GONG — Gazeuse! (aka Expresso) (review)

GONG — Gazeuse! (aka Expresso) album cover Album · 1976 · Fusion Buy this album from MMA partners
5/5 ·
seyo
"Gazeuse!" was my first GONG listening experience. Since I did not know the classic Daevid Allen-led Radio Gnome trilogy, I was pretty much impressed by the wonderful space/fusion sound of "Gazeuse!", because I had no previous model to compare to.

Now, when I know well most of the GONG 70s releases, I can even more appreciate this album. Pierre Moerlen took the lead and, backed by the enormous contribution of Malherbe's woodwinds, produced a jazz-rock masterpiece. Perhaps only on some of the MOTHERS OF INVENTION albums could I hear such a creative, playful and intelligent use of various percussion in the rock band format. Pierre and Benoit Moerlen, Mireille Bauer and Mino Cinelou act like a percussive symphonic orchestra, utilizing legions of instruments, some of which I never heard of before. Apart from Pierre's drum kit, you can hear vibraphone, marimba, glockenspiel, xylophone, congas, African bell-gong, cuica, maracas, talking drum, vibra, timpani... The best example of their capabilities is a two-part percussion suite "Percolations", which remind you that even the sole percussive rhythm instruments can create real music.

Another important contribution to this album is unbelievable lead guitar of Allan Holdsworth. The sound of his guitar is really unique and compositions where he gives his best like "Expresso" or "Shadows Of" are masterpieces of jazz-rock. Fans of LEB I SOL are strongly advised to listen to Holdsworth, because the undisputed ex-Yugoslav/Macedonian guitar genius Vlatko Stefanovski (ex leader of LEB I SOL) has repeatedly mentioned Holdsworth's influence on his own guitar technique.

Although the confirmed adherents to the earlier "Radio Gnome Invisible" space-rock mythology will probably dismiss "Gazeuse!" as ultimately a non-GonG record, other listeners (and specially jazz rock fans) are strongly advised to give it a try.
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