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Gong Expresso | Decadence

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Allan Holdsworth Pat Metheny Pierre Moerlen's Gong

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Jazz: Progressive Jazz Jazz: Progressive Jazz Moods: Type: Instrumental
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by Gong Expresso

Decadence is uncluttered and largely unhurried. It's blessed with a rich connectivity that fizzes between the gifted players. At the heart of this album is a simple, precision-driven transparency - Sid Smith
Genre: Jazz: Progressive Jazz
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  Song Share Time Download
1. Decadence
5:20 $0.99
2. Zephyr
6:30 $0.99
3. Toumani
4:35 $0.99
4. Talisman
4:21 $0.99
5. The Importance of Common Things
3:28 $0.99
6. Eastern Platinum
6:17 $0.99
7. Frevo
4:43 $0.99
8. God Knows
3:34 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
GONG EXPRESSO: gongexpresso.com
This near re-iteration of PM Gong is the first such grouping since the passing of influential drummer Pierre Moerlen in 2005. PM Gong was a major branch of the massive Gong tree. In the mid 1970's Pierre Moerlen separated from Daevid Allen, marking an end to the Flying Teapot period and a powerful jazz/rock unit was formed and signed to Virgin Records. Pierre's brother Benoit Moerlen, Hansford Rowe, Francois Causse and Allan Holdsworth were core members. Many major guests joined them both on albums and touring, and among these, Mick Taylor, Mike Oldfield and French violinist Didier Lockwood were key participants. Mike Oldfield called on Gong Expresso members for classic albums such as “Ommadawn”, “Incantations”, “Exposed” and “Platinum”, and often used the PM Gong rhythm section for touring in the era in which he was selling out Wembley Stadium.
Sid Smith's unedited review of Decadence:
Having cut his teeth as a jobbing jazz bassist in New York’s club circuit, Hansford Rowe knows how to make things happen within a song. It’s a capacity that propelled him onto the international stage after his recruitment to Pierre Moerlen’s Gong in the mid-70s.
A universe away from Daevid Allen’s playful Pot-Head Pixies, Moerlen’s iteration of the franchise delivered vibrant, high-octane jazz fusion, with Rowe’s sinuous playing providing the spine to their work.
In recent years, in addition to exploring microtonal music, Rowe has quietly moved into jazzier territory via his Moments duo and HR3, the latter featuring guitarist Julien Sandiford. Rowe’s brand new reunion with fellow PM Gong alumni Benoît Moerlen (vibes and marimba) and François Causse (drums and percussion) co-opts Sandiford, whose illuminating presence is very welcome indeed.
Anyone expecting fast fusion thrills may struggle with this often downtempo offering, yet the gentle exploration of their spacious sound world sparkles with a bewitching intensity.
Rowe’s lucid runs frequently set the scene, with Moerlen and Sandiford carrying the principal tunes, several written by the guitarist. The youngest member of the ensemble, not even born when his fellow bandmates were recording with Pierre Moerlen, his writing revels in supple explorations of melody and harmony. With a distortion-free tone, the care and grace with which he deploys his notes occasionally evokes the ringing purity of Bill Frisell or the more languid rumination found within early-period Pat Metheny.
Lithe, lean and always on point, the fluidity of Moerlen’s tumbling vibes often take on a pianistic aspect, trickling over the see-sawing chords during Toumani or the bright, thematic figures of Zephyr. This latter tune in particular, with growling bass, sometimes recalls the kind of circuitous piece Gilgamesh might have tackled, while it provides Causse with a speedy breakout.
The music of Decadence is uncluttered and largely unhurried, and it's blessed with a rich connectivity that fizzes between the gifted players. At the heart of this album is a simple, precision-driven transparency, a feeling that the group are entirely focused on pursuing the clarity within its compositions.
Chilled but far from lethargic, a special, intimate atmosphere pervades this recording, and the expressiveness found within this material is particularly rewarding. - Sid Smith



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