During one of the timeout in Yves Simon's schedule, his backing band profited from the spare time to record their first album. Indeed this was quite quick (6 days in mid-May at Studio Davout), because they had had time to prepare it, and where even playing their own numbers at soundchecks of the singer's tours.
The standard prog quartet developed an excellent jazz-rock that was rivalling the classic-driven Mahavishnu Orchestra, where the songwriting was fairly evenly spread out between the four accomplished musicians, although I wouldn't call them seasoned veterans. On a Spanish scale, you could place them between Fusioon's first two albums and Iceberg's jazzier opus like Coses Nostres.
The artwork might induce you to think the group is very percussive, but the sound is very much balanced. 14 relatively short tracks (max 3'40") that meddle into one giant number. In some ways, you'd guess that the tracks written by drummer Bouvier are more rhythmic, but then once they morph into bassist Guselli- written ditties, they don't necessarily become funky. As the short tracks keep speeding by, the listener is never bored, because they (tracks) are all very different and never repeat themselves. Their jazz-rock is still fairly academic, but complex, melodious and subtle finesse.
An excellent but short debut album that did not go unnoticed in the French jazz scene, Priglacit (no idea as to what the title means) is probably the best introduction to Transit Express' music, but you can't go wrong by choosing anyone of their three opus. And when this is the case, it's best to start chronologically.
:::Review by Sean Trane:::
Transit Express - Priglacit (1975)
2- Drousia I
3- Drousia II
4- Contrat Session
Dominique Bouvier / drums, vibraphone, percussion
Jean-Claude Guselli / el & ac bass
Christian Leroux / guitars, synths
Serge Perathoner / el & ac piano, clavinet, ring modulator, synths