Mike McLatchey 24-April-2001 overview

Coincidence were a French jazz-rock group from the mid-70's led by the brothers Llabador. The influences are the usual for the time and style, Weather Report, Mahavishnu Orchestra, post-Sextant Herbie Hancock, and I hear a little George Benson in guitarist Jean-Pierre's playing. The music is a funky jazz rock with a grooving background of bass and drums. On their self-titled debut, this foundation is the base for a lot of synths and a lot more guitar, both electric and acoustic. The brothers (of which Jean-Claude doubles on guitar and keys) are remarkable musicians, covering angular McLaughlin-like chord patterns, gentle DiMeola-like acoustic stylings, and some Hammer-ish synth with ease. The diversity of the album is its strength, and while none of the pieces are particularly memorable, all are well-played and interesting. Clef de Ciel is more of the same, although a bit more mature and including a slightly explanded line up including new bass player Michel Montoyat, two more percussions players, and sax. "L'Autre Face" shows the group with a slightly spacey vibe, the effected e-piano and guitar grooves reminding me a bit of Italian group Il Volo (and this does bear some comparisons to Italian fusion contemporaries like Cincinatto, Agora or Perigeo). There are some other styles brought into the mix as well - a little reggae here, a little lounge jazz there. Perhaps it's this multi-stylistic stew that makes Clef de Ciel a bit more inconsistent, while perhaps a little less copiest. While there are a few standout pieces, it's not a particularly outstanding follow-up. Overall, interesting, yet not spectacular jazz rock.

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