Quality is the word that truly defines all groups that have come out of the Magma family tree: Zao, Weidorje, Fusion, Paga, etc. This time, One Shot was not an exception. Indeed, this musical project was created by three members of the current Magma lineup: Emmanuel Borghi (Fender Rhodes piano and synthesizers), Philippe Bussonet (bass) and James McGaw (guitars), along with drummer Daniel Jeand'heur. The result: a great blend of jazz and zeuhl influences.
"Vendredi 13" is their debut album and it captured the whole energy of the band on stage. It was actually recorded live at "La Cave à Musique", in Macon, France and all pieces have, besides the compositional structure, an improvisational side that provides a good sample of what those musicians can do in concert.
All pieces are fully instrumental, surrounded by a hypnotic atmosphere created by Borghi's Fender Rhodes. It is then that the listener may think that Magma's sound will be the basis of the whole music. Wrong! There is a notorious zeuhl influence, but the music is more varied. First of all, Borghi's sound goes jazzier than in Magma and his style reflects a more varied blend of influences: zeuhl, jazz, rock, soul. Jeand'heur's drumming style differs from that of Christian Vander and shows a different approach to fusion and rock music. On the other hand, the rhythm section created along with Bussonet's bass parts is perfect for improvisation as both musicians seem to communicate through their instruments. The fourth member, McGaw, is a guitarist whose style can't deny a passion for jazz, especially for those guitar players based on modal phrases and clear sounds (like John Scofield).
The album includes 6 pieces: "I Had a Dream", parts 1 and 2; "Blue Bug"; "No"; "In a Wild Way" and "Urm". Even though all pieces were previously written by Borghi and Bussonet, there are several solos from every instrument always following a jazzy vein without ever leaving the ambiance created by the whole quartet. A good way to give the group a personality of its own through every musician's personal style.
To sum up, there is just one thing that One Shot has to prove: continuity in their forthcoming recordings, they've showed with "Vendredi 13" what they can do and now they will have to keep the same quality and, even, go beyond it. They have everything to become France's new fusion ambassadors, it's just up to them. I would personally recommend this album to both, zeuhl and fusion fans.