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Perigeo - Genealogia CD (album) cover




Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.92 | 77 ratings

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Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
4 stars This third album from the Rome band Perigeo is probably the most acclaimed, and indeed it deserves its reputation. Unlike their first two album, the still-unchanged line-up (let's count the percussionist Mandrake a guest) was careful not too repeat too closely the formula of Azimut and Abbiamo, and Genealogia is certainly quite different, although it's clear from the start that we're still in the lovely Perigeo realm. Released in late 74 on the same Italian RCA branch, it sports a very contrasting bare- land white artwork. Although leader/bassists Tommaso is still the main songwriter, he's now letting over half the album for the rest of the group to write their own pieces and keyboardist D'Andrea writing two, while drummer Biriaco, guitarist Sidney and blower Fasoli one each.

I don't really agree with my friend Andrea Cortese about his assessment of Perigeo, 1- not only does bassist Tommaso sings on a few tracks of their early albums, but he does it so excellently well also, 2- of the three groups he mentions, Perigeo is probably the most jazzy, but has a penchant for Canterbury-type of JR/F (Area being too eclectic), 3- it depends from which angle they are seen as "least interesting", for among the three he cites, Perigeo is the one that fascinates me most.

Opening on the longest and title track, its starts out quite quietly on a dronal fuzz-organ that both Ratledge or Sinclair wouldn't renege, but soon enough the track veers between Soft Machine and John Coltrane, especially D'Andrea 's piano evoking McCoy Tyner. There are moments when you'd swear there is a violin, at others it's clearly Tommaso with a bow on his contrabass, but overall, this title track is a bit Perigeo's finest hour. Polaris is more RTF-inspired; while Torre Del Lago is a slow piano piece that slowly englobes the sax and the-said piano and Via Beato present a more Latino feel with added congas.

On the flipside, In Vino Veritas (my fave with the title track, and one of the great truth in life), a piano- laden piece that could be Nucleus or Soft Machine, the D'Andrea-penned Monti Pallidi (a quiet affair) and Old Vienna (a red-hot Mwandishi-like fusion track that builds-up with successive instruments) are sandwiching the Fasolli-penned sonically spacious (I didn't say spacey) Grandi Spazi with an excellent bass work underlining Fasoli's sax. The closing Sidney's Call is a track that allows a guitar exposition, a drum solo and some wordless vocals from Tommaso

Definitely Perigeo's most Canterbury-like album, Genealogia is as fine an introduction to the group's music, but ultimately, you'll probably have the first five or six, including this one, so you might as well start chronologically.

Sean Trane | 4/5 |


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