The Bodhisattva Beat
Music and Life

Edhels

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Edhels is led by multi-instrumentalist Marc Ceccotti (but most praised for his acoustic guitar work), and was co-founded by guitarist Jean-Louis Suzzoni in the early 1980’s. They met at the Monaco Academy of Music, and soon added percussionist, and keyboard player, Noel Damon. For the first album, 1981’s “The Bursting,” violinist Sandrine Brisson, keyboardist Philippe Peratonnere, and keyboardist /percussionist Jacky Rosati were also brought aboard. Unfortunately, this first effort was shelved. It did not see release until 2001. After things settled down, Sandrine and Philippe had moved on, but Jacky remained as a member of the band. This would be the lineup for the band’s first three “official” albums (remember, “The Bursting” was still not available), all released by Musea.

The first changed occurred when Noel Damon left after the recording of 1991’s “Astro-Logical.” With the band in flux, Marc Ceccotti decided it was time to try it on his own. He recorded his first solo project, “M.A.S.C.” in 1993. The band did regroup, and found Jean-Marc Bastianelli to replace Noel. They went back to the studio and released “Angel’s Promise” in 1997. Whereas all of the previous albums had been instrumental, this time they added vocals to mix. This new wrinkle was provided via new member, Jean-Marc. Also that year, they received the honor of prominently featured in Edward L. Macan’s “Rocking the Classics: English Progressive Rock and the Counterculture.” However, 1997 was not without drawbacks. After “Angel’s Promise,” Jacky decided to leave Edhels.

After the latest shakeup, they leaped right back into action. Drummer Yannik Chavatier and bass player Lionel Routier were enlisted, and they went into the studio. For this album, they were also on their own. Musea was not involved, and the album was self released. The result was 1998’s “Universal.” Details are a bit fuzzy, but there seems to be a bit of controversy surrounding this release. Some love it, and some despise it. It seems as if Cecotti brought this out into a large stage show, which was captured in the 2005 live release of the same name. He states that serious record company backing could not keep this collaboration afloat, so once again the future was uncertain.

After the turmoil, the core of the band (Ceccotti, Suzzoni, and Bastianelli) got back to basics, and released the instrumental album “Saltimbanques” in 2003. It would seem they decided to go back to the machine, because the album was released on Mellow Records label. It also stands as one of their highest rated efforts.

What the future will bring for Edhels, no one knows. Marc Ceccotti is still actively pursuing his solo career, but the band has been quiet for some time now.

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