Clearlight

In 1975 Virgin Records released the first album of Cyrille Verdeaux compositions titled CLEARLIGHT SYMPHONY. Clearlight became the first French progressive rock band signed to a major British record label. Gathering accolades for its unique compositions and keyboard stylings, the music spanned from classical romanticism to lush experimentation. Cyrille Verdeaux and CLEARLIGHT toured England and Europe with the legendary band "GONG".
Clearlight
Clearlight (Cyrille Verdeaux) - Forever Blowing Bubbles

Artist: Cyrille Verdeaux
P: 1975 / 1994

This album followed the heady success of Symphony by charting into new territory. Forever Blowing Bubbles is also based on Composer/keyboardist Cyrille Verdeaux's piano and synthesizers but incorporates a more cohesive group sound featuring bassist/vocalist/composer Joel Dugrenot (ex-Zao), violinist David Cross (King Crimson) & guitarist/flutist Jean Claude d'Agostini (Magic Circus). Shorter songs with more variety are featured with pronounced synthesizer textures and a strong symphonic/psychedelic ambiance. Long a favorite of certain Clearlight fans, Bubbles was remastered to provide the best sound quality possible.
In addition to the original tracks, this CD also boasts the presence of four bonus tracks remixed in 2000 from the original 16 track master tape. "Sweet Absinthe" was recorded for the original sessions but left off of the LP. Featuring the triple tracked guitar artistry of Christian Boule along with Verdeaux's inventive keyboards, tuned percussion and outer space French rap, this track transports the listener straight into the next level. The song "Without Words" was remixed to bring out the symphonic qualities of the keyboards, in particular the multiple layers of Mellotron that were obscured on the original mix. "Flute Aquatique" is a remix of "Jungle Bubbles" but with the flute and percussion taking center stage creating a piece that would be at place at a world music festival. The CD ends with an alternate mix of "Sweet Absinthe" for those who prefer their Clearlight straight, no chaser.

17,85 EUR
 
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Clearlight (Cyrille Verdeaux) - Infinite Symphony

Artist: Cyrille Verdeaux
P: 2003

The compositions on "Infinite Symphony" represent the final part of the KUNDALINI OPERA, an extensive work that Cyrille Verdeaux has been working on since a long time and have been released as well under the title "INNER PEACE CONCERTO" within this series. But there he realized them solo on the Kurzweil 2600 synthesizer performing every part to create a modern electronic orchestra. This project consists of seven albums each of them representing one Chakra. On their website it's described like this: "By joining the mystic nature of the Chakras with the poetry of music the opera blends all of the aspects of human existence with blessed nature.towards nirvana". I still did not listen to the rest of the catalog but the few samples I listened to sounded like a mixture of ethnical, electronic, classical and jazz music. Maybe not so much fitting here on this site, nevertheless quite interesting at least for people who are a bit into New Age, meditation and yoga.
This record here which can be listened to without knowing Verdeaux's other work is subdivided into six movements. For maximal enjoyment it should be listened to in one piece of course. Although being mainly keyboard orientated numerous guest musicians like GONG soloist Didier Malherbe, Trevor Lloyd or Cory Wright to name just a few contribute to the sound on multiple instruments. The final result is a unique piece of progressive music that should apply to anyone loving classical AND jazz AND rock music. In addition this record is a part of the legacy Shaun Guerin (passed away July 2003) left to us by adding a touch of Genesis with his voice and playing the drums.



17,85 EUR
 
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Clearlight (Cyrille Verdeaux) - Les Contes du singe fou

Artist: Cyrille Verdeaux
P: 1976 / 2002

In 1977 this third Clearlight album was released by RCA records in Europe. "The tales of the mad monkey", the title reads, and it is a bit funny that this was both the first Clearlight album which featured a French title, and the first Clearlight album which was completely sung in English!! I don't know the reasoning behind this, but marketing-technically this can't have been a clever move.
The album featured an international all-star cast, consisting of Symphony-veterans Tim Blake on synthesizers and Didier Lockwood on violin, bassist Joel Dugrenot, who also played and sang on Clearlight's second album Forever Blowing Bubbles, Francis Mandin on synthesizers, Yves Chouard on guitars and Serge Aouzi on drums and percussion. The vocals and hardly interpretable lyrics, courtesy of British vocalist Ian Bellemy complete the ingredients for a classic progressive rock album
And progressive rock it is, as the album is once again a step in a whole different direction than Symphony. It is still built around Verdeaux's classical grand piano, but the Tangerine Dream and Gong references have now been replaced by Jethro Tull, Genesis and even a hint of Yes.
As the original mastertapes of the recordings weren't available anymore, the CD has been recorded directly from vinyl. However, the overall sound quality is, apart from the occasional crackle or hiss, remarkably well.
The album starts with the first of two epics on the album. The three-piece The Key-suite. Ian Bellamy's vocals sound a bit like Tull's Ian Anderson and are very pleasant. The second part of the suite, A trip to the Orient is the first of many instrumentals on the album. This is a typical Verdeaux composition, with the classical piano accompanied by a full band playing a very experimental sounding type of fusion rock. It takes a while to get used to the (mainly improvised) violin solos of Lockwood, which sometimes sound completely out of time, place and tune. People who don't like King Crimson will immediately know what I mean and I think that fans of that particular band will adore Lockwood's playing.
The last track of the first side of the original LP is a particular gem: Soliloque is a beautiful, erm, soliloquy of Verdeaux' piano. Then the second side continues where the first side ended: Prelude sees solely Verdeaux quietly tickling the ivories of his piano.
This was the mid-seventies, when the standard was set by a band named Genesis and the track Countdown to Eternity would easily fit on any Genesis album of the early seventies. Bellamy sings as if he's Peter Gabriel himself and the whole sounds almost exact like the opening to Supper's Ready, but then with piano, instead of guitar. However, it doesn't seem to lead anywhere, whereas Lover's Leap is a real introduction to the Genesis-masterpiece, Countdown to Eternity just continues in the same style for a while. So not a copy, but more a derivation.
After this bit of semi-plagiarism it's time for another nine minutes of instrumental music in The Cosmic Crusaders with again leading roles for Verdeaux' piano and Lockwood's violin. And it's especially that violin which is completely differently played than one would expect from a classical instrument. This is more jazz than classic, and it gives a nice contrast with the piano, which is played in a very classical way.

17,85 EUR
 
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Clearlight (Cyrille Verdeaux) - Visions

Artist: Cyrille Verdeaux
P: 1978 / 2008

This is the Japan import version.
Expanding on the modal jazz and classical themes of his earlier work, Cyrille was eager to incorporate his new discoveries of Northern Indian raga music and yoga studies. He reinvented his progressive orchestra with his musician friends to record new Clearlight music. Returning from Les Contes du Singe Fou was renowned jazz violinist Didier Lockwood. Gong saxophonist "Bloomdido" Didier Malherbe and guitarist Christian Boule participated throughout the sessions. The LP was recorded in France and was mixed and mastered to Cyrille's exacting standards and a live band was assembled to play the music live, with the group touring with Gong in 1979. The cover, expertly painted by Brazilian painter Sergio Macedo also incorporated Verdeaux fascination with Kundalini Yoga and features a transparent female yogini hovering above the a crystal city of the future, with energy emanating from her Chakras, a yogic system of spiritual anatomy.
The music itself is a combination of composed music with improvised solos. The musician's interplay borders on telepathic and strains of Classical, Jazz-rock and Indian music fuse seamlessly into a timeless quilt.
This CD release includes the entire 1978 album along with bonus tracks recorded by Verdeaux and friends with the songs back in the original LP order.

24,50 EUR
 
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