Wednesday 1 April 2015

Gérard Pisani's 1975 solo work, Le Loup Des Steppes

Gérard Pisani (aka Gerry Zipanar) was in the famed French proto-prog rock band Martin Circus.  (He was the horn or sax player, and plays these instruments here.)  The record carries interest for us as it is his mid-seventies solo outing, and his only solo work as far as I know, it turns out that it is in chansonnier pop style with a great deal of balladic tenderness, or, as my college friend used to call it, it's 'makeout music' which is quite appropriate an appellation.  Nonetheless, no song is quite as remarkable as the Mimi opus by Xavier Gernet which I played over and over again back in the day, a year ago I guess.  But there are some nice ones.  For example, the closer, called "Pas Besoin De Prévenir":

His ex never finished the painting on his kitchen wall, so she can come over anytime, the door is open, no need for warning.

Here and there one hears echos of what he brought to the Martin Circus style, e.g. the track B2 Ce Jour Là wherein some rock chords pass into a minor second chord change that is rather interesting, at least for the brief flash of an aural moment.

I also really came to like the second song, about taking things as they come in life, good or bad, though the chord changes here are quite simplistically diatonic, major sevenths:

Nonetheless, this song really got under my skin, mostly on account of what the singer is saying, and I spent a whole evening playing it over and over again-- for my poor unfortunate family...
I hear:

"but, really it has no importance
you have to take existence
as if there were no difference...

when someone holds out their hand
be the friend you wish you had...

you could count on your fingers
all the people who really wish you well...
they are like dogs, they bark,
but they don't remain long anyways

I don't know anymore
where is the good, where is the bad?

really it has no importance
you have to take existence
as if there were no difference..."

In the last stanza it sounds as if he is speaking to a child-- is it a jaded adult talking about life or is it as I believe, the deeper idea that you can never have good without bad and bad without good in life? My suspicion, just because of the proximity of the Annapurna song, is that it's a French attempt at an Eastern, buddhist message.  But I like that there are many interpretations to the song.

Clearly this was his attempt at true commercial success.  Did it succeed?  One thing I do know, it won't succeed today, not with youtube and Kate Perry and Justin Bieber as competition...



    And while we're on the topic of great records, I have two huge gems coming up, bona fide rarity treasures in the next two weeks (hopefully) as well as more library records, some completions on the ReR quarterly records front from a year ago, and still more fusion, rock, and folk to come... stay tuned!

    1. is it possible to reup this beautiful album? thx~