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Edition Speciale - Aliquante

Edition Speciale - AliquanteIf the World Wide Web had been in existence in the 70's, this gem of an album would not have passed me by.  Thankfully, Musea have now released French band Edition Speciale's second album, Aliquante, on CD.

Featuring Ann Ballester (keyboards, vocals), Mimi Lorenzi (guitar, vocals), Josquin Turenne Des Pres (bass, vocals) and Alain Gouillard (drums), Aliquante was originally released back in 1977.

The album is predominantly instrumental with occasional short vocal sections and follows a jazz-rock path, although I would be inclined to label it as prog-fusion.

The opening bars of the first track, Vedra, immediately reminded me of Caravan and I would suggest that there are some Canterbury influences throughout the album.  However, the music can be best compared to that of Brand X of around the same period, particularly their Unorthodox Behaviour album and elements of Moroccan Roll.

Edition Speciale don't mess about; they get straight into a groove that is both relaxed and has pace with delicious complexity and a generally funky style. Gentle Giant aficionados will enjoy the intro to Le Temps D'Un Solo!

Unlike some fusion bands, Edition Speciale do not tend to stray far from the central melody of each piece, so non-fusion converts have nothing to fear on that score.

The accompanying CD booklet contains a band biography in both French and English.  There are two bonus tracks, Camara and Aurore, which were apparently recorded as a model for the band's 1978 album, Horizon Digital, which was to be their final work (hopefully Musea will re-release this in due course).

Aliquante is, in a word, superb.

Jem Jedrzejewski




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