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Latte E Miele - Latte E Miele 2.0: Paganini Experience CD (album) cover

LATTE E MIELE 2.0: PAGANINI EXPERIENCE

Latte E Miele

 

Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.88 | 15 ratings

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Matti
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Italian prog band LATTE E MIELE ("Milk and Honey") was among the most classically influenced RPI bands in the early 70's alongside with e.g. Quella Vecchia Locanda. On Latte e Miele's third album Aquile e Scoiattoli (1976) only a drummer remained from the original line-up, and two of the newcomers were keyboardist Luciano Poltini and guitarist-bassist-vocalist Massimo Gori. Now they have formed Latte e Miele 2.0 featuring also violinist Elena Aiello and drummer Marco Biggi.

Despite the title Paganini Experience, only one of the compositions actually is by Niccolo Paganini (1782-1840), the violin virtuoso and the "rock star" of his time. Actually I'm reliefed: Paganini's solo violin pieces usually get to my nerves as a classic example of show-off virtuosity before deeper musical contents. There are brief liner notes for the tracks in Italian, and Paganini is mentioned in several of them, but I don't know Italian enough to be sure if Paganini's life was primarily a source of inspiration. Anyway, I was charmed by this album!

The music is shamelessly retro-styled -- one could be fooled to believe this album was from 1973 (with a better production than back then). I had an association to the classic albums of New Trolls (Concerto Grosso per i New Trolls, 1971) and Il Rovescio della Medaglia (Contaminazione, 1973) that were collaborations with composer-arranger Luis Bacalov and combined rock and Baroque-style chamber music. Especially the instrumental opener 'Inno' sounds pretty similar to them. Organ-oriented, ELP-influenced prog rock with romantically soaring, lovely violin melodies. The warm sound is gorgeous. 'Via del Colle' is a vocal song that seems to be dealing with Paganini's childhood. Massimo Gori is a good vocalist, and again the melodies are very romantic and passionate. 'L'Ora delle Tenebre' is another great song; I sensed some BANCO and PROCOL HARUM in the melodies. Vocals leave plenty of room for the instruments too.

'Cantabile 2019' features violin and soft, wordless vocal harmonies reminiscent of a cappella groups such as Rajaton from Finland! 'Charlotte reminds me of the Norwegian, Eurovision's 1995 contest winning duo SECRET GARDEN: soft and nocturnally romantic instrumental piece for synths and violin. 'Danza di Luce' is a 2-part instrumental, again reminding of the mentioned Bacalov-collaborations. An identifiable Paganini citation is included in this dynamic track that at times is almost pure classical music and at times ELP-ish prog rock.

'Angel' is a cover of the Jimi Hendrix song originating from his posthumous album The Cry of Love (1971). This version -- obviously starring violin and keyboards instead of guitar -- works very well. Paganini's 'Cantabile 1835' for violin and piano finishes the album in a peaceful, classical way. I don't want to count how many times I used the two words that I truly find the best to describe this classically inspired and retro prog -style album: romantic and charming. I hope you can estimate from my review if it would charm YOU.

Matti | 4/5 |

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