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Cherry Pop

Title - 'In Terra Cognita? The Music Of The Rock Opera'
Artist - JJ Chardeau

For those not in the know, French musician and composer JJ Chardeau, has launched his rock opera 'Magical Music Man' on CD, Download and Streaming platforms with the album In Terra Cognita? (out November 22rd, 2019 via L Records).

The premise of the rock opera is: When his on board computer fails Magical Musical Man learns that he will crash on a planet reportedly inhabited by Degenerates, called Earth.

In a panic he sees only one salvation: calling God the great alchemist-creator of the universe to his rescue. Thus appears God (portrayed by Jean-Claude Drouot) but He has no memory of the human kind.

He only remembers a quarrel between the first couple of humans about an apple. So God agrees to accompany Magical Musical Man to Earth to find out what happened to human kind!

1. 'Evolution (Magical Musical Man Ouverture)'
2. 'Dream in Moscow'
3. 'Black Taj Mahal'
4. 'Farewell Lhassa'
5. 'DMZ'
6. 'Frisson Nippon'
7. 'Les Larmes Du Pacifique'
8. 'Nunavut'
9. 'The Last Rockaway'
10. 'Pablo Tequila'
11. 'Machu Picchu'
12. 'Cabale Kabyle'
13. 'Wall of Laments'
14. 'Tchad'
15. 'The End? (Magical Musical Man Finale)'

This quite spectacular album - which features special guests including Mark Andes (Canned Heat, Spirit), Jerry Goodman (Mahavishnu Orchestra), Brian Auger (Led Zeppelin, Rolling Stones), Jason Scheff (Chicago), Alex Ligertwood (Santana), Martin Barre (Jethro Tull), Kenny Aronoff (John Mellencamp, John Fogerty), John McFee (Doobie Brothers), Danny Seraphine (Chicago), John Helliwell (Supertramp), Michael Sadler (Saga), Chris Pinnick (Chicago), and Hank Linderman (America, Chicago) - opens with the symbiotic rhythmic bounce of 'Evolution (Magical Musical Man Ouverture)' (featuring Mark Andes, John McFee & Jason Scheff), and backs that up with both the ornately delicate, piano-created beauty of 'Dream In Moscow' (featuring Alex Ligertwood, Martin Barre, Jerry Goodman, Mark Andes & Danny Seraphine) and the spoken word 'Black Taj Mahal.'

The lush, ethereal 'Farewell Lhassa' (featuring Jason Scheff, Mark Walker, Francis Décamps, Martin Barre & John McFee) is one of the stand out highlights here for me, and that's followed by gentle frenetic 'DMZ' (featuring Mark Andes, Kenny Aronoff, Brian Auger & Jerry Goodman), the orchestral magnificence of 'Frisson Nippon' (featuring Mark Andes), and then the colorful and lighthearted 'Les Larmes Du Pacifique' (featuring Kohann, Marc Andes, Kenny Aronoff, John Helliwell & John McFee).

The sterner 'Nunavut' (featuring Francis Décamps, John McFee & Jean-Claude Drouot) is next and is backed by the free flowing prog rock pairing of 'The Last Rockaway' (featuring Michael Sadler, Mark Andes, Chris Pinnick & John Helliwell) and 'Pablo Tequila' (featuring Martin Barre, Francis Décamps & Hank Linderman).

Next up is another of my own highlights, the other-worldly, mellow beauty of 'Machu Picchu' (featuring Jason Scheff, Martin Barre, Hank Linderman & John McFee), and then comes the eastern hipsawy of 'Cabale Kabyle' (featuring Martin Barre & Fifi Chayeb).

This quite wondrous new concept rock album then rounds out with a wee bit more of that previous eastern vibe incorporated within the rock confines of 'Wall Of Laments' (featuring Jason Scheff, Martin Barre, Hank Linderman & John McFee), the finger-snappin' rhythms of 'Tchad' (featuring Christian Décamps, Lulendo, Chris Pinnick, Francis Décamps & John Helliwell), and then comes to a close with the forthright, yet cultured, drum-led 'The End? (Magical Musical Man Final).'

Amazon CD Purchase Link