Et Cetera

Et Cetera

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The sole album released by this group from Montreal, Et Cetera ranks among the finest items in Quebec progressive rock and remains a sought-after collector's item. The group benefited from a sleek production that enhances its rich arrangements and complex contrapuntal lines. This is as close as any derivative prog rock band got to Gentle Giant. Besides emulating the technique of their illustrious British masters, the Montrealers tapped into the essence of Giant-esque counterpoint and vocal harmony. Mostly detectable in "Et la Musique Tourne," "Éclaircie," and "Newton Avait Raison," this influence is not the only point of reference here. Et Cetera adds a brand of jazz-rock also found in the music of a few other Quebec groups at the time, especially Maneige and Sloche. The music is dominated by Marie Bernard's keyboards and voice. Her soloing ability on the mini-Moog ranks high among her male European counterparts, while her use of Ondes Martenot gives the music a unique flavor. One of the first synthesizers built, the Martenot is operated by a slide, giving it a sound somewhere between a theremin and a singing saw. Having a woman sing lead vocals in a progressive rock group is a treat by itself. Highly cerebral, this music requires many listens before the melodies can have a chance to sink in, but "Et la Musique Tourne" remains anthology material while the other six songs make a very honest album for fans of the genre. Recommended but hard to find.

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