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Benoit Widemann - Fusion CD (album) cover

FUSION

Benoit Widemann

 

Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.95 | 3 ratings

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Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer
4 stars So we get the founding member of MAGMA on drums, Christian Vander of course along with three former MAGMA members. Benoit Widemann on Fender Rhodes, Minimoog, electronics and synths, Jannick Top on bass and Didier Lockwood on violin all playing Jazz Fusion as the title of this album suggests. All four were involved in composing the music which is all instrumental. The thing I was most looking forward to with this release was hearing Vander play in the Jazz/ Fusion style. Yes MAGMA has that jazzy touch given Vander was such a huge John Coltrane fan and you just need to hear their debut especially to acknowledge that but this is straight up Fusion for the most part and he does play differently. Not as adventerous or as impressive as his work with his own band but man I love his intricate style here. I will be using the word "intricate" a lot when describing his drumming.

The album cover makes me laugh for some reason, it was everybody wear what you want for the photo shoot today(haha). I also have to say Top plays differently too although he uses some fuzz on that last track and briefly plays in the Zeuhl style. We get started with the mammoth 24 minute "GHK Go To Miles" which opens with experimental sounds from Widemann that sort of pulse with atmosphere in between. This goes on quietly for a minute then it kicks in with synths, drums, electric piano and bass. Lots of intricate sounds here with violin over top. Check out Vander though with those punchy and precise beats. I'm so into this sound.

Some jazzy bass after 4 1/2 minutes then after 5 minutes it's drums, electric piano and bass only then the synths return after 5 1/2 minutes, again check out Vander! I like the Fender Rhodes after 8 1/2 minutes then it settles at 9 1/2 minutes with pretty much synths and drums before it picks up again. Interesting sound 14 1/2 minutes with those cascading sounds followed by a calm after 15 minutes as bass and atmosphere take over. Drums will eventually join in quietly and it's quite peaceful here. The synths are back after 19 minutes. We're rocking out now after 21 minutes with violin, drums, bass and synths. Oh my! It ends like it began. What a song!

"Overdrive" opens with a car revving it's engine then it takes off as this funky rhythm kicks in with synths over top. Violin replaces the synths around a minute. I like this. The tempo picks up before 2 minutes but then settles back quickly. Synths replace the violin after 3 minutes to the end.

"767 ZX6" has this relaxed sound of bass, electric piano and drums as the violin comes in over top in a laid back manner. It kicks in to an uptempo groove after 1 1/2 minutes. Lots of energy here. The violin stops after 3 1/2 minutes as minimoog replaces it and the bass and drums continue. The bass is jazzy then the song ends as it began.

"Relief" is spacey to begin with as Fender Rhodes, a beat then bass joins in. Very mellow. I'm reminded of Zeuhl with the electric piano after a minute. The drums become more prominent 2 minutes in and the bass is growly too. It's still relaxed as the violin comes in briefly. It kicks in after 2 1/2 minutes. Love that fuzzed out bass. And it's so freaking good after 4 minutes. Check out Vander! It settles right down 5 minutes with those spacey synths and Fender Rhodes as the sound from the intro returns. It does pick back up and yes that drumming is so good, so intricate and punchy. Violin late then synths end it.

Easily 4 stars and one I'm going to enjoy for a long time I hope. One of my favs as well for 1981, although not in my top ten.

Mellotron Storm | 4/5 |

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