Six-Ring Circus is a French Quintet that made the bold decision to first spent three years together to play music and to develop their unique sound before releasing their self titled debut album in 2018. They are making a name in jazz oriented music scenes. Their music sounds to me like an unique melting pot of progressive jazz and progressive rock. Therefore I think that this band deserves a place on progVisions. Personally their debut album is one of the biggest surprises of last year.
Celia Forestier - vocals, FX; Baptiste Ferrandis - guitars, FX; Elie Dufour - keys; Alexandre Phalippon - bass; Elvire - Jouve - drums
Thierry Beaucoup - saxophone (“Walz For Banda“)
Baiju Bhatt - Violins (“Thamel“)
The album opens with the short track “Light Of Incal“. After a delicate opening with piano and an ambient atmosphere the band immediately shows their potential with amazing guitar riffs and fine drumming. This flows into the first part of the title track “Cirkus“. Lead singer Celia Forestier is making quite an impression with her adventurous singing. At some point while listening to this album the name of Annette Peacock crossed my mind. But I had also memory flashes of some female vocalist of the Canterbury scene. The music of “Cirkus Pt.1“ has some funky injections but has in overall a jazz fusion like atmosphere. The young and talented musicians are showing their extensive musical craftsmanship on this debut album. The next track “Poppies Dream“ is a little gem. The varied and intriguing vocal parts by Celia Forestier are driving the music to a climax. The music has parts with a somewhat experimental atmosphere but I hear also some African influences. In the opening of the track “Cirkus Pt.2“ the band flirts with the Progressive Rock and RIO (Rock In Opposition) scenes. But this is followed by jazz fusion parts that made me think of bands like Hatfield and the North, National Health and Bill Bruford’s Earthworks. In the fifth track “Thamel“ guest Baiju Bhatt extends the bands musical palette with the violin. Beautiful violin parts and dreamy vocal parts in the first part. Then slowly the tension of the music and the vocals are building up towards a great jazz fusion part with a lovely synth solo before a delicate ending with beautiful vocals. The short “Sonate for Gent“ is a powerful intermezzo before the band slows down with “Waltz for Bada“. Guest Thierry Beaucoup is playing the saxophone in this track. You can find some wonderful melodies and nice bass parts in this fine track which has some smooth jazz influences. The album ends with the longest track of the album. With “Break Astral“ you get more than 11 minutes of first class music. Elie Dufour displays here skills on the piano in this song. Her jazzy solo is impressive. This counts also for the excellent drumming of Elvire Jouve. At three-quarters of the song the music becomes more powerful and the tension is rising. After those wonderful piano and drum parts the tension of the music slowly dies into nothingness before it swells up once more with jazzy guitar work and nice vocal harmonies.
Six-Ring Circus made an impressive debut album. For me this is a musical discovery like the albums of the American bands iNFiNiEN and Axon-Neuron. Also bands with a female vocalist, a broad musical palette and young but very skillful musicians. In overall the music has a foundation that could be described as progressive jazz fusion. The music is diverse and adventurous. You can find several progressive rock influences in the music, so the band deserves to be on progVisions. Open your mind and enjoy the wonderful world of Six-Ring Circus. Highly recommended by progVisions.
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