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Jumbo - DNA CD (album) cover




Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.90 | 108 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars I give this album a four star rating, because side one, in my book is a full five star rating, and side two is three and a half stars. Actually I own the Japanese CD reissue. For quite a bit longer, I've been familiar with, and very much treasure "Vietato ai Minori di 18 Anni?" which was the third and final album (until later reunions) by this Italian prog outfit lead by vocalist Alvaro Fella. Now I got a hold of "DNA", which was their previous album, released a year before (1972).

The band consisted of vocalist and acoustic guitarist Alvaro Fella, drummer Vito Balzano, keyboardist Sergio Conte, guitartist Daniele Bianchini, flautist, harmonica player, and acoustic guitarist Dario Guidotti, and bassist Aldo Gargano. JUMBO was originally given the nickname to Alvaro Fella, but quickly became the name of the band starting with "DNA". Given I am familiar with "Vietato Ai Minori" much longer than "DNA", it should be no surprise that I'd be comparing both albums. "DNA" tends to be more rock-oriented, doesn't lean so much on the avant-garde, and there are no guests like Franco Battiato guesting here. The Mellotron and synthesizeres aren't present, making the Hammond organ and piano the dominant keyboards. There's a stronger blues/folk/JETHRO TULL-like feel to the album. One thing isn't different is Alvaro Fella's singing, which is still harsh, which is an acquired taste (PFM-like vocals you won't find here).

Side one (that is, if you own the LP) consists of the side-length, three piece suite, "Suite Per il Sig. K". Five stars all the way, without a doubt one of the finest pieces JUMBO ever done. I am pretty convinced why some Italian prog fans think "DNA" is their best album is because of this suite. The music goes through many different changes from rocking passages to bluesy passages to jazzy passages. I understand that the "Dio " passage was a re-recording of a song from their self- entitled debut. Buy this album just for this side-length suite, it's totally amazing!

Unfortunately most of the rest of the album don't quite live up to the glory of "Suite Per il Sig. K". "Miss Rand" features some nice prog passages, but there's some cheery passages that sounds quite American (althought the vocals are in Italian). "E' Brutto Sentirsi Vechhi" is a rather moody and down-beat acoustic ballad that I felt could have been better. But the album rebounds big time with "Hai Visto". The first half is rather jazzy, until the vocals kick in, then the music starts sounding more like something off "Vietato ai Minori di 18 Anni?" (specifically "Vangelo?"). This is without a doubt the second finest cut outside of "Suite Per il Sig. K". In my opinion "Vietato ai Minori di 18 Anni?" is the better album, because it's a more consistent album, so start there first, but "DNA" is still worth having, especially the side-length suite.

Proghead | 4/5 |


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