A fantastic marriage of rock and jazz, French group Edition Speciale’s 1977 release “Aliquante” features dynamic, catchy melodies and virtuosic instrumentation, featuring glorious interplay between instruments.  A product of the best schools the 1970’s fusion scene, this album borrows from heavy fusion like the Mahavishnu Orchestra, Return to Forever, and Brand X, accessible fusion like Sloche and Jazz Q, while throwing in elements from Canterbury and vocal highlights inspired by the Swingle Singers.  Flowing gracefully from beginning to end, side one features instrumentals while side two shows off the vocal prowess of the band in both French and English.  Strangely, I like the side with vocals best.  That’s against the grain for me.  There are many standout cuts, but songs 4-5-6-7 comprise one of the most exciting 4 song combinations this listener has heard on any record in any genre.

This is a bona fide classic, highly recommended to any fan of high quality music.

+++++ out of +++++