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Picchio Dal Pozzo - Camere Zimmer Rooms CD (album) cover


Picchio Dal Pozzo


Canterbury Scene

4.06 | 104 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

4 stars I get it: three languages to express the idea of boxed-off containers for human consciousness. What is more challenging for me to digest is the fact that the music on this 2001 release all come from the late 1970s. After listening to it, this makes more sense (despite the remarkable quality of sound). The band was evolving from it's easy-going, melody-infused "Canterbury style" debut to a more AREA-like jazz. Is this because Demetrio Stratos was demanding this type of evolution for bands in the 70s--because he was arguing, publicly, that music should be created for political and social change?

1. "Il Presidente" (9:37) surprisingly dense, jazzy, and discordant at times, there are still some strains of the old Canterbury style they began with--especially the humor--but the melodies are sometimes too fleeting or obscured by the rest of the music. I do like the Demetrio Stratos inference in the ninth minute. (17.5/20)

2. "Il Mare d'Irlanda" (6:20) murky (like the sea?) from heavily treated guitars and gentle 80s-sounding (flanged) rhythm section with echoed choral vocal leave an odd impression: as if the band was thinking about going the direction of smooth jazz or even techno-pop. The dreamy-ness of the song is more akin to their 1976 debut album but it's a very dated sound--and very simple, subdued instrumental performances. (8/10)

3. "La Cittá" (13:12) automobile horns, doorbells, dishes clanging around, vacuum cleaner, radio dialing, voice sampling, smooth Fender Rhodes play. That's the summary of the opening two minutes of this one. When Aldo begins singing it is with a force and that is quite reminiscent of that of Demetrio Stratos--like he's trying to express a political opinion or sociological criticism. The song's melodies, vocal and lyrical approach, and aggressive approach to jazz rock sound as if lifted right out of AREA's 1970s albums. The problem I have with hearing AREA-like music in the 21st Century is that Area did it already--and they did it incredibly well. Could Picchio Dal Pozzo have gone the direction of Area? Perhaps, but did we really need another band trying to take up their torch--could there possibly be anyone up to the task? I don't think so. Demetrio was unique, a one-of-a-kind phenomenon; any imitation is only that: imitation--and this does feel so imitative. Still, nice tight performances from all involved (especially drummer Aldo Di Marco) but a little too repetitive and, when no vocals are going on, too jazz-like. I miss the Canterbury. Here there is more Area jazz fusion and, despite my well-known adoration for Area, there was only one Area. The dreamy final 90 seconds is weird; maybe it would fit if I knew what the lyrics are trying to say. (21.75/25)

4. "Pinguini" (13:42) a more complex jazz like Dave Stewart was trying to do after his stints with Uriel/Khan and Hatfield and the North--like the more serious jazz tidings of National Health and Bruford, though far less concise and circumscribed. There is still humor but in a way that virtuosi might try it: with their instruments. The crazy sixth and seventh minutes are backed by some awesome keys and bass (and very Dave Stewart-feeling keyboard playing). Then, in the eighth and ninth minutes, we get into more quirky motifs (and instrumental sound choices) that preview the 2011 arrival of Palermo's Homunculus Res. At 10:00 there is a sudden and total shift to solo grand piano with Aldo's treated vocal singing an emotional, plaintive lyric. Then sound experimentation is the name of the game for the lead instruments over the next two minutes. Weird but I get it! Experimentation with new and alternative voices for musical expression. (26.5/30)

5. "Il Fantasma d'Irlanda" (0:40)

Total Time: 43:42

The Picchio Dal Pozzo releases after their debut all seem to degrade their initial Canterbury sound that came from their 1976 debut, and this one expresses this trend (1977-1980, right?). There are moments of melody, moments of humor, moments of genius, but overall there is too much experimentation here--the band trying on other band's "clothes"--for my tastes. Like most prog lovers, I am, however, appreciative of this long lost and very telling glimpse into the development and evolution of one of Italy's most talented bands.

B/four stars; an interesting and worthy addition to any prog lover's music collection.

BrufordFreak | 4/5 |


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