Many prog fans know Charles Loos as a keyboard player and Jean-Paul Musette as a bassist. They were also members of Cos, a great Belgian band that included guitarist Daniel Schell along with vocalist Pascale son. Loos was featured on the band’s first album, Post Aeolian Train Robbery. Musette was also present on tracks that were recorded in 1973 and 1974, which later appeared as bonus tracks on the CD. They were both long gone when Cos recorded their second LP, Viva Boma in July 1976. Musette wanted to make music more jazz-based, as indicated in the liner notes of the CD reissue of Post Aeolian Train Robbery. Charles Loos was probably the same. Abraxis clearly reflected their desire to create complex, but still distinctly jazz-based original music. The band’s eponymous LP, which was released on the “I. B. C. (International Bestseller Company), a subsidiary of EMI/Benelux. Loos played on Fender Rhodes, miniMoog and electric bass, while Musette (electrical bass) was also featured. Abraxis also featured guitarist Paul Elias and flutist Dirk Bogaert. Tony Malisan plays the drums on 9 of the LP’s tracks. Many of these men were part of other Belgian jazz-rock bands like Waterloo, Placebo and Pazop. Abraxis’ sound is very similar to that of Cos. However, it is jazzier and Bogeart’s flute replaces Pascale’s vocals. Placebo, a Belgian jazz-rock band that Marc Moulin is the producer and keyboardist of, and Gilgamesh and National Health are other stylistic references. Although the compositions are mainly by Loos and Musette, there is ample room for long solos by Bogaert, Loos, and the surprisingly excellent Elias. It is all first-rate musicianship – Musette is solid, Tony Malisan, the replacement drummer, is a beast, and Elias, the guitarist, is up there with Phil Miller. They cover quite a lot of stylistic ground as well, including Zappa-like convolutions to funky fusion jamming to neoclassical ruminations on acoustic and acoustic guitar, and flute. This book is recommended for flute and fusion fans as well as those who love intelligent progressive rock. Dave Wayne from http://www.gepr.net/aafram.html

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