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L'Axe du Fou [Axis of Madness]

Album: L'Axe du Fou [Axis of Madness]
# Song Title   Time
1)    Clef, La
2)    Axe du Fou, L'
3)    Double-Sens
4)    13Šme Lune, La
Product Details
Performer Notes
  • Personnel: Benjamin Violet (guitar); Karolina Mlodecka (violin); Sebastien Trognon (flute, tenor saxophone); Dimitri Alexaline (trumpet); Igor Brover (keyboards); Kengo Mochizuki (bass instrument); Patrick Forgas (drums).
  • Audio Mixer: Andr‚ Voltz.
  • Liner Note Author: Aymeric Leroy.
  • Recording information: Little Big Studios, Arpajon, France (07/01/2008-07/03/2008).
  • Arranger: Patrick Forgas.
  • The Forgas Band Phenomena whips up a mighty mix of jazz-rock fusion that taps on many of that music's sources, yet injects new energy and a few contemporary ideas of their own. For those of you who grew up on the Return to Forever/Mahavishnu Orchestra /Weather Report strain of modern jazz, you will love this group. Drummer/composer Patrick Forgas has formed this updated, European-based band with new members to revise older compositions and add new ones, all in extended form and with vital, stretched-out, developed melodies and precise, compact solos. The distinct Euro edge of classic Canterbury art rock minus the abject self-indulgence, Forgas has sculpted extremely listenable music that keeps nostalgia to a minimum. "La Clef" starts the program and grabs you with its kinetic energy, as the violin of Karolina Mlodecka and trumpeter Dimitri Alexaline streamline a melody in 10/8 time effortlessly, with a tasteful 6/8 section that provides a lot to like over 11 minutes. The sixteen-and-a-half minute title track is not as wicked as the title suggests, but weaves in and out from common-sense lines to wild abandon in 5/4 and 9/8 time signatures to a 7/8 electric guitar passage from Benjamin Violet echoing the Jean-Luc Ponty edition of Mahavishnu. Where "Double-Sens/Double Entendre" is much more delicate in its patient minimalism, a funky organ riff in 6/8 from Igor Brover with lilting sax and violin form attractive, parallel, counter melody lines that are whole and fresh. The piece closest to pure rock is "La Thirteeneme Lune/the Thirteenth Moon," a convergent road song where heavy beats in 6/8 and 2/4 meet Baroque-type dynamics with Sebastien Trognon's flute and Mlodecka's pepped-up flute. Forgas plays a solid and steady drumkit alongside bassist Kengo Mochizuki, but his highly intelligent and crafted compositions are the kind of jazz everyone can enjoy, and that baby boomers will not only relate to, but be startled by. There's no mincing words about the Phenomena tag this band is proud to own -- terrific music made by a wonderful band that cannot be a trade secret for too much longer. Vive la Forgas! ~ Michael G. Nastos
Professional Reviews
JazzTimes (p.58) - "[T]hough rich, this album is sharp, succinct and more streamlined than Forgas' last efforts, more dependent upon intimate rococo intricacies than big-picture blasts."
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