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Expresso 2

4.1 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews

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Audio CD, July 23, 1990
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (July 23, 1990)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Blue Plate Caroline
  • ASIN: B000000HTW
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #595,039 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By burritobrother VINE VOICE on August 27, 2002
Format: Audio CD
This was my introduction to Gong. After all I'd read about stoned-out pixies and the like, this was the first Gong I ever heard. I was surprised, to say the least. This was not what I'd expected. I was not disappointed, however. To the contrary, Gong exposed me to a whole new form and style of music that I hadn't known before. To this day, even after having collected the major (and a few offshoot) Gong releases, it is the '76-'78 Gong and the '80's Pierre Moerlen's Gong that I love most. Jazz-fusion in my experience isn't usually so percussion-oriented as Gong; and nothing is as awe-inspiring. This is very, very ahead-of-it's- time material, and certainly does not fit in with earlier Gong. Basically, true Gong (as opposed to the many splinter bands) are two completely different bands. You just have to choose, or not, but there are many differences. I enjoy all Gong. But the version led by Piere is the ruling class, and all of their albums are essential. I can recommend "Expresso 2" as your first Gong purchase, because it has obviously worked for me.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This version of Gong sure had a unique sound, utilizing a twin vibes/mallets frontline and propelled by Pierre Moerlen's firey drumming.

While not as compositionally strong as Gazeuse/Expresso, it still has more than its share of gems, enhanced by contributions from the likes of violinist Darryl Way and guitar maestro Allan Holdsworth.

Among my favoorite tracks are "Sleepy" which is anything but. This track features some of the spookiest Allan Holdsworth playing along with great eerie violin from Darryl Way and a cool hypnotic vibes/bass figure throughout most of the piece. The closer "Three Blind Mice" just tears the roof off the joint with everyone playing their hearts out, "Golden Dilemma" features a unique angular, piercing Bon Lozaga guitar solo and lots of mallet pyrotechnics.

The only weak track on here for me is "Heavy Tune" where Holdsworth takes a back seat playing a grinding rhythm guitar as ex-Rolling Stones axe-meister Mick Taylor takes center stage, and it kind of sticks out like a sore thumb. Not terrible by any stretch but not great either.

Despite that one misstep, "Expresso II" is sure to perk up the ears of anyone who enjoys unique progressive/fusion, and it's a double treat fo drumming and percussion/mallet percussion fans.
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Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
Not your everyday Fusion, but Better ! I will keep this short. I can't stop listening to this CD. It is AMAZING. I think it's 1978. The instrumentation and songwriting is top shelf. It's hard to believe how mature the songs are and how they hold up over the last 35 years. These guys (and gal) were all in their 20's and it sounds like they should be older. Like I said, it's so mature. Then again, you take some of the best musicians in the world and this is what you get.

I am a bass player, so I listen to the bass and drums more than the other instruments. This fretless player is AMAZING !!! The drummer is freaking KILLER ! Allan Holdsworth on guitar is... Holdsworth !

I LOVE this CD so much. I've listened to it about a thousand times so far and I look forward to the nest thousand.

Music like this is in short supply and the world needs more of it.
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Format: Audio CD
Originally released in 1978, as this CD reissue turned out to be a bit better than what I had expected. I mean, with percussionist Pierre Morlen (R.I.P.) acting as band leader, plus the fact that guitarist Allan Holdworth was now in the group makes this a decent Daevid Allen-less Gong album. I've heard numerous long-time Gong fans mention how they really like this, yet more jazzy / Canterbury styled catalog title. Give it a chance.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This was a follow up album after the release of Gazeuse! or Expresso (1) U.S. title. Very fine playing with some of the same musicians. Allan Holdsworth is also featured. This is in the jazz rock fusion vein and if you enjoyed the first Expresso album you most likely will enjoy this release too.
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Format: Audio CD
Like a PG Wodehouse character, the original Gong was dominated by thoughts of pixies. Gnomes, flying teapots and the odd electric cheese were also on the agenda. When producer Nick Mason licked the post-Allen ensemble into shape for the excellent SHAMAL, there was still the vestige of the band's past. ("Why is the pusy in the well? Must have been a cat that fell ...") You could sense the jazz-rock destination the group were headed, but there were still a few lyrics.
Three years after SHAMAL, Pierre Moerlen and Mireille Bauer were the sole survivors, so it was of little surprise that the new Gong was a percussive-dominated line-up. Another Moerlen was added, along with Hansford Rowe, whose origins I know nothing of, on bass. The group was essentially a rhythm section in search of some lead instrumentalists, and they recruited some strong session players: Mick Taylor (former guitarist of the Rolling Stones), Darryl Way (violinist with Curved Air and Wolf), and the sublime Allan Holdsworth on guitar.
My regret is that Holdsworth doesn't play anything like enough on this album. Recorded in between his outstanding contributions to Bill Bruford's FEELS GOOD TO ME and ONE OF A KIND and UK's fantastic debut album, he features on just three tracks here, and he's only on lead guitar on two of those.
By the time 1978 arrived, jazz-rock had hit a dead end. Return to Forever, the Mahavishnus and Larry Coryell's Eleventh House had all gone. Weather Report were past their best. All that was left was a mopping-up operation. Bands of excellent instrumentalists such as Gong provided workmanlike but not innovative fodder for the substantial jazz-rock fan base who mourned the passing of the giants.
Twenty-three years on, I can listen to this album while working. But I'm never tempted to turn up the volume. It no longer moves me. Somehow it seems to have lost its soul. Sorry, folks.
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