Forgas Band Phenomena
Latest (so far, the fourth) album from Forgas' troupes, and maybe the best one yet, but it comes after a three or four year silence (Soleil 12 dates from 05) that had us worried. Actually, parts of the compositions were already written a while ago(the next album was originally scheduled in 06), but the line-up suffered a few changes (now a septet), then some tracks were re-written (trimmed down), more added and by the time all of this was dealt with, they were in the summer 08. Just four tracks, all penned by Patrick, packed in an uncompromising fluvial artwork
Opening on one of the older track La Clef that's been on the live repertoire quite while and it shows because the band is really tight on this track, Mlodecka's violin and Alexaline's trumpet on the forefront, the latter distilling a light Spanish ambiance throughout the album. The 16- mins+ title track is the album centrepiece, first as a piano-driven tune where Trognon alternate on sax and flute, then allowing everyone to have its moment in the sunshine. The other cornerstone on which the album is built is the trimmed-down 14-mins Double Sens, a piece that lost over 20 minutes of ideas, most likely to pop up on future albums. What's left is an impressive and tight composition, starting on a strong bass line, but later (the second half) featuring a grandiose exchange of brass, violin and guitar licks, lines and solos over a delightful electric piano. No doubt the album's highlight. The closing 13th Moon starts out as a smooth bass and electric piano-driven mid-tempo on which trumpet, flute and guitar and violin are gliding , but gradually speeds up, gets frantic, than manic ( love these short brass answers between solos and ending up in a wild guitar solo.
Not only is Forgas a brilliant drummer, he's also become an excellent composer (something he wasn't in the 90's), but he's also letting his mates plenty of room for them to express themselves musically. As good as Soleil 12 was, it easy to understand that the FBP has jumped another hurdle and reaches the category of the giant JR/F of the millennium. One of my album of the year.
:::Review by Sean Trane:::
Forgas Band Phenomena - L'Axe Du Fou (2009)
1.La Clef (10:50)
2.L'axe du Fou (16:32)
4.La 13ème Lune (8:24)
-Patrick Forgas/ drums
-Sébastien Trognon/ tenor & soprano sax, flute
-Dimitri Alexaline/ trumpet & flügelhorn
-Benjamin Violet/ guitar
-Karolina Mlodecka/ violin
-Igor Brover/ keyboards
-Kengo Mochizuki/ bass