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Fusion: Paris 80

All I can say is...WOW! This historic concert from December 13, 1980 that is now just seeing the light of day on CD, features most of the line-up of French prog monsters Magma at that time. Led of course by drummer Christian Vander, he is joined by Jannick Top on bass, Didier Lockwood on violin, and Benoit Widemann on keyboards. Be prepared for an all out progressive fusion feast here, without all the bizarre trimmings that made Magma a bit too "out there" for some.

If you dig the Mahavishnu Orchestra, Dixie Dregs, Jean Luc Ponty, Transit Express, or Return to Forever, then this is defintely the CD for you. The fact that there is no guitarist on this session really makes no difference, as bassist Top, Widemann, and Lockwood soar and battle it out over the CD's five lengthy tracks. Vander, as always, lays down tons of complex beats and fills on his drum kit that will baffle your senses. Throughout it all the band manages to keep the arrangements fairly melodic, while still having a strong avant-garde flavor that lets the musicians lay down some complex jams. Widemann and Lockwood especially show sides to their playing that maybe were pushed aside on the Magma recordings, as here the two play with a fire reminiscent of vintage Chick Corea, Jan Hammer, Jean Luc Ponty, and Jerry Goodman.

Seeing as this is an instrumental recording, it would be pointless to go in-depth on each track, as there is so much to take in here. This is however the most amazing archival release so far this year, and a progressive rock or fusion lovers dream come true.

Added: April 22nd 2002
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Utopic Records
Hits: 3161
Language: english

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