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Le Mani - Le Mani CD (album) cover

LE MANI

Le Mani

 

Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.37 | 11 ratings

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Finnforest
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars This is a very rare Italian title for which I was unable to uncover much in the way of history. I can only share what is available from the CD booklet.

Le Mani were from Milan and performed mostly covers until 1973 when they began to hit the festival circuit. Their style was supposed to be a mix of ELP and the Italian classical tradition. Songwriter Claudio Fucci joined the group and they began to make an album together but it was never released back then due to record company problems (shocking, I know.) These 5 songs are all that survived and they have been reissued on limited edition remastered CDs. There are both Italian and Japanese versions and I believe both were very limited runs. Move fast if you want to hear this.

The music is good to be sure but this is far from the "A-list" of classic Italian in my opinion. "Tarantella" features organ and flute trading off enthusiastic runs but the rhythm playing is somewhat modest. "Il palazzo" is the longest track at 6 minutes and trades the flute for some saxophone. The speed slows when the vocals begin. Fucci's vocals are pretty good and sound nice against the saxophone. The Hammond is used extensively here as well with swirling runs quite high in the mix and the flute returns at the end. "Canto" is next and this one reminds me of Fucci's solo album with its acoustic guitar and vocal harmonies. Flute and organ again run the show. I have to say that the production is not very sharp here, there is a certain muffled sound to this album that is noticeable but not bad enough to wreck things. "Mani" is the shortest track at only a minute and a half but it's a highlight. It's just a beautiful solo piano interlude but I love it. "La casa del vento" closes the disc and is clearly the most realized song featuring a great vocal with perfect flute and atmosphere, and a nicely strummed acoustic guitar. This one sounds more like PFM than ELP and that's a good thing for this group. The melody here is really nice.

This CD is but 18 minutes long and so is recommended primarily to 70s Italian fans. But it is one of those rarities worth hearing. The last two tracks especially show the potential Le Mani had if they could have done more. Those two songs bump the disc from 2 to 3 stars.

"Le Mani seemed to be like a big dream that vanishes from our memories in the morning.only a memory is left, a taste, but we do not remember anything. Memory has betrayed us..Mine and Dario's heart trembled while listening to these old tracks and then we sat down again in order to write and sing again.." [Claudio Fucci, 2006]

Finnforest | 3/5 |

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