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Cano - 1978 Eclipse

ALBUM: Eclipse
YEAR: 1978


LINEUP: Marcel Aymar - vocals, acoustic guitar * David Burt - electric & acoustic guitar, string arrangements * Michel Dasti - drums, percussion * John Doerr - bass, Trombone, Synthesizer, string arrangements * Michael Kendel - vocals, piano, electric piano, keyboards * Wasyl Kohut - violin, mandolin, string arrangements * Rachel Paiement - vocals, acoustic guitar

TRACK LISTING: 01 Soleil Mon Chef * 02 Earthly Mother * 03 Cercles De La Nuit * 04 Rumrunner's Runaway * 05 Moon Lament * 06 Ca Roule * 07 Bienvenue 1984


Cano or 'Cooperative des artistes du Nouvel Ontario' (Artists' Cooperative of Northern Ontario) were a unique outfit. Created as a collective, the group in true hippie fashion operated a farm and promoted Franco-Ontarian arts and culture in and around their home base of Sudbury, Ontario. Stylistically, early Cano followed a folk music path, sung entirely in French while gradually developing a progressive rock sound which can be heard on their first two albums 'Tous Dans L'Meme Bateau' from 1976 and 1977's gorgeous 'Au Nord De Notre Vie'. At this point and quite predictably most of the group's success was found in Quebec, the Maritime Provinces and of course France and while the band never had a 'hit' single, their concerts were sellouts even in English-speaking Western Canada.

The Songs
'Eclipse', their third effort wasn't an easy album to record. Early in 1978 the group's leader and inspiration Andre Paiement committed suicide and while some of his material is used here, the mood going into the studio was somber at best. Fortunately Cano pull off a nice progressive pop album with comparisons to Renaissance and traces of jazz fusion ala Jean-Luc Ponty. The crystalline voice of the lovely Rachel Paiement (sister of the late Andre Paiement) is stunning and while parallels to Annie Haslam are inevitable, Rachel and the Cano sound was jazzier; more folk based and utilized male vocals often. Too often perhaps as the voice of Marcel Aymar is a big negative on the record and just a little too Gaelic for my tastes reminding me of the final mid-80's album by the French group Malicorne 'Les cathedrals de l'industrie' which combined modern rock and folk styles in a similar style. Lyrically, the band address the loss of Andre Paiement and the album is dedicated to his memory but clearly the best stuff here is the progressive oriented material including the instrumental 'Earthly Mother' based on a Ukrainian folk tune and 'Bienvenue 1984' which will please even the most jaded prog fan.

In Summary
Jim Vallance (Prism, Bryan Adams, Aerosmith) produced Cano's follow-up 'Rendezvous' which was the groups first English only album and the last with Rachel Paiement who ended up marrying Vallance following the recording. In the 'what were they thinking' category; Cano re-grouped as Masque in 1981 releasing one album 'Camouflage' which didn't hide the fact it was sub-par in every way. One more record 'Visible' came out in 1985 offering up a very hi-tech pop sound and a million miles away from the progressive rock Cano of years gone by. Interest in the band fortunately has not waned as the first two albums have been reissued on CD and Universal has put out a Cano best of '20th Century Masters: The Millennium Collection' as well as most of their back catalog now available for download. Recently, Cano have regrouped with Rachel's younger sister Monique Paiement on lead vocals, playing their first live gig in over ten years at Laurentian University in Sudbury.

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