Exposé Online banner

Rhesus O — Rhesus O
(Musea FGBG 4137.AR, 1971/1996, CD)

by Peter Thelen, 1997-02-01:

Rhesus O Cover art

A lost relic from the early zeuhl period, Rhesus O was a band formed by keyboardist Jean-Pol Asseline and drummer Thierry Blanchard in 1971, along with five other musicians — among them Magma alumni Francis Moze (bass) and Alain Hatot (saxes, flute), and actually represents the first real Magma offshoot band, although at that point neither Blanchard or Asseline had been members themselves (Jean-Pol later joined during the Köhntarkösz / Live period after the dissolution of Rhesus O). Their style could be described as a mixture of Third and 4 period Soft Machine and the early Magma circa the first album or 1001C. The lineup included dual keys (organ and electric piano), dual basses (electric bass and double bass), and occasional xylophone, plus saxes (soprano, tenor, and baritone), flute, acoustic guitar, and drums. The playing is extremely tight and spirited, with a strong contribution from all the players. The album contains nine short to mid-length gems of sparkling jazz-rock, each with its own character and lifepulse. The sound quality is excellent, especially considering that these tapes are twenty-five years old. Were it not for the vintage instrumentation, one could easily believe this was recorded yesterday. Sadly, there are no tapes beyond what constituted the original album, so that's all you get, thirty-five solid minutes in all. This is definitely a must-have for all zeuhl fans and friends of jazz-rock alike.


by Henry Schneider, 2016-12-15:

Digging through their music archives Musea has unearthed another relic of the pre-Magma / zeuhl school of music. Recorded in 1971 at the Chateau d’Herouville, this short-lived band produced what many aficionados consider to be the first zeuhl album. Drawing on their jazz roots and close association with Gerard Prevost, Jean-Pol Asseline and Thierry Blanchard pulled together seven other likeminded musicians to create a rich and sophisticated music akin to Magma’s first album and Soft Machine’s Third and Fourth. With today’s CD technology and the tendency now to utilize it to the max, the roughly 36 minutes for the nine songs are just too short. It is too bad that Musea could not augment the original album with some bonus tracks. Rhesus O is an essential album for fans of this genre and could be a great place to start for the uninitiated.


Filed under: Reissues , 1996 releases, 1971 releases

Related artist(s): Rhesus O

More info

Latest news

2018-09-25
Help the Psychic Equalizer Avoid Extinction – Last year we reviewed the debut album by Psychic Equalizer, a musical project of Hugo Selles. He's now working on the ambitious follow-up to that release, and is seeking funding from listeners around the world. » Read more

2018-09-05
Krautrock Documentary Seeks Funding – The next installment of the Progressive Warriors documentary series will focus on the vast body of music that falls under the banner of "krautrock." As most of our readers will know, previous films have tackled RIO and the Canterbury scene, as well as what we might call "mainstream" prog rock. » Read more

2018-07-31
Tomasz Stańko RIP – Tomasz Stańko, one of the greats of Eastern European jazz, has died at the age of 76. Stańko's career started in Krzysztof Komeda's quintet, where he contributed trumpet from 1963-1967, when he formed his own group. He worked extensively with Edward Vesala, Don Cherry, Zbigniew Seifert, Chico Freeman, Howard Johnson, Cecil Taylor, and many others. Many of his recordings have been released by ECM, an association that began in the mid-70s. » Read more

2018-07-09
Soft Machine Set to Release New Music – It's been 50 years since The Soft Machine changed the face of music with their first album. Their blend of psychedelic rock and jazz was unique, and while the band went through many changes before disbanding in 1981 — by which time there were no original members remaining — they remained an innovative force with a style all their own. » Read more

2018-07-01
7d Surfaces Happy Rhodes Back Catalog – We've covered singer Happy Rhodes before, both for her solo work and recently with The Security Project, but her 11 albums have been hard to track down. Until now. 7d features high-quality downloads of all her releases, and several of them are also available on CD. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Yes - Talk – Here's yet another album with the Yes name on it that bears almost no resemblance to the band's classic period, essentially a Trevor Rabin solo album with Jon Anderson singing. First, I've...  (1994) » Read more

John Curtis - Short Songs about Affordable Food – An interesting concept — and a successful one too, that certainly lives up to its title. There are 43 songs here, and only a handful break the minute-and-a-half mark. Some are instrumentals, but...  (2008) » Read more

Various Artists - Un Voyage en Progressif Vol. 5 – We all know that one cut off of a sampler can’t possibly give an accurate picture of a band’s full breadth and quality. But if the purpose of a sampler slot is to shine positive light on a...  (2001) » Read more

Wlud - Carrycroch' – After finally hearing this album it became clear why there was so much fuss and commotion about its reissue. Carrycroch' is the self-produced debut album by this instrumental quartet from...  (1996) » Read more

Trigon - Emergent – This amazing psychedelic rock dynamo from Germany (now a trio of guitars, bass, and drums – by brothers Rainer and Stefan Lange, and Tihomir Lozanovski respectively, with former keyboardist Udo...  (2007) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues