"In October 1974, the first number of L'Indépendant du Jazz, a small self-produced magazine DIY -- before punk supposedly invented the concept -- was launched by Jef Gilson, Gérard Terronès, Jean-Jacques Pussiau, and a few other specialists of a different kind of jazz in France, it looked at the already long career of Jef Gilson and in detail at the album with saxophonist Philippe Maté: 'The 'Workshop' is, with Philippe Maté (alto-sax), an undeniable success. Maté is genuinely 'the' most inventive French saxophonist since Michel Portal burst onto the jazz scene (who has also worked with Jef Gilson on both Enfin (1964) and Gaveau (1965).' Even though the author of the article is a mysterious I.H. Dubiniou, and it is difficult to know if it is a real person or a pseudonym used by one of the merry bunch, it is also tempting to hear it as what Jef Gilson really thought about his new discovery. Even more so as the two men would work together over a long period, as Maté became one of the key figures of Gilson's Europamerica orchestra up until the 1980s. Philippe Maté had started to make a name for himself with the Acting Trio when they released an album on the BYG label in 1969, and he was also one of the regular sidemen for the Saravah Studios. The album was recorded on February 4 1972, at the Foyer de Montorgueuil, where Gilson had set up his studio, with more or less the same team found on La Marche Dans Le Désert by Sahib Shihab + Gilson Unit (FFL 065LP). This was drummer Jean-Claude Pourtier and pianist Pierre Moret (regular Gilson accomplices since Le Massacre Du Printemps (FFL 064LP)), alongside Maurice Bouhana and Bruno Di Gioa on various percussions and/or wind instruments. On bass is Didier Levallet, of the now mythical Perception, and Philippe Maté who took top billing. The two albums are however quite different. This Workshop is more abrasive, more free. Made up of two long improvisations each of over 22mn, 'L'Oeil' on side A and 'Vision' on side B, the album plunges you into the depths, attempting to drown you in electronic waves, dragging you back to the surface by the collar, giving you a good shakedown, before showing you the light, leaving you breathless on the shore after 46mn of the most intense music French has to offer..." --Jérôme "Kalcha" Simonneau

Reissue, originally released in 1973. Includes booklet with rare and unpublished photos. Carefully remastered from the master tapes. Licensed from Palm/Geneviève Quievreux.