MOVING GELATINE PLATES was a short-lived band formed by Gérard Bertram (guitarist) and Didier Thibault (bassist) who met in 1966 when they were both wee teenagers at 14 years of age in school. These guys had a huge interest in the jazz-fusion scene that was blossoming in the late 60s and were especially influenced by Soft Machine and Caravan. MOVING GELATINE PLATES are also notorious for being the first non-English band to fall into the Canterbury Scene. These guys came from from Sartrouville, France but because of their strong influences and willingness to eschew the political leanings of the early 70s and worship the whimsical and predominantly instrumental instead, they have been lumped into the Canterbury Scene labeling. The music sounds very Canterbury and yet maintains a strong uniqueness at the same time.
After acquiring the extra talents of Gérard Pons (drums) and Maurice Hemlinger (organ, trumpet, soprano and tenor sax, flute) the band found the right chemistry and talent to create one EXCELLENT debut album. This album is so packed full of musical integrity that it is hard to believe that it is only slightly over 36 minutes long. These guys hit all the right notes and created all the best aspects of rock and jazz-fusion with tight sophisticated melodic compositions. This is one of the most energetic albums i’ve heard from 1971. The band is simply on fire with all the hooks, leads and infectious grooves that somehow maintain an accessible and seductive melodic systematic approach married with the extreme complexity that every progressive rock band of the day was striving to create in order to outdo the others. This is catchy enough to keep you entertained but complex enough that you keep coming back for more.They simply created a perfectly balanced sound that took all the complexities of progressive rock, all the addictive melodic approaches of jazz and classical musical, put them in a blender and dished them out like the tastiest of fresh pastries on the Champs-Élysées.
Despite this being a brilliant debut album that blows away most of the competition, i am in agreement with everyone else who feels that the drum solo on “Last Song” is waaaaaaaay too long for its own good, but other than that one faux pas (and really it isn’t bad, it just ruins an otherwise perfect album) we have a ridiculously consistent album that more than stands the test of time. In a perfect world this band would have made the cover of Rolling Stone. Yeah, that perfect world that i wish i was in, but hey! This album is real. It was made and believe it or not, the next one is even BETTER :P
If you own the CD you will find that in addition to the original 5 tracks there are 4 bonus tracks that come from their comeback album under the truncated band name MOVING. For some reason someone deemed it wise to disperse these tracks in no particular order between the debut and album and the second “The Genius Of Hans.” Makes no sense but if you own the first two albums on CD you will essentially own the third one as well. No it’s not as good as the first two but not totally shabby either.