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Maxophone - Maxophone CD (album) cover




Rock Progressivo Italiano

4.26 | 441 ratings

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5 stars Maxophone was formed in 1972 by six excellent young musicians who were able to blend rock with jazz and classical influences in a very personal way... Their music was well performed and rich in ideas but they were only able to release one eponymous album before they split up on account of the financial troubles of their label. The lyrics of the album were not written by the members of the band but by some "friend-lyricists" who helped them to describe in words what they were trying to describe with notes and the overall result was definitely good...

The opener "C' un paese al mondo" (There's a country in the world) is introduced by a piano pattern and features many changes of rhythm... Good vocals and evocative lyrics draw images of a fantastic country that "grows in the mind upon equality roots", "without thieves of truth", where "freedom dances"... The music keeps on swinging from classical to rock to jazz almost giving a sense of harmonic utopia...

"Fase" is an excellent instrumental track where the members of the band showcase their great musicianship performing a well balanced blending of jazz, rock and classical influences...

"Al mancato compleanno di una farfalla" (To the missed birthday of a butterfly) features a good classical guitar intro that leads to a bittersweet and romantic atmosphere... The song is about the quest for ideals... In the lyrics dreams and the struggle for a better world are compared to the flight of a butterfly: "The butterfly goes / It shines of freedom / It swings and goes further / Next year what will remain of its colours? / Other butterflies will take its colours and will be flying in its place... If my strength to go further will fail at length / Take my colours and keep on going / By yourself, without me!".

Organ and soaring desperate vocals drawing the image of an attack in the street for political reasons introduce "Elzeviro", a song that evokes the "leaden atmosphere" of political confrontation in Italy during the Seventies and its "long hours" full of blind hatred... "They've fixed me / Six against one / Convulsions of a power / That is crumbling by now...". Good track where the music gives a sense of tension and impending drama...

The intro of the oneiric "Mercanti di pazzie" (Merchants of follies) is taken from Paul Hindemith's Harp Sonata. The music is evocative and leads you into an "artificial" dreamy mood but, in my opinion, here the lyrics are not as inspired as in the other tracks...

The long final track "Antiche conclusioni negre" is a kind of tribute to black music (jazz and gospel) and features "a trumpet screaming new truths" and an Italian "gospel finale". An excellent track concluding an excellent album...

The re-release on CD features two bonus tracks, the interesting "Il fischio del vapore" and the weak "Cono di gelato"...

On the whole, "Maxophone" is a great album, released by a band that deserved more luck... Anyway, although the album didn't obtain the success it deserved in 1975, as years passed by it has become a "cult one" for progressive fans and I think it's a must for every prog collector...

andrea | 5/5 |


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