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Edition Speciale (France) - 1976/2003 - "Alles des Tilleuls"
(41 min, Musea)


*****+
                 
TRACK LIST:

1. Rock & Roll (Lorenzini) 3:40
2. Reve (=) 5:26
3. Tomorrow Mourning (Turenne) 4:25
4. Un Coup je te Vois (Ballester) 6:32
5. Tu Naitras Demain (=) 5:28
6. Marie Qui te Maries (Lorenzini, Ballester) 4:25
7. Monsieur Business (EDITION SPECIALE) 2:58
8. Allee des Tilleuls (Lorenzini, Turenne) 5:56

LINE-UP:

Ann Ballester - keyboards; vocals
Mimi (Martius) Lorenzini - guitars; vocals
Josquin Turenne - basses & guitars; vocals
Jean-Francois Bouchet - drums
With:
Michel Delaporte - percussion (on 7 & 8)

Produced by E. Adams & F. Leibovitz.
Engineered by M. Roy at Fremontel st., France.

Preamble. While the debut Edition Speciale LP, "Allee des Tilleuls", consisted of eight tracks, this CD reissue features eleven. However, all three of the bonus tracks here are just the first demos of the songs: Tu Naitras Demain, Marie Qui te Maries, and Allee des Tilleuls (5, 6, & 8), so I didn't include them in the track list above. Accordingly, I have shortened the playing time of the album from 58 to (original) 41 minutes. I hope it's all right with you, dear readers.

The Album. Although the music of Edition Speciale is usually labeled as Jazz-Rock, it doesn't concern this style almost at all. While all of the solos here are highly virtuosi, only some of them may remind some of you of improvisations. The band's debut album is stylistically uniform and Classic Symphonic Art-Rock with elements of Hard Rock is what all eight of the songs on it are about (no instrumentals here). Almost everything that is presented on "Allee des Tilleuls" is marked with signs of romanticism, originality, and complexity, which is typical for most of the progressive works released in the old 'n' gold 1970s. Ann Ballester and Mimi Lorenzini (this male had a strange nickname: see line-up above) sing both separately and as a duo on the album and all of their vocal parts are very original. Only when Josquin (don't confuse with Josephine, etc: this is also a male:-) joins them, and he does it from time to time on each of the songs here, their polymorphous singing is a bit reminiscent of Yes. Here is the list of the instruments used on the album: electric guitar and bass, electric piano, synthesizer, and drums (these are acoustic, of course). Each of the band members looks here as a real master of the instrument he had chosen, and Ann's solos on keyboards are as wonderfully complex and virtuosi as those by men. The fourth song is the only track on "Allee des Tilleuls" that features an acoustic guitar, the passages of which are here interwoven with basic, 'electric' textures. Apart from the large-scaled, hard-edged, and intricate joint instrumental arrangements that, though, are present everywhere on the album, Allee des Tilleuls (8) is notable also for a few separate episodes featuring the 'exclusive' solos by each of the band members.

Summary. France was always rich in progressive talents, and the names of such legends as Ange, Magma, Pulsar, Carpe Diem, etc, are well known to most, if not all, of the connoisseurs of Prog from all over the world. However, Musea Records continues and will continue discovering the more obscure, yet, excellent bands and performers that came out from France, such as the heroes of this review. As well as in the case of > Etron Fou Leloublan, new materials dedicated to the creation of Edition Speciale will appear on ProgressoR each time when Musea reissues the other albums by the bands.

VM: April 14, 2003


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