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Malicorne


Country of origin:

France

Type of music generally:

Early albums traditional folk and electric folk, later albums more experimental alternative pop

Status:

No longer recording as a group, though a collection of their a cappella songs, Vox, was released in 1996. Gabriel Yacoub now records as a solo artist.

See also:

The Ectophiles' Guide entry on Gabriel Yacoub

Comparisons:

Steeleye Span, Fairport Convention's traditional work

Covers/own material:

Early albums traditional folk, later albums original

General comments:

Malicorne's early albums (up to Quintessence) are mostly slightly electric arrangements of traditional songs and sound very much like a French version of Steeleye Span, updating and electrifying traditional tunes and songs, but keeping the vocal harmonies and techniques intact. Their harmonies are perhaps a little more raw than Steeleye Span's, like several violins playing together. On the later recordings members of the group began writing music based on their traditional roots and the band became something unlike anything else. Their harmonies are still the same but the music is a kind of experimental rock with folk influences, far more innovative than any English-speaking equivalent I can think of. The music still has a certain traditional flavour but is also utterly contemporary. The albums are exceptional, stunning, innovative, powerful, beautiful, magical....
      I waited anxiously for these albums to be released on cd, wearing out my vinyl and taped copies.They are worth every bit of effort involved in tracking copies down. (Neile)

Recommended first album:

For the traditional material either Quintessence (the compilation) or Almanach (my favourite). For their later work Légende (the compilation) or Balancoire en feu (my favourite). They're all excellent. (Neile)

Recordings:


Malicorne (first album)

Release info:

1974--Hexagone--193.632

Availability:

France, and can be found in U.S. stores that carry world music imports; try CDRoots

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended for fans of traditional folk music

Group members:

Laurent Vercambre--violon, bouzouki, psaltérion à archet, harmonium, mandoline, vocal
Hughes de Courson--guitare électrique, basse, cromorne, percussions, vocal
Gabriel Yacoub--guitare acoustique et électrique, epinette des Vosges, vocal
Marie Yacoub--dulcimer électrique, bouzouki, vielle à roue, vocal

Comments:

This is the one with the picture of the band on the cover. A great collection of tunes and songs. Establishes their sound in this era. Delightful. (Neile)

Malicorne (second album)

Release info:

1975--Hexagone--193.652

Availability:

France, and can be found in U.S. stores that carry world music imports; try CDRoots

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended for fans of traditional folk music

Group members:

Marie Yacoub--dulcimer, dulcimer électrique, psaltérion, bouzouki, vielle à roue, epinette des vosges, choeurs, chant
Gabriel Yacoub--mandoloncelle, guitare, guitare électrique, dulcimer, epinette des Vosges, chant
Laurent Vercambre--violon, violoncelle, mandoloncelle, orgue Eminent, violon électriqe, choeurs, mélodéon, chant
Hughes de Courson--basse, percussions, cromone, harmonium, gaita (cornemuse galicienne), tambour, basse à archet, bodhran, flûte à bec, chant

Comments:

This is the album with the house growing out of the bottom of the tree trunk. Another fine collection of traditional songs and tunes. Lovely. (Neile)

Almanach

Release info:

1976--Hexagone--239210/DI/760

Availability:

France, and can be found in U.S. stores that carry world music imports; try CDRoots

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended for fans of traditional folk music

Group members:

Marie Yacoub--vielle à roue, dulcimer électrique et acoustique, epinette des Vosges, psaltérion à archet, chant
Gabriel Yacoub--guitare acoustique et mandoloncelle, dulcimer, chant
Laurent Vercambre--violon, violoncelle, claviers, dulcimer électrique, mandoline, chant
Hughes de Courson--basse, flûte à bec, percussions, claviers, chant

Comments:

A cycle of songs from around the year--a wonderful collection that works powerfully as a whole. They're at the peak of their folk era, and this album will be a delight for anyone who loves traditional folk music. (Neile)

Malicorne (fourth album)

Release info:

1978--Hexagon--193.712

Availability:

France, and can be found in U.S. stores that carry world music imports; try CDRoots

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended for fans of traditional folk music

Group members:

Hughes de Courson--chant, flûte à bec, orgue positif, piano, elka, synthetiseur, cromorne, percussions, glockenspiel
Olivier Zdrzalik--chant, basse électrique, elka, percussions
Laurent Vercambre--chant, violon, violoncelle, alto, viole d'amour, guitare acoustique, mandoline, mandoloncelle, claviers, mélodeon
Marie Yacoub--chant, vielle à roue, épinette des Vosges
Gabriel Yacoub--guitare acoustique et électrique, epinette des Vosges, vocal

Comments:

This is the album with the man and the boy pointing to the elaborate "M" for Malicorne in the evening sky. Another strong collection of mostly traditional tunes and songs, but includes some original work. (Neile)

Quintessence

Release info:

1978--Hexagone--193.732

Availability:

France, and can be found in U.S. stores that carry world music imports; try CDRoots

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended for fans of traditional folk music

Comments:

A compilation from the early years of the "French Steeleye Span". Folk rock with French lyrics may not sound an attractive proposition, but this collection puts a smile on the face and a spring in the step. (nightwol@dircon.co.uk)

L'Extraordinaire Tour de France d'Adélard Rousseau, dit Nivernais la Clef des Coeurs, Compagnon Charpentier du Devoir

Release info:

1978, reissued 1996--Boucherie Productions--082301

Availability:

Try CDRoots

Ecto priority:

Must have for lovers of experimental/folk music

Group members:

Gabriel Yacoub--guitare, banjo, guitare électrique, mandoloncelle, autoharpe, chant
Marie Yacoub--vielle à roue, dulcimer, chant
Hughes de Courson--cormornes, flûtes, tympanon, synthétiseur, glockenspiel, piano, harmonium, orgue positif, gaïta, percussions, chant
Laurent Vercambre--violon, violoncelle, alto, viole d'amour, nuckelharpa, mandoline, mandoloncelle, clarinette, méleodéon, guitare, chant
Olivier Zdrzalik--guitare basse, percussions, chant

Guest artists:

Dan Ar Braz--guitare électrique
Michel Santangeli--batterie
Jean-Daniel Mercier--arrangement de fantare
Bruno Menny--prise de son, orgue à voix, effets spéciaux

Produced by:

Malicorne

Comments:

"This album tells the story of a 'Compagnon' carpenter named Adelard who, in finishing his apprenticeship with the craftsmen's guild, travels around France to study with master craftsmen in a number of different disciplines. The 'Compagnons' have a history that is far too rich and extensive to cover here in a mere paragraph" (comment on the album from the liner notes in Légende). An extraordinary tour indeed! The album uses a frame of a train sound, and within that has both traditional songs and songs written by Gabriel Yacoub and Hughes de Courson. An inventive use of folk songs and contemporary effects. Beautifully listenable. (Neile)

En Public (also known as Live in Montréal)

Release info:

1978, reissued 1996--Boucherie Productions--082302

Availability:

Try CDRoots

Ecto priority:

Recommended for those who love traditional folk

Group members:

Gabriel Yacoub--guitare, mandoloncelle, double dulcimer, chant
Marie Yacoub--dulcimer, épinette, vielle à roue, chant
Olivier Zdrzalik--guitare basse, chant
Hughes de Courson--percussions, flûtes, claviers, cromornes, chant
Laurent Vercambre--violon, nykelharpa, chant

Guest artists:

André Proulx--violons
Brian Gulland--basson, flûtes

Comments:

Malicorne's brand of edgy traditional music with the added spice of being a live performance. (Neile)

Le Bestiaire

Release info:

1979, reissued 1996--Boucherie Productions--082303

Availability:

Try CDRoots

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended for those interested in more experimental traditional folk

Group members:

Marie Yacoub--vielle à roue, épinette des Vosges, dulcimer, choeurschant
Gabriel Yacoub--guitare électrique et acoustique, mandoloncelle, banjo 5 cordes, choeurs, chant
Olivier Zdrzalik--guitare basse, calvinet, sanza, elka, choeurs, chant
Patrick Le Mercier--guitar électrique, gaïta, violon
Dominique Rejeff--vielle à roue, violoncelle, rebecs Hughes de Courson--percussions, flûtes, claviers, cromornes, chant
Brian Gulland--synthétiseur, flûte, basson, sax, harmonium, cromornes, haubois, clavecin, orgue, choeurs, chant Jean-Pierre Arnoux--batterie, percussion, cymbale à archet, gong

Produced by:

Hughes de Courson

Comments:

A bestiary, which mostly consists of traditional songs. As always, wonderful musicianship and great harmonies. Delightful, powerful. (Neile)

Balancoire en feu

Release info:

1981 Elektra, reissued 1996--Boucherie Productions--082304

Availability:

Try CDRoots

Ecto priority:

Very high for those interested folk music pushed into a contemporary, experimental direction

Group members:

Marie Yacoub--dulcimer électrique et acoustique, percussions, chant
Gabriel Yacoub--guitars électrique et acoustique, mandoloncelle, gizmo, autoharpe, chant
Olivier Zdrzalik--basse, piano électrique, clavinet synthé AC 80 Yamaha, cloches tubulaires, chant
Patrick Le Mercier--violon, guitare électrique solo, cornemuse écossaise, cromornes, lyra, chant
Jean-Pierre Arnoux--batterie et toms, "concert" Yamaha, percussions, kigophone

Guest artists:

Hughes de Courson--piano, synthé AC 80 Yamaha, orgue Hammond, glockenspiel, chant
Véronique Harvey--choeurs
Ivan Lantos--cornemuse bulgare, flûtes Kaval
Jim Cuomo--saxophones
Michel Bourziex--xylophone
Richard Galliano--accordéon, bandonéon

Produced by:

Hughes de Courson

Comments:

This is an astonishing collection of music. Traditional elements all come together in another shape--beautiful and strange. A direct growth from the group's earlier work but also something wonderful and new. (Neile)

Les Cathédrales de L'Industrie

Release info:

1986--Celluloid, France--66794-2

Availability:

Try CDRoots

Ecto priority:

Must have for lovers of experimental/folk music

Group members:

Marie Yacoub--chant, vielle à roue
Gabriel Yacoub--chant, guitares, mandoloncelle, harmonica
Olivier Kowalski--chant, basse, guitares, claviers
Jean-Pierre Arnoux--batterie, percussions
Michel le Cam--chant, violon, mandoline, cromome

Guest artists:

Alan Kloatr--uillean pipe, tin whistle
Olivier Daviau--chabrette
Jean-Michel Kadjan--guitare électrique, programmation emulator
Patrick Robin--programmation séquenceur

Comments:

This was originally intended as a solo project for Gabriel Yacoub, but was released as by Malicorne because of the weight the name carries in France. A combination of hard-driving music, fun songs ("Big Science [1,2,3]"), and affecting love songs ("Je resterai ici"), mostly written by Gabriel Yacoub. Powerful and intriguing music, and highly recommended. (Neile)

Légende, Deuxième Époque

Release info:

1990--Hannibal, Rykodisc (Pickering Wharf, Bldg. C, Salem, MA 01970, U.S.A.; Rykodisc Europe, P.O. Box 2401, London W2 5SF, U.K.--HNCD 1360

Availability:

Wide in U.S. and U.K.

Ecto priority:

Must have for lovers of experimental folk

Group members:

Personnel varies

Comments:

A compilation of Malicorne's later albums. A great introduction to Malicorne's later work which takes the traditional folk elements into a very contemporary realm. A good place to start if you want a taste of their music. (Neile)

Vox

Release info:

1996--Boucherie Productions--082300

Availability:

Try CDRoots

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended for fans of traditional folk music

Group members:

Varies

Comments:

A compilation of Malicorne's traditional a cappella songs. Lovely and highly recommended for those who love to hear traditional harmonies. (Neile)

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DISCLAIMER: Comments and reviews in the Ectophiles' Guide are excerpted from the ecto mailing list or volunteered by members of the list. They are the opinions of music enthusiasts, not professional music critics.

Entry last updated 2003-04-23 01:03:35.
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