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Humana Prog - Fiori, Frutti, Farfalle CD (album) cover


Humana Prog


Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.93 | 11 ratings

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Rock Progressivo Italiano!
4 stars In the Golden Age of Prog, one of the glittering gems from Italy was Maxophone's brilliant 1975 album. The album is a blend of multiple musical styles, great songwriting, and wonderful musicianship, as well as an underlying lovely pastoral ambience that suffused the album with a peaceful, dreamlike quality. One of the contributors to that album was Paolo Farina, who wrote the lyrics to "Al mancato compleanno di una farfalla." Farina was one of the many youths in the early 1970s who got together with friends to play and sing. He wrote several songs in those days, and even roughly recorded a 16 minute song, "Fiori, frutti, farfalle". Decades later, Farina discovered that old cassette and decided to bring the music to light. Fleshing out that piece and adding other compositions from the early 1970s, Farina joined together with several other musicians, using almost exclusively acoustic instruments, trying to recreate the typical musical atmosphere of those old times, as if it were a group of friends gathered together in a park under the shade of a tree to create music. One of those musicians is Sergio Lattuada, key contributor to Maxophone both in the 1970s and the reunited lineup, who plays harpsichord on the song that started it all, "Fiori, frutti, farfalle." The resulting album, appropriately named after that track, was released in 2014 on the BTF label.

The atmosphere on the album definitely succeeds in providing the pastoral, intimate feeling that was intended by Farina. The title track is a sequential combination of several themes and melodies, pleasant and not too challenging, featuring the acoustic guitar but marvelously enriched by swirling violin and flute, along with harpsichord fluorishes. Bass and drums, and even electric guitar appear on this track, giving it a bite and drive not found on the other songs. The recurrent theme is a beautiful pastoral melody that is embellished differently each time it appears. Through it all, Farina's very pleasant baritone sings the story.

The other standout track for me is the last track, "La Ballata degli Amici Perduti" (The Ballad of Lost Friends). This features acoustic guitar and lush strings, playing a nostalgic tune that befits the song title. It is a track that is easy to get lost in.

The packaging is wonderfully done (as always by BTF), with a nice thick papersleeve gatefold mini lp style, with lyrics, photos, and artwork in the booklet. I'm not a huge fan of the cover itself, but I suppose it does match the overall purpose of the work. All in all, this is a really nice album, much in line with the better of the folk-style RPI titles from the 1970s. Three and a half stars, rounded to four. (Gnosis 11/15)

Todd | 4/5 |


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