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Maneige: Live A L'Eveché

Maneige was a sextet of classically trained musicians, the core of which (Alain Bergeron, Jerome Langlois, and Yves Leonard) had played together in one of Quebec's earliest progressive rock bands, "Lasting Weep". The band, whose members were all alumni from Montreal's Conservatory Of Music, made their first impact as Maneige by upstaging Dutch band Ekseption in a 1974 concert, and then playing a gig with the legendary Soft Machine later that year. The band probably reached its apogee the following year when they opened for Gentle Giant at the Montreal Forum. "Live à L'Eveché" consists of a recording done in a small Montreal live music institution ,L'Eveché, in November of 1975. This CD is the first release ever for many of these numbers.

Musically, I guess the best comparison I could make for the typical progressive rock layman, would be to compare this band's sound to Camel's "Snow Goose" or Gryphon's "Red Queen To Gryphon Three", with the jazzier stuff slightly reminiscent of the above mentioned Soft Machine. I am not implying that this record copies or borrows from these albums or bands (which were released in the same era), merely that the music of Maneige gravitates towards long classically influenced movements where wind instruments and percussions dominate. The tracks seem to tell tales without lyrics. The longer numbers "Le Raflot" and "La Balloune" in particular, give us an early glimpse at the writing skills of Jerome Langlois; as we get a vision of the style of sweeping musical soundtracks that this man would go on to write, for television and movies, in the years to come. The tracks move from delicate musical passages to majestic crescendos in true symphonic style. The musicianship throughout is above reproach.

Fans of classically inspired progressive rock should definitely look into this record. If you enjoy music that takes you on epic journeys, via traditional symphonic instrumentation, then climb aboard the maneige.

Track Listing:

  1. Mambo Chant (6:45)
  2. Les Epinettes (3:50)
  3. Bullfrog dance (6:08)
  4. 1-2-3-4-5-6 (7:26)
  5. La Balloune (29:19)

Bonus Tracks (1974)

  1. Maneige (4:45)
  2. Le Raflot (19:24)

Added: November 12th 2005
Reviewer: Yves Dubé
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Language: english

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