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Alex Carpani Band - Waterline CD (album) cover


Alex Carpani Band


Symphonic Prog

3.97 | 45 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Special Collaborator
Rock Progressivo Italiano!
4 stars A pearl that has stayed below the Waterline!!

I'll admit I had never heard of this band, when while browsing Wayside's clearance list this album cover caught my attention. No wonder! It's Paul Whitehead! In reading about it (including Ivan's great review, to which I refer you), my curiosity was piqued. I was instantly hooked when I read that vocals were done by Aldo Taglipietra of Le Orme.

Let me quote from Eddie Lascu on the Gnosis website:

Alex Carpani was born in 1970 in Switzerland from an Italian father and a French mother (great ingredients when it comes to musical influences). Showing a great interest for music as early as when he was 6 years old, Alex was encouraged by his parents to pursue his talent. We don't know whether a meeting with Keith Emerson was instrumental (Alex and Aaron, Emerson's son were classmates in Switzerland), but Alex took on the piano and became a very talented keyboard player.

This album is definitely keyboard driven, with great melodies and really interesting chord and time signature changes. The instrumentation is fabulous, including lots of organ, mellotron, flute, and acoustic guitar. Electric guitar solos are also prominent, and there's some sax in there too. This is a well-crafted album!

Again to quote from Eddie Lascu:

The music is undeniably rooted very deep into the great Italian traditions. This album can be placed without any hesitation into the pantheon of Italian progressive masterpieces, even though it was only released in 2007. Carpani's style of playing is reminiscent of PFM and Le Orme at the peak of their careers. His compositions are complex, offering a lot of interplays between Carpani's keyboards, the various guitars guest on the album and Cory Wright's pastoral flute ("Song of the Pond") or jazzy sax ("A Gathering Storm"). He reviews some of the genres that influenced him early in his career (listen to the spatial electronic intro to "The Waterfall") but almost always leads the song back into the realm of progressive rock.

As Ivan has given his impressions of every song, I won't get too detailed. I agree with his enthusiasm! I will say that my tracklist is different from his, and what he calls "Song of the Pond" is entitled "Oceana" on my version. I would also like to particularly recommend "Siren's Call," "In the Rocks," "Waterfall," and "Gathering Storm." But actually all the tracks are excellent, from the pastoral mood of "Oceana" to the straight-rocker with sax (but still with great melodic underpinning) "Levees Break." The sample track on the website, "Reclaimed," is a bit more straightforward than my favorite songs on the album. In fact, it seems to add some of the electronic element that Carpani apparently utilizes on other releases and is a bit atypical of the other tracks on the album. But if you like it, you'll definitely like the other songs.

My only complaint is related to what sparked my initial enthusiasm-the underutilization of Aldo! He sings on four songs, almost exclusively in Italian (yes, he sings a few lines in English on one song). And when he is used, the vocals are a bit too low in the mix for my taste. But this is a small criticism of what amounts to an outstanding album, one that REALLY deserves greater recognition on this site and in the prog community at large! Four stars.

Todd | 4/5 |


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