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Quella Vecchia Locanda - Il Tempo della Gioia CD (album) cover


Quella Vecchia Locanda


Rock Progressivo Italiano

4.11 | 341 ratings

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3 stars This is my introduction to QVL, and my first question, after repeated indulgences, is "how many groups are playing under this name?". But then I realized that the transition from classical prog to fusion is more gradual rather than abrupt, so perhaps the group was aiming at converting listeners to a more dissonant and sophisticated style.

Based on the first two tracks, I was ready to crown this the reigning queen of 1970s RPI, as they funnel an appreciation of classical music through a bountiful rock imagination. "Villa Doria Pamphili" is a high water mark for album openers, with romantic vocals, arresting piano, and a divine melody. The brief instrumental "A Forma Di" is on par with the first cut, fading in subtly, with plenty of exquisite flutes, sublime violin, more piano rolls, and wordless choral work. The last minute is a delight, although the fade out might have been premature.

From here, the purpose of the group seems to change from one of seducing the audience to winning it over with intellect. The simple charms of the first few songs are replaced by all manner of interludes, some which work and many which don't, and few are really captivating. Mid 1970s KC, RENAISSANCE, and GENTLE GIANT are among the many cited briefly, while I see some similarities to contemporary Germans like PELL MELL, along with the group's own take on classical jazz fusion. All of the remaining pieces have their merits in chunks and gobs, although the finale I admit is a tough sell.

I have no difficulty with the general consensus in progland that QVL's second album is a classic, but, while I appreciate the skill and commitment of the players, I prefer that my violin and keyboard dominated prog be more unabashedly romantic and less high falutin'.

kenethlevine | 3/5 |


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