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Forgas Band Phenomena: Acte V (CD/DVD)

Acte V is the latest release from modern jazz-fusion group Forgas Band Phenomena. These guys have been a staple of the Cuneiform Records roster for a few years now, led by drummer Patrick Forgas and rounded out by Sebastien Trognon on saxes and flute, Dimitri Alexaline on trumpet and flugelhorn, Benjamin Violet on guitar, Karolina Mlodecka on violin, Igor Brover on piano and keyboards, and Kengo Mochizuki on bass. This fifth release is a CD & DVD set, with the studio portion a brand new collection of songs and the DVD their first ever filmed live set, recorded at NEARFest in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania on June 10, 2010.

For those who have yet to discover this great band, all I can say is you are in for a treat. Taking their influence from the great fusion acts of the 70's like Weather Report, Mahavishnu Orchestra, Return to Forever, Jean Luc Ponty, and Frank Zappa, Forgas and Co. blaze all sorts of exciting paths here. Filled with sizzling violin, jazzy sax & trumpet, scorching guitar work, tasty keyboards, and tricky rhythms, the studio songs on Acte V never fail to impress. A tune such as "Midi-Minuit" features plenty of shredding but also gorgeous melodies and classy jazz arrangements, while "Corps et Ames" is as fiery as some of the vintage fare from the Mahavishnu Orchestra. As explosive as this band can be, they also show their tender side, offering up jazz, prog, and gypsy folk on the lovely "Loin D'Issy", then shift gears for the adventurous metal-meets-jazz of "George V". Juicy electric piano, searing guitar lines, sultry horns, stinging sax, and complex rhythms infiltrate the upbeat "Ultraviolet", while " Feu Sacré " is classy jazz-rock at its very best. This is stunning work all around from an extremely talented band, and each song is memorable not only for the jaw-dropping musical virtuosity on display but also for the catchy melodies.

The DVD, filmed at NEARFest 2010, is no less a revelation. Complete with expert camera work and sterling sound, this live recording shows a band at the peak of their powers in front of an audience of slightly over 1,000 fans at the Zoelner Arts Center. I've attended many of the NEARFest festivals over the years, but sadly not this particular one. Thankfully this performance has now been made available by the folks at Cuneiform for all those like myself who weren't able to make the trek to Pennsylvania that year to catch Forgas Band Phenomena. The set consists of some old favorites like "Soleil 12", "Double Sens", and "Eclipse", as well as songs that are now only just showing up on Acte V, so these pieces were already being worked on back in 2010. The band comes across confident yet relaxed, and you can tell that the audience were thrilled at the performance.

If you love classic jazz-rock/fusion, you need to get yourself a copy of Acte V. It's that simple folks.


Track Listing
CD-Acte V
1. Corps Et Âmes 6:23
2. Loin D'Issy 7:13
3. George V 10:14
4. Ultraviolet 8:17
5. Feu Sacré 6:46
6. Midi - Minuit 13:24


DVD-NEARFest 2010
1. Ultraviolet 8:34
2. L'Axe du Fou 16:06
3. Feu Sacre 6:53
4. Soleil 12 9:09
5. Double Sens 13:38
6. Extralucide 10:20
7. Eclipse 7:45

Added: February 25th 2012
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Score:
Related Link: Band MySpace Page
Hits: 1937
Language: english

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