Jean-Michel Jarre – Les Concerts en Chine (1982/2015) [Qobuz FLAC 24bit/48kHz]

Jean-Michel Jarre – Les Concerts en Chine (1982/2015)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/48 kHz | Time – 01:18:53 minutes | 980 MB | Genre: Electronic
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download – Source: Qobuz | Front Cover | © Sony Music

Jean-Michel Jarre performed a handful of concerts in Peking and Shanghai in 1981, marking the first time that a modern Western musical artist had played in communist China. Sensing the historical importance of the event (and the career milestone it represented), a double album of live music from these concerts was released the following year as Les Concerts en Chine. The release is half musical travelogue (featuring new pieces presumably inspired by China) and half career retrospective, with faithful reproductions of excerpts from Equinoxe and Les Chants Magnetiques (Magnetic Fields) interspersed with new works and snippets of Chinese dialogue. There has always been a strong visual component to Jarre’s live shows, which the listener is left out of on these recordings (small pockets of applause during some of the songs allude to the graphic goings-on), but even without the lights and lasers this is engaging stuff. Highlights from the show include “Jonques de Pecheurs au Crepuscule” (Fishing Junks at Sunset), a welcome respite from Jarre’s ultra-modern music that features a traditional Oriental arrangement, and new works like “Arpegiateur” and “Nuit a Shangai” that compare favorably with the brisk, streamlined sound of Tangerine Dream in the early ‘80s. Connecting these sections with dialogue and street noises (some of which, in the case of “Les Chants Magnetiques,” have always been there) breaks up the concert nicely, although two lighthearted intermissions (“L’Orchestre Sous la Pluie” and “La Derniere Rumba”) make too fine a point of it. Owners of Equinoxe and Les Chants Magnetiques expecting to hear a new interpretation of these albums won’t find any surprises on Les Concerts en Chine except a short ping-pong match inexplicably billed as “Les Chants Magnetiques I.” The real attraction is the new music, and the newness that all of this must have held for its audience.

1 L’Ouverture 4:47
2 Arpégiateur 6:52
3 Équinoxe Part 4 7:39
4 Jonques De Pêcheurs Au Crépuscule 9:35
5 L’Orchestre Sous La Pluie 1:24
6 Équinoxe Part 7 9:52
7 Orient Express 4:21
8 Les Chants Magnétiques Part I 0:28
9 Les Chants Magnétiques Part III 3:48
10 Les Chants Magnétiques Part IV 6:43
11 Harpe Laser 3:26
12 Nuit à Shanghaï 7:01
13 La Dernière Rumba 2:03
14 Les Chants Magnétiques Part II 6:19
15 Souvenir De Chine 4:00

Jean Michel Jarre – Fairlight CMI, Eminent, Oberheim OB-Xa, Moog Taurus, EMS Synthi AKS, EMS VCS 3, Elka Synthex, Linn LM-1, Electro-Harmonix Micro Synthesizer, laser harp, Elka X-705
Frederick Rousseau – MDB Polysequencer, RSF, Yamaha CS 60, Korg Rhythm, ARP 2600
Dominique Perrier – Moog Liberation, Sequential Circuits Prophet-5, Eminent, Korg Polyphonique, RSF Kobol
Roger Rizzitelli – electronic percussion, Simmons electronic drum
Peking Conservatoire Symphony Orchestra – Chinese orchestra on “Fishing Junks at Sunset”
Huang Feili – orchestra conductor on “Fishing Junks at Sunset”
Mrs. Li Meng, Mr. Wang Zhi – collaborating artists (possibly playing guzhengs) on “Fishing Junks at Sunset”