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17 May 2017

Terpandre "Terpandre" ‘1981 French Instrumental Prog Symphonic

Terpandre  "Terpandre" ‘1981 French Instrumental Prog Symphonic

TERPANDRE is a superb Progressive rock band that performs a fully instrumental music built around the melodic works of two keyboards (Piano, Mellotron and others), Bernard MONNERI's guitar (VORTEX), and Patrick TILLEMAN's violin (ZAO, GWENDAL, FORGAS, TILLENCO...). Initially recorded in 1978, the band's eponymous album was issued only three years later, and includes beautiful tracks, both strong and energetic, as well as some more melancholic and ethereal others. This Musea reissue includes, as usual, a particularly complete biography and two bonus tracks recorded live on January 31st, 1977. A masterpiece to be urgently rediscovered !..............

TERPANDRE is a French group whose music is classical influenced melodic progressive. The line-up of the band was: Bernard Monerri (guitar, percussions), Jacques Pina (keyboards), Michel Tardieu (keyboards), Patrick Tilleman (violin), Paul Fargier (bass) and Michel Torelli (drums, percussion). Bernard Monerri and Jacques Pina were the ones who founded the group. Their music is underlined by the heavy use of violin and mellotron in some of the tracks.

The self-titled album, released in 1981, is the only one album by the band. This album was actually recorded already in 1978. Due to the bad timing of the album it was originally self-released three years after it was recorded and only later re-released by Musea in 1988. It is a very good album and considered a minor classic of the French scene.......

"Terpandre" features beautiful, and mostly mellow, 70s symphonic prog. The band also liked to rock in a 70s jazz-fusion fashion, but they kept the album is on the delicate melodic side. Instruments like the violin, piano, and mellotron are given plenty of room to do their thing. Both of the bonus tracks are live, and low in sound-quality. Overall, TERPANDRE offer a tasteful, and mature, style of prog that should appeal to most collectors. Don't expect anything complex, but if you are into melody then this band has plenty to Steve Hegede ......

 Excellent French instrumental prog with heavy emphasis on violin and CAMEL-like symphonic atmospheres. The music of TERPANDRE is rich and layered with dual keyboards (synth, acoustic, e-piano and of course mellotron). Violinist Patrick Tilleman (Ex ZAO) is all over this album with great talent and clearly makes this album a standout. Their music overall is quite romantic and emotional with great beauty. Songs are well written tending to stay more on the gentle delicate side with a few great big break outs. The fine folks at Musea have included 2 rare bonus live tracks from 1977 as well. A beautiful album from start to finish... and loads of mellotron as loserboy .........

1981, well, usually not much good is said of the prog rock scene. GENESIS gave us "Abacab", which finds them moving even further away from prog (but having the then- new MTV embrace them), KING CRIMSON reunited with a new lineup (Fripp, Bruford, Belew, Levin), and gave us "Discipline", which had more in common with the TALKING HEADS than anything they came up with from 1969-74, which while welcomed by many prog rock fans, alienated a few others.
Then there was this little known one-shot band from France, TERPANDRE. Here's what really happened, the band actually recorded this album in 1978, in a time where the prog rock scene was in decline, but still had room for a few good prog albums. Punk and disco was on the rise, so the album was rejected by all the labels they went to (they even tried for ECM - big time contemporary jazz label, but they deemed it "too electronic" for their image), until in 1981, they found a small, local label (in Lyon) called Dionysos, and had the album released in April of that year. This is an all instrumental prog album that leans to the romantic side, piles with tons of great Mellotron all over and nice use of Mini Moog. There is also some fusion tendencies in the Jean-Luc PONTY vein (especially since the band included Patrick Tilleman on electric violin, who was obviously influenced by PONTY). But the album gets bogged down by being too overly dramatic in places for my liking, and there are a few unnecessarily slow spots on the album preventing me from calling it a classic, but it's still an album worth Proghead ...........

This is a beautiful symphonic instrumental record with a touch of Jazz. This was the only release by this French band who took their name from character in Greek mythology who was a poet and musician.
"Le Temps" opens with some brief percussion before we get some uptempo drums, keys and clavinet creating a jazzy sound. Violin and more percussion come into play.The soundscape changes 3 minutes in to an eerie interlude before we get back to the uptempo melody. "Conte En Vert" features some beautiful mellotron with piano and drums. Great tune. Speaking of great, check out "Anne-Michaele" a piano and mellotron feast ! This is just a warm and amazing song. "Histoire d'un Pecheur" consists of keys, violin and drums until we get some ominous sounding violin as the song gets dark with drums and piano.Things change again to an uptempo melody.

"Carrousel" is the longest song at over 13 minutes.There are plenty of mood and tempo shifts.The guitar melodies in the first passage are great with piano and drums along for the ride.The sound pretty much stops as the piano tinkles away with outbreaks of drums as the sound intensifies. Things change again as we are treated to good piano melodies,as violin comes in. Nice ! Lot's of mellotron after 9 minutes as things slow down with clavinet and drums.The final two tracks are bonus live songs. "Conte En Vert" is great live with floods of mellotron and piano melodies. "Musique Pour Clair Obscur" features waves of mellotron with piano and keys. Bravo !

I highly recommend this excellent French Mellotron Storm ......

A quintet from Lyon that recorded their sole album in 78 and released it in 81 (this alone should tell you why you've never heard of this obscure band), the eponymous album is one of those typical ultra- symphonic product of its time. The group (a double keyboard attack quintet, all five of them in their late 20's) was lead by guitarist Monerri (designer of the bucolic sleeve artwork) and main songwriter and keyboardist Jacques Pina and preferred instrumental music, with hired hand violinist Tilleman playing on the opening and closing track of the album.

Opening on one of the most up-tempoed Le Temps track of the album, it is probably the jazziest of the 5 original pieces, with guest Tilleman's violin (strongly influenced by JL Ponty's playing) pulling a great closing solo. Conte En Vert is a rather soft and cosy ultra symphonic track, filled with a mellotron and some Hackettian guitars, but it might just be a bit too sweet for our own good, the ultra-symphonic side nearing the cheesy. As often with late 70's works, there are some derivative influences such as Yes, Genesis and a bit of Crimson, but it's fairly well-digested and therefore neither obtrusive, nor obstructive. Another mellotron-laden (two of them at the same time) track Anne-Michaëlle is maybe a tad too much of a tron-indigestion (this is not Flamen Dialis) and is the only track penned by the other keyboardist Tardieu, but the best track of the album is yet to come. Indeed Histoire D'un Pêcheur (story of a fisherman) is an absolute stunning track, although starting from some suspicious-sounding synth, but soon we're into an unreal piano, percussions and mellotron passage that bring chills down your spine. Carrousel is the closing epic track, clocking over 13 minutes, and it is the group's other tour de force, making the flipside much more interesting than the A-side. The track oscillates between up- tempo and very reflective piano moments, but it is the lengthy and repetitive crescendo finale (a bit like in Crimson's Starless but fairly different) that ultimately remains in mind.

The Musea reissue comes with the usual Musea great care in the overly-informative booklet, a few pictures and some almost-obligatory bonus tracks. Here the two "live bonuses" are of average sound quality and one of them is a non-album piece, Clair-Obscur being a clear reference to a classical master of the late romantic period. Terpandre's sole album (a typical late 70's production) is one that had bleeped on my radar a while ago, but then had slipped out of my sight, and I must thank Lady Jane for a great Sean Trane ..........

Recorded in 1978 and not released until 1981, this album of French progressive rock is pretty good - in fact, Terpandre is certainly one of the better (yet obscure) bands on the Musea label. Each of the pieces are instrumental and feature tone colors associated with mid-1970s progressive rock, e.g. acoustic piano, (tons of) mellotron, mini-moog synthesizer, (not so trebly) Rickenbacker bass, and violin etc. The arrangements are quite good, with the exception of the 13'20" Carousel, which drags a single (and really dull) theme along for a bit too long. I think it is worth noting that the first 50 seconds of Carousel sounds vaguely Henry Cow-ish (particularly the bass and guitar work) before leading into the smooth Terpandre sound for the remainder of the piece. Apart from the slight nod to Henry Cow, the music on this album is comprised primarily of delicate, spacey passages with some heavier prog rave-ups scattered throughout. In addition, there is some notable ensemble work and individual musicianship (the guitarist is really good and just uses clean tones). Along with the original five tracks there are two bonus live tracks of middling quality (Conte en vert and Musique pour claire obscur). This album is a tough one to track down but is worth the effort. Recommended..........ByJ.Park.........

Terpandre was one of those French prog rock bands in which things didn't go their way. In 1978, they recorded this, their one and only album, but because of the rise of punk and disco, the recording was left to collect dust, and didn't get released until 1981. The band even tried to get their album released on ECM Records, the big name contemporary jazz label, but to no avail. So it was in '81 that this album got released, on the small Dionysos label, based in their hometown of Lyon (same town that gave us Pulsar). It's not hard to see this is a '70s recording: the album is absolutely loaded with Mellotron, with plenty of '70s Minimoog. Electric piano is also use, as well as standard piano. There are some fusion tendencies, thanks to the presence of an electric violinist (Patrick Tilleman, later a member of the reunited Zao) who played much in the style of Jean Luc Ponty. What you get, for the most part, is all-instrumental, mellow Romantic prog that gets compared to such bands as Italy's Celeste or Spain's Gotic (the band that released Escenes, that is). I guess that's true, somewhat, although the PFM influences are completely absent with Terpandre, unlike Celeste (since Terpandre was French). I also notice some Genesis, Camel and Focus influences as well. But also the album gets bogged down by a few uninspired spots, and it gets a bit overdramatic as well. And for the bonus cuts, I can live without them, as the recording quality is so poor, it sounded like it was recorded off someone's home tape recorder (and likely was). Although one of them is a 1977 version of the song that appeared on their album that sounds so much the same, that it's only the awful sound quality of this early version that you can tell the difference. Aside from the bonus cuts, this is a recommended album to those who like the soft end of the prog spectrum.......ByBENJAMIN MILER.............

Line-up / Musicians
- Bernard Monerri / guitars, percussion
- Jacques Pina / acoustic piano, electric piano, clavinet, Mellotron
- Michel Tardieu / keyboards
- Patrick Tilleman / violin
- Paul Fargier / bass
- Michel Torelli / drums, percussion

Songs / Tracks Listing
1. Le Temps
2. Conte en vert
3. Anne-Michaele
4. Histoire d'un Pecheur
5. Carrousel
6. Conte en vert (live)
7. Musique pour clair obscur (live)

johnkatsmc5, welcome music..





Cassete Deck

Cassete Deck