FORGAS BAND PHENOMENA (FRA) + Feat. Esserelà (op act)
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! PRIMA ASSOLUTA IN ITALIA!
Dalla Francia per la prima volta in Italia il leggendario project progressive jazz rock del grande batterista Patrick Forgas
FORGAS BAND PHENOMENA
Patrick Forgas: drums
Karolina Mlodecka: violin
Sébastien Trognon: soprano/tenor sax
Dimitri Alexaline: trumpet/flugelhorn
Pierre Schmidt: electric guitar
Gérard Prévost: electric bass
Igor Brover: keyboards
Fondata nel 1997 la band ha all’attivo 5 album in studio e uno live, nel 2018 vede la luce l’ultima produzione discografica: “L’Oreille Électrique” (Cuneiform Records). L’ensemble guidato da Patrick Forgas e costituito da eccellenti professionisti, rarissimamente si è esibito live e in particolare fuori dalla Francia. Casa di Alex è particolarmente orgogliosa di poter offrire ai propri appassionati sostenitori questa occasione assolutamente unica.
The 1980s saw a couple of ill-fated attempts at re-branding himself as a goofy pop singer until, under the auspices of Muséa Records’ Alain Juliac, he returned to a direction more akin to his 1970s work, albeit performing mostly on synths, programming and vocals having sold his drum kit. L’Oeil (1990) and Art D’Écho (1993) featured contributions from most of the Cocktail musicians as well as Gong’s Didier Malherbe.
By 1993, Forgas had returned to drumming and set about forming a new band, for which he composed two lengthy instrumental suites. After countless adjustments in the line-up and a one-off concert under the shortlived moniker Villa Carmen, in 1997 came Roue Libre, his first release as leader of Forgas Band Phenomena, with a line-up including ex-Gong percussionist Mireille Bauer, guitarist Mathias Desmier (later of Jannick Top’s STS)
and pianist Stéphane Jaoui (formerly of Xaal). This was followed, again for the shortlived independent label Cosmos Music, by 1999’s Extra-Lucide, which retained only Desmier from its predecessor, a notable addition being alto sax ace Denis Guivarc’h, known for his work with virtuoso flautist Magic Malik. The album’s centrepiece was another suite, “Pieuvre À La Pluie”, originally intended for the unrecorded 1978 album.
It was then back to all-new music for 2009’s L’Axe Du Fou and 2012’s Acte V, both featuring the same sevenpiece line-up, an unprecedented feat for Forgas, of whom Karolina Mlodecka (violin), Sébastien Trognon (saxophones), Dimitri Alexaline (trumpet) and Igor Brover (keyboards) remain members to this day. These albums drew more widespread interest, largely as a result of Cuneiform’s global reach, resulting most notably in a career highlight when FBP appeared at the penultimate edition of NEARfest, the world’s leading progressive rock festival. Their performance to a 1,000-strong audience is documented on a DVD included alongside Acte V. Other forays abroad included a visit to Seoul, South Korea, in 2008 and a headlining slot at Belgium’s Prog- Résiste Convention in 2013. FBP also contributed a cover of Christian Vander’s “Africa Anteria” to the Magma
tribute compilation Hamtaï (2009).
In 2013, new guitarist Pierre Schmidt made his debut with FBP in a 20-minute live in the studio segment filmed for the Romantic Warriors 3 – Canterbury Tales documentary, in which Patrick Forgas was interviewed as one of the notable modern-day exponents of the Canterbury style. Work on new material was halted when Forgas suffered a health setback (vestibular neuritis) which inspired the next album’s title, L’Oreille Électrique.
Another personnel change occurred in 2015 when the band’s long-standing bassist Kengo Mochizuki had to return to his native Japan. Thankfully, an ideal replacement came in the shape of Gérard Prévost, a legend on the French progressive and fusion scene through his work with the likes of Zao, David Rose and Rahmann alongside appearances on albums by Heldon, Jean-Philippe Goude and Forgas’s own 1977 album Cocktail, although he had overdubbed his parts so he and Forgas had never actually played together until nearly 40 years after that first encounter. Rehearsals then resumed until the new line-up was ready to enter the studio in late 2017.
Having completed the album, the band are currently rehearsing new and older material with a view to live work beginning early in 2019.
L’Oreille Électrique consists of five epic mini-suites, all of them 10-12 minutes in duration, further exemplifying Forgas’s talent for, in the words of Exposé’s Peter Thelen, “combining stunningly beautiful melodies with a driving jazz-rock propulsion that takes the listener through seemingly endless labyrinthine
curves and canyons, shifting effortlessly from soaring flights to gentle sections of repose and back again, with each new section highlighting a different aspect of the amazing group interplay”.
L’Oreille Électrique, as well as all the work of this unique musical figure, can be very safely recommended to fans of Jean-Luc Ponty, Ian Carr’s Nucleus, Frank Zappa’s instrumental works and Billy Cobham’s early bands, as well as British Canterbury bands like Soft Machine and National Health.