Monday, April 6, 2015

Paga - 1985 - Paga


01. Talk Back (7:40)
02. Mitchinoku (7:50)
03. Show Town (5:00)
04. Une Parcelle d'Urantia (12:53)
05. Final d'Urantia (1:44)

-Bernard Paganotti / bass, Chapman Stick, Rhodes, cabassa, Simmons, P.P.G., vocals
-Claude Salmieri / drums, Simmons
-Patrick Gauthier / acoustic piano, Moog, P.P.G., vocals
-Carol Rowley / vocals
-Maria Popkiewicz / vocals
-Christian Leroux / guitars
-Yvon Guillard / trumpet
-Alain Guillard / saxophone, flute
-Koyko Okumura / vocals
-Chizuru Hosoya / vocals
-Kirt Rust / drums
-Jean-Phillipe Goude / Rhodes

Out of the ashes of WEIDORJE arose PAGA.

Although the first of the Paganotti albums is listed as BERNARD PAGANOTTI's "Paga" and the subsequent "Haunted" and "Gnosis" are listed under the different project name of PAGA GROUP, the three are sometimes referred to under the label PAGA and are seen as a trilogy, but PAGA is sometimes seen as a continuation of WEIDORJE (which would sort of make it a quadrilogy). After the bassist and composer Bernard Paganotti had worked with MAGMA (1976 -77 albums) and formed WEIDORJE (album release - 1978) for a sole effort with the keyboardist Patrick Gauthier, who had been keyboardist with MAGMA (and HELDON), he composed and released an album utilising fellow WEIDORJE founder, Gauthier. This album was released as BERNARD PAGANOTTI - "Paga" (1985). Other WEIDORJE alumni also contributed to the project, including the legendary Jean Phillipe-Goude, Allain and Yvon Guillard, as well as Kirt Rust.

After "Paga," the project led to PAGA GROUP. PAGA GROUP released two albums, "Haunted" (1988) and "Gnosis" (1993). Not only is PAGA GROUP a continuation of the original "Paga" album project, but the PAGA project is a kind of continuation of WEIDORJE. It is a reunion of members, as has been noted, and the "Paga" albums two best compositions, as I hear it, and these are teriffic, are "Mitchinoku" and "Une Parcelle d'Urantia." These tracks were essentially Paganotti compositions intended for WEIDORJE, but they had never been released or fully realised. Paganotti's bass-work dominates, and the sound carries over from WEIDORJE. Both share a similar jazzy Zeuhl approach as well as instrumental technique, but the "Paga" album may be seen to suffer from New Wave leanings as well as jazz-lite elements; nevertheless, I believe it to be a fine, rewarding and exciting album to seek out. On another note: Zeuhler Laurent Thibault, the first bassist for MAGMA, who then joined MOVING GELATINE PLATES, and then went "solo," co-produced Paganotti's "Paga" album.

The "Paga" project reunion albums (PAGA GROUP) become more jazzy and less Zeuhl. although there is a clear continuation of sound. Whilst they are jazz-lite at times, "Haunted" is, I think, more of a jazz/rock fusion than Zuehl album; however, it is still informed by Zeuhl (Zeuhl elements run through it). With "Gnosis" the trend away from Zeuhl continues. It becomes more acoustic and into lighter, smoother jazz territory, but all three are very accomplished and enjoyable efforts for me. The PAGA players are all in fine form. The "Paga" album (the first) is highly recommended to WEIDORJE fans, both as a worthwhile album to hear in its own right, but also as a companion piece to "Weidorje." "Haunted" will still appeal to appreciators of Zeuhl, and is also recommended to Fusion fans. I would recommend "Gnosis" to those who are more into Jazz-Fusion and need not appreciate Zeuhl. Due to the obvious Zeuhl connections, the Zeuhl category seems the best place to highlight this project.

This is a MONSTER album by MONSTER Bass player Bernard Paganotti. Lovers of Bass Guitar, keep an eye out for this one !! BP onced passed through MAGMA, lending his virtuosic Bass skills to help create a phenomenal Live album (also odd tracks on various albums). Zheul Bass playing is in a league of its own, plenty of distortion and complex riffing, often sounding humanly impossible. Moving on, he formed 'WEIDORJE', releasing another heavily Bass oriented classic. It's not all just about the Bass Guitar, though. Keyboards play an important role, frantic Drum-work in an effort to keep the flow of the relentless compositions going smoothly, guitars and brass instruments included to expand the sound and enhance the shape of the final product. In 1985, Paganotti had assembled a new band featuring old friend Patrick Gauthier on Keys and a superb drummer by the name of Claude Salmieri. He even got his old band Weidorje together for a lengthy epic, resulting in this album 'Paga', released on a small, private label, 'Cream Records', and every bit as engaging as his previous work, and a valuable contribution to 'Zheul' prog. The opening song 'Talk Back' is a funky, up-beat number utilising many techniques of Bass playing, and an incredible Fretless Bass solo. Bernard handles the lead vocals (he makes a decent singer) and includes some female back-up singers. This one is sung in English. The production has great depth and clarity, and Salmieri proves to be a worthy Drummer. 'Mitchinoku' is a driving, Zheul track sung in Japanese (I guess) and features his wife, Naoko Paganotti. The final section is a triumphant piece with a catchy melody. Side 2 kicks off with a New-Wave influenced song, 'Show Town', sung in English again and features a deep, rumbling Bass-line. The near-13 minute 'Une Parcelle D'urantia' features old band-mates from Weidorje, and is an absolutely amazing track. From humble beginnings, the track moves through many sections, with the Bass being the focal-point, and drummer Kirt Rust puts in a mammoth effort on Drums - he seems to have improved technically from his earlier days. The Guillard brothers adding Flute, Trumpet and Sax to the brooding middle section, where complex interplay takes place between the female vox, Gauthier's Piano and the wind instruments, afterwards returning to earlier melodies and finishing with a storming riff. Fully breath-taking. The album finishes off with a very short piece, but it sounds complete, it's complex and incredibly dramatic.



  2. Drago, sorry for correction, but Paga was issued in LP format in 1985 and CD in 1991:

  3. u r absolutely right, I have no idea why I wrote 1982 instead of 85...
    amazed that it took a year before anyone
    thanks for the catch