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Ten years after the release of their latest studio CD "Akhenaton", the French Zeuhl legend ZAO has thankfully once again reincarnated - for the second time since their first break-up in 1977. To celebrate that event, they played a few concerts in Japan, one of which was recorded and is now available on the CD, titled simply "In Tokyo" (73:16), which in turn is their second official live document. Apart from the masterminds, pianist Francois 'Faton' Cahen and saxophonist Yochko Seffer (who founded Zao in 1972 soon after leaving Magma), the group's current lineup includes veteran bassist Gerard Prevost and two newcomers, drummer Francois Causse and singer Cynthia Saint-Ville. Japanese violinist Akihisa Tsuboy, the bandleader of KBB, appears just as a guest musician, but nevertheless his instrument is one of the three lead voices in this performance. Connoisseurs of Zao's debut album "Z=7L" might be really happy to find out that the singing is once again part of the band's sound, especially since Saint-Ville's vocals possess the same incredible range and power as those of Mauricia Platon. However, don't expect to hear much of the Magma-inspired music (which is only typical of the aforesaid creation) on this recording. A combination of the ensemble's several old styles and something unmistakably new, "In Tokyo" is Zao who sound at once immediately recognizable and very unexpected, kudos to both Cahen and Seffer for their truly innovative approach, and also to Akihisa - for introducing elements which belong exclusively to his (very personal) style of playing violin. This CD is a must for all Zeuhl fans and those whose horizon is wide enough to enjoy a true art regardless of the level of its complexity.
VM: June 28, 2007
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