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Mary Newsletter - Distratto Dal Sole  CD (album) cover


Mary Newsletter


Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.69 | 8 ratings

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5 stars This unique release remains one of my favorite Italian School of Prog releases of all-time, an extremely thoughtful album, lushly loaded with shimmering ideas, simmering atmospheres and exquisite creativity. It does need total attention as the value takes time to surface . The immediate first impression is one of playful invention, with decidedly unpretentious delivery, featuring the quality guitar playing of Davide Pisi, whose style is a mixture of Mark Knopfler (that gritty bluesy tone), Jan Akkerman (the jazzier solo period) and at times, early David Gilmour. But the remaining musicians are wonderful as well Marco Gusberti on piano and keys, Massimo Necchi on rotund bass, Mario Bramè on bold drums and a full-voiced Massimiliano Galbani, a vocalist who can emote, wail and soar in the language of his ancestors. "Vis Country" is a fine example of their inimitable recipe, an evocative romp that swerves, swoons and swamps with utter conviction. The guitar technique is pure genius, a blend of crass, coarse, grainy and rough, within a jazz-blues-prog blanket, great melodies and moods, up- tempo coalescing with mid-tempo , tossing in a few viola, cello, mandolin and flute passages to the mix, the mid section infuses mysterious psychedelia into a glorious paroxysm of emotion. A subtle piano-led solo and the restrained electric lead solo crowns this opener with cheering zeal and augurs well for the following tunes. "Intermezzo per chitarra, flauto e bouzouki" is a brief piece with German spoken words, flute, acoustic guitar and bouzouki, a beautiful pastoral interlude, full of sultry beauty, a simple melody to expire for, sheer exaltation. "Lontano" is a bruising, guitar-droned 6 minute masterpiece that resonates with conviction, bass guitar bopping along uncaring, the vocals sadly exuding some "distant" pain, dreamy psychedelic overtones color the arrangement. The ultra-distorted guitar break really growls with unabated fury, proving what an original 6 stringer Pisi really is, loading up on a fluid jazzy solo just to add faint distinction to the grind. A string quartet ends the tune and allies itself with an acoustic guitar on the next splendid ditty "intermezzo per quartetto d'archi e chitarra acustica". The contrasts are well thought out and thus, exhilarating. "Cattolica" is a 9 minute extravaganza with slithering slide guitar runs adding to the sublime main melody, very wistful and permissive until the underlying tone kicks in with pulsating frenzy, a restrained synth passage ushers in a pensive introspection and then, explosion! Pisi's axe playing becomes utterly lewd, almost dirty, complete bravado and bold assertiveness, an incredible display that is so rare in modern electric guitar playing. A return to the slide guitar trip and the vocalist recall of the main theme give the piece room to blossom, in fact imploding into a jazz bar-room atmosphere with scat-singing, bebop drums, cymbals crashing in seemingly disarray, real cool stuff! The next Interlude is "Orientale" where sitar, flute and percussives combine to provide an Eastern aroma, another sign of their expansionist creativity. "La Danza" is a mischievous little piece that "dances" convincingly, with Pisi's punkish axe leading the way, while Galbani's vocals truly shine with both brute power and insidious resolve , held down by some insanely nimble bass work. The similarly brief "Ricordi" is firmly in the dreamier category, with the spotlight directly on the vocals and some slithering bluesy guitar runs (a riveting solo that just rages onward), again combining jazz, blues, classical and that touch of originality that defines their style. "Le coup de fion" is a sumptuous interlude featuring piano and strings within a gorgeous melody. To prove how great this album is and how deep their craft can express powerful emotions, they finish off the proceedings with a 19 minute epic, the simply masterful "Martiri di Curiosita" (Martyrs of Curiosity). A long, sinuous, pensive intro assigns gentle electronics together with delicate percussion, the space/psychedelic overtones palpable, slowly exploding into a reptilian propulsion where all ingredients come together led as always by a bass-led turbo charge, some extended guitar improvisation, smashing, slashing, drilling and drooling with barely restrained abandon until the clearly defined melody breaks through the sonic clouds, opening up the piece like a blooming tulip! The piano and the vocal then reiterate the theme with conviction and one cannot help but smile as the whole becomes crystal clear, this is simply astral music. It's all here: soundscapes, special effects, great instrumentation, superb melodies, great singing and superlative playing. An absolute must for any ISP fan as well as for those who constantly seek new rock guitar sounds and styles. 5 virgin headlines.
tszirmay | 5/5 |


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