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Maneige - Ni Vent... Ni Nouvelle CD (album) cover

NI VENT... NI NOUVELLE

Maneige

 

Jazz Rock/Fusion

4.06 | 119 ratings

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FragileKings
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Getting into the Quebec prog scene, Maneige was an unavoidable band. I did try to circumvent them, but inevitably (or rather soon actually) I found them essential. The problem for me was that they were a jazz fusion band and that is not a style of music that takes up very much space in my collection at all. I listened to them on YouTube and wondered where I was going to be able to "land" my musical interests. At last, it seemed that "Ni vent... Ni nouvelle" had the most guitars ("Les Porches", which is considered a quintessential Canadian prog album in some circles, was too much jazz/classical fusion for my taste from what I heard) and seemed the best gateway for me to get into the band. I also really liked the gatefold type cover with a landscape theme not dissimilar to Yes' "Fragile" album artwork.

This was Maneige's third album and it was a departure from their longer thematic compositions. "Ni vent... Ni nouvelle" is comprised of ten shorter compositions with two of them, "Le Gai Marvin" and "Time Square", being under two minutes, and "Les Folleries" occupying the most space with 6:07. I have read that some feel that even though this is a very good album, it is less coherent than the debut or the classic "Les Porches". Admittedly, this notion stayed with me as I listened to the album the first two times. However, since I have no other Maneige album to compare with, I have to draw my conclusions from this one. And my conclusion is that I rather like it.

This is an all instrumental album with six band members and five guests. One of the first things you might notice is the use of percussion for the lead melody on some tracks. Just take a look at the members' names and the instruments they play and you will see four of the six involved in percussion work. But don't worry. There's plenty of beautiful classical piano, some strings, acoustic and electric guitar, saxophone, flute and bass guitar. Each piece has a different take and the longer ones go through some different musical motifs ensuring a journey through beautiful piano and strings, exciting and active percussion leads, some sax and electric guitar duos, and a variety of creative compositions. Personal favourites of mine are "La Fin de l'Histoire", "Les Folleries", "Les Epinettes" and "Douce-Amere". "11 Juillet" also has some cool moments.

It has taken me a few listens to really feel comfortable with the album but I feel it's a successful piece of work. There is most certainly an audience for this here on PA, and I am glad to have been able to expand my progressive music tastes one album wider.

FragileKings | 4/5 |

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