EDITION SPÉCIALE

Jazz Related Rock / Fusion • France
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EDITION SPÉCIALE picture
In the mid-Seventies, the French jazz-rock fusion style was not completely defined. The country didnt have much to compete with the american leaders of the style such as RETURN TO FOREVER and WEATHER REPORT. In those days, one of the most famous French guitarists since his participation to TRIANGLE, decided to take up his chances... Martial "MIMI" LORENZINI founded EDITION SPECIALE in 1975, with keyboardist-singer Ann BALLESTER, bass player Josquin TURENNE DES PRES and drummer Jean-Franois BOUCHET-DANGELY. Even in their first album "Alle Des Tilleuls" (1976), a perfectly mastered music can be heard, which made those four musicians famous. Thanks to a number of incredible talents that blended in a very strong personality, the band could create their personal vision of a Progressive jazz-rock sung in French (But with a few tracks in the English tongue). The song and funk aspects were also present there, even though they tended to read more...
Thanks to snobb for the addition

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AliquanteAliquante
Musea Records France 2006
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EDITION SPÉCIALE Discography

EDITION SPÉCIALE albums / top albums

EDITION SPÉCIALE Allée des tilleuls album cover 3.00 | 1 ratings
Allée des tilleuls
Jazz Related Rock 1976
EDITION SPÉCIALE Aliquante album cover 3.92 | 3 ratings
Aliquante
Fusion 1977
EDITION SPÉCIALE Horizon digital album cover 3.45 | 2 ratings
Horizon digital
Jazz Related Rock 1978
EDITION SPÉCIALE Faidate album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Faidate
Fusion 2005

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EDITION SPÉCIALE Reviews

EDITION SPÉCIALE Aliquante

Album · 1977 · Fusion
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Sean Trane
I’ve known ES for decades, having been given a copy of this album back in those days, and while I was still a bit too young to appreciate JR/F, I kept on regular but rare rotation, wondering why ES was not at least as well known as RTF, EH, WR, and MO as well as SM, or BrX…. Of course the superstar status of the members of those previously-mentioned groups, looking at ES, none of them reached the heel as far as fame was concerned. Clearly all four musicians were more than excellent at their trades,the most impressive being bassist Josquin Turenne induced a slight Zeuhl twist that is completely absent in other JR/F groups. Graced with a superb and intriguing artwork, Aliquante was ES’ second album (that was news to me still in the late 90’s, though) and it was to be the second last (I was aware but had also never heard the album), so I remained with a largely misinformed opinion of this group for decades. BTW, Ballester and Lorenzini were romantically involved.

Now having wisely stayed away from ES’s debut (only heard it twice at a friend’s house), it’s clear that Aliquante is from another galaxy than its predecessor. One of the main drawback of the debut is Ann Ballester’s vocals, which coupled with her rather good electric piano playing sounds like a third rate Steely Dan, something that will pursue the group to the end of its career. While all four musicians have clearly improved compared to the debut album, the main difference is that Aliquante is an-almost instrumental album: only two tracks are sung, the rest deploying a very solid and aerial JR/F somewhere between RTF and MO, but never reaching the awesome amount of virtuosity so present in those groups. While Vedra starts clearly on a Caravan-derived line, the track quickly develops a speed where our Canterburians couldn’t have followed. Even if newcomer drummer Gouillard‘s play is very reminiscent of Collins’ in BX, the group is often on RTF grounds without the ultra-funk of later albums (as I said Zeuhl is more applicable), but obviously the execution speed is limited. If they indeed overstretch their limits (the start of Temps D’Un Solo), it immediately sounds bizarre or out of tune.

And once Ballester’s vocals do come in the band, they sound better controlled but could’ve been done without as well, but if you don’t mind Steely Dan, you shouldn’t find much problem on this album. According to Ann, the recording of the album was rushed by their new label RCA, which might explain why it has much less vocals than the other two, but you might want to consider this a blessing. As for her keyboard playing, she’s right up there with her fellow musos, and there is little discussion about her choice of synth sounds, a trap that her much more illustrious compadres (Hancock, Zawinul, Corea) couldn’t avoid.

Whether the two bonus tracks are a useful addition is rather of a personal taste, but they’re both early writing/recording stages of the first two track of the next album Horizon Digital, but they beef up a rather short original album, so if Aliquante is the only album you’re planning on getting, they provide enough added value to the album, if you don’t mind their last album’s much more vocal statement. .Clearly the group’s better album, you’ll probably have to start with this one, while knowing that it’s probably the least representative of their works.

EDITION SPÉCIALE Horizon digital

Album · 1978 · Jazz Related Rock
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Sean Trane
After the almost awesome Aliquante, ES came back the following year with a fairly different album, one that would be recorded in Chateau D’Hérouville and recorded by Laurent Thibault (see his section elsewhere in PA), with a very different line-up. Only the Lorenzini-Ballester couple remains with Gouillard on drums, bassist Turquenne passing through Magma (little wonder) and being replaced by Grillot and the group brings in ex-Gong Mireille Bauer (vibes & perc) as a sort–of guest on the way to Catherine Ribeiro & Alpes. It’s my guess many progheads will prefer this present album over Aliquante, and no doubt the gatefold artwork will work subliminally for Horizon Digital, but you should trust (blindly) me on this one, go for Aliquante

One of the differences you will hear is a more Zappa-esque feel to HD, due to Mireille Bauer’s vibraphones, this as noticeable on the fast tracks (Aurore) than on the slower moments (intro of Camara), giving a more Mother-esque feeling than a Gong-ian tone. Another difference is the much greater presence (and more intrusive) of Ballester’s Steely Dan-esque vocals laced with weaker second-rate Zeuhlian influences. So overall the ES formula is returning to a sung popier format, Ballester’s synths choices not being as successful as previously, and the group is even closing the album with a needless blues track.

If on the strictly vinyl album comparison point, Aliquante is a much better album than HD, once you get to the Cd reissues, Musea actually renders things more difficult, by adding five bonus tracks that were supposed to be ES’s fourth album and recorded in 80. While remaining musically roughly in line with their third album, the group was now only a duo consisting of Lorenzini and Ballester plus guests, and by that time, they had been caught by a lot trends of the times, and tried to be much more song-oriented (as in commercially-oriented songs) with Ballester’s voice returning to the fore, but the back up she got made the whole thing sound like Steely Dan and this time not just vocally, but musically as well. Actually the five tracks of the fourth unreleased album make a rather nice accompaniment to Horizon Digital’s eight, but you will find a degradation of quality and inspiration, the pop thing being furthered even flirting with a reggaeish funk… Better first start with Aliquante and if that pleases you enough to find more about them, come to this one (and its successor as bonus) and then move to the debut if you’re still interested.

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