JEF GILSON — Malagasy (review)

JEF GILSON — Malagasy album cover Album · 1972 · World Fusion Buy this album from MMA partners
3/5 ·
snobb
French keyboardist Jef Gilson is possibly better known by his band from early 60s with still unknown violinist Jean Luc Ponty on board.But in late 60s-early 70s he was one the first European musicians, seriously influenced by African music.

"Malagacy" was a first (of two) albums,recorded by Jef with big team of Madagascar musicians.Whole band includes 5 reeds players (mostly saxes,electric bassist,drummer,few percussionists and Jef on (electric) piano or xylophone. Album's music is presented by quite pleasant,often hypnotic mix of African rhythms,lot of brass sound and some quite free sax soloing.In many moments compositions reminds Sun Ra most "African" works, but better structured and less psychedelic. Twelve-minutes long version of Pharoah Sanders' "The Creator Has A Master-Plan" is an interesting inclusion.

Even if Jef's keyboards' sound is often only on second plan and all music is mostly reeds-dominated,in combination with serious groove and African percussion this album is really rewarding listening especially for those with interest for early fusion of European jazz and African music.
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