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Perigeo - Azimut CD (album) cover

AZIMUT

Perigeo

 

Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.85 | 65 ratings

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Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
4 stars First album from the best Italian jazz-rock band, and the first of a few masterpieces in a row, all of them being distinctive from one another, something that's not always evident in the JR/F style. Perigeo has their sound somewhere between Mwandishi, MD's BB, Soft Machine, Nucleus and Iceberg. I have rarely seen such a bizarre/ugly artwork illustrating so well the music on the disc: if you can easily picture your head/brains after listen of this album through the headphone, chances are that it wouldn't look too far away from this, maybe with added smoke coming out of the ears.

Perigeo holds one particularity that no other bands in memory (mine anyways) has: its leader is a bassist, which in jazz circles is quite uncommon. Indeed Giovanni Tomasso is not only the bassist and contrabassist (with and without the bow), but he plays synths and percussion as well as singing (quite well too) whatever few vocals there are on their albums. He's also on this album, the sole songwriter as well. The other musicians are also quite fine at their respective crafts, especially Franco D'Andrea on keyboards and Claudio Fasoli on saxes. Another particularity of theirs was to have an American on the guitars Tony Sidney, who will record a few albums on his own a bit later. Rounding up Perigeo is drummer Biriaco, whom hogs the stool quite well.

Rising on spacey noises, the sublime Posto Di Non Dove starts to grab you with a quiet electric piano over a Floyd-like organ and Tommasso's superb scatting vocals. Halfway through, the song changes abruptly with a strong repetitive descending riff on bass and guitar, while D'Andrea's piano is reminiscent of Keith Tippet, while Tommasso's singing takes on another lovely direction. The lengthy Grandangolo is a track filled with dissonant bits accompanying a pedestrian bass, before the track settles into a groove with Fasoli's doubled or tripled sax gives a bit of a brass rock chorus. Around the half of the track, the need to go higher is felt and the group increased the tempo a bit. The short and tense Aspettando was with is a relatively common track.

The lengthy title track opening the flipside starting on a bowed contrabass and Tippett-like piano are leading the tune to unsuspected peak somewhere not too far from Alice Coltrane, while Sidney's guitar finally gets a few lines, but the track returns to Tommasso's superb bass and D'Andrea's awesome piano, until it fades out. The aptly-titled short Un Respiro is Tommasso's vocals over quiet sax fills. 36th Parallel closes out by giving some exposition to Fasoli's sax lines and Biriaco's drums first, then Tommasso's bass, going dissonant again,

Quite an outstanding debut album, Azimut failed to attract much attention to itself, something the group's second album "Abbiamo.." would, as well as its Genealogia successor. It must be noted that in Azimut, the band might have well had been a quartet for young Tony Sidney's guitar is more than discreet and apart a few loud moments, iot's almost inexistent. But in either case, this will not stop Azimut to be a highly recommended debut album that all fans of Nucleus and Tippertt must own.

Sean Trane | 4/5 |

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