically. Most rewarding among the soloists are violinist Frédéric Norel and saxophonist Stanislas De Nussac (whose soprano playing on "Éclipse" is outstanding). Forgas' bass drum can be a bit overwhelming at times in the recording mix and there are times when one wishes the band could cut loose more from the arrangements, but overall this is an enjoyable set of Patrick Forgas' original music.

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