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Arti e Mestieri - Tilt - Immagini Per Un Orecchio CD (album) cover

TILT - IMMAGINI PER UN ORECCHIO

Arti e Mestieri

 

Jazz Rock/Fusion

4.22 | 127 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
3 stars 3.5 stars really!!!

One of the most emblematic Italian prog albums with that simple but stunning album, which could probably the progressive spirit: indeed that wide funnel could be where the progressive movement engulf all of their individual or collective influences and transfer them into a tank for the mix, thus producing an incredibly varied and complex end product. This suggestive imagery belongs to yours truly, but I doubt I will be the only one who thought about it. It is further reinforced by the subtitle of the album's name: imagination for the ear. Often classified as JR/F, this band doesn't make pigeonholing that easy, especially when the violinist induces a bunch of symphonic or classical shades into the overall mix. A sextet from Rome (despite the majority being from Turin), the group is lead by three or even four frontmen, including a wind player (Vitale) and a string (violin mainly) player (Vigliar) as well as the more standard keyboards (Crovella) and guitar (Venegoni), thus allowing a very varied (in principle) sound. Let's not forget to mention drummer extraordinaire Furio Chirico and the no-less awesome bassist Gallesi.

What you will find on the slice of wax or vinyl is a fairly-typical Italian-sounding group, stuck between the more symphonic (early PFM or BMS) and the jazzier penchant (Perigeo or later PFM) of the Italian scope of prog, but not venturing in its more-experimental side like Area or Stormy Six (if you except the short closing title track) or its prog folk slant (Saint Just).

A mostly instrumental album, despite two sung tracks, A&M plays a very demonstrative melodic prog oscillating between symphonic and jazz styles, which give them a good but not unique quality to stand out from the mass of their compatriots. Indeed, while the sax gives the blue-notes sonorities, the violin and mellotrons counter with more European influences, despite the compositions being mostly that of guitarist Venegoni. Opening on the slightly Mahavishnu-esque and instrumental piece of Gravitation 9.81, you find yourself slipping without warning into the Crimson-like layers of Trons of the following piece of Strips, whose vocals are quite PFM-sounding. The short Corrosione is more of a transition piece that will polarize us into the +/- track (again Mahavishnu, but with added vibes) in order to prepare to the Cammino, a slow-evolving and gradually incandescent, in great part due to Vitale's winds and Venegoni's fiery guitar solo, before the short Scacco piece ends the side rather abruptly.

The flipside is mostly hogged by the album's highlight, the 13-mins+ Articolazione, the other track featuring vocals, but it is sandwiched by two short track, the first of which Farenheit is Maha-inspired, while the closing Tilt piece is definitely more abstract and totally musically out of context of the rest of the album: interesting but artificial. Let's go back to the epic, truly the more complex and energetic piece of the album in the "Crimson meets PFM" mode, but featuring some IMHO expandable texts, but clearly the centrepiece of Tilt. I'm not sure if the album's production was perfect or is it that the music could've used a tad more energy and dynamics, but maybe a remastering would be helpful.

While there are some undeniable Mahavishnu influences that make this album interesting to fusionheads, it's likely to interest more progheads, especially if you've heard the previous The Trip formation, you will impressed by the progress they made.. I often wonder how the group might have sounded and fared without the violin, out of pure speculation (he's not a composer anyway), but it's quite pointless since imagining A&M without Vigliar is unthinkable, because his sound is somewhere between Goodman, Lockwood or Ponty. Not essential (IMHO) to either jazz or prog fans, but Tilt is definitely worthy of some attention from both sides.

Sean Trane | 3/5 |

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