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Perigeo - La Valle dei Templi CD (album) cover

LA VALLE DEI TEMPLI

Perigeo

 

Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.69 | 68 ratings

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Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
4 stars Perigeo's fourth album is probably the one that symphonic progheads should try out first to see if the group's JR/F is likely to please them or not. Whether La Vellei Dei Templi (Temple valley) is a concept album (not likely) or a thematic album (not sure of that album), there is a sense of unity between the tracks in this album, that wasn't in previous album; and this feel is reinforced with the ancient ruins photo shots on the album's covers. The still unchanged line-up remained on the Italian RCA branch (which handled PFM as well) and released this album midway through 75. This is the first album where leader/bassist Tommaso writes less than half the track, leaving the rest of the group plenty of space to contribute.

The opening Tamale has a strong melody and riff and clearly comes from RTF and MO influences and is a strong entrance to the central theme of the album. The communally-written title track must be the first highlight of the album, starting with a bowed bass and insistent piano ostinato (drummer Biriaci doubles up D'Andrea here) in the first part and allows Sidney to come-up with a real killer solo in the second movement. Another real strong track is Periplo, where Fasolli and Sidney trade lead lines while the other supports on unconventional slide and dissonant background fills. Further down the album, 2000 E Due Notti is another excellent moment where added percussionist Toni Esposito adds much tension to a eerie track. In moments like these, the early JR/F is far away, but it is still unmistakably Perigeo.

Clearly and intelligently dispersed throughout the album the more reflective slower tracks like Pensieri and Cantilena to provide a bit of rest between the more dramatic music of Of all the songwriters present in the group (that's everyone), the most puzzling is saxman Claudio Fasoli and his two tracks Eucalyptus (a short sax outburst) and Alba Di Un Mundo (a semi-dissonant music that could provide an excellent intro to a much longer track) are ending a bit enigmatically without concluding properly. The album-closing Sidney-written Cerchio Giallo starts on his acoustic guitar, but a third of the way into it, Fasoli and a bowed bass from Tommaso pick up, slowly building up a superb climate, where D'Andrea brings some McCoy Tyner-like piano, only for the track to end frustratingly in a fade-out.

Certainly as good as its predecessors, and unlikely better than them, VDT has a slight difference with its predecessor: it seems to be more prog minded than your typical JR/F album (even though it's the first to contain almost no vocals), but is that voluntary or was it induced by the light theme of the album, we'll probably never know. In either case, with four aces in its game, plus a trump with the double live album from the following year, Perigeo holds one of the best oeuvre in the peninsula.

Sean Trane | 4/5 |

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