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Claudio Rocchi - Volo Magico N. 1 CD (album) cover

VOLO MAGICO N. 1

Claudio Rocchi

 

Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.78 | 37 ratings

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zeuhl1
4 stars A great little known 1971 early gem of the Italian Progressive scene. Drugged up Mike Oldfield collides with peak period Incredible String Band isn't too far away from the feel of Claudio Rocchi's best known album. As others have mentioned, this one is hard to categorize-but it does follow the pattern of early prog in Italy: one side long song and three or four shorter songs on the other side. Alan Sorrenti's Aria and some Lucio Battisti are reference points-folkies who got the prog bug and expanded their singer songwriter vibe into some different territory. The side long title song Volo Magico N. 1 is the centerpiece here, and is perhaps his most ambitious and successful work. In 18+ minutes we are taken on a ride-tablas and hand percussion with raspy acoustic underpinning gives off a primal Oldfield/ISB hybrid vibe, but the continual building towards some elusive crescendo that never seems to quite arrive is part of the allure of this piece. The choir background sings a repetitive hook that will have you humming it at 3 am still awake in bed. Ricky Belloni (later of Nuova Idea and New Trolls fame) and Alberto Camerini -both associated with Stormy Six, the band that got Rocchi his early musical legs provide two fantastic bursts of electric guitar driven rock within the song. Eugenio Pezza on piano has a nice progressive touch. This song is definitely an unknown treasure for most RPI fans, and is well worth seeking out. .

Like many Italian prog albums of this era, the side long song got the attention, and the flip was usually more thrown together pop stuff. Side two starts with the unassuming La Realta' non Esiste, much more in line with the delicate but subtly complex version of folk that graced the debut album, Viaggio. The 11 minute Giusto Amore was for me another highlight-very much in the jam band vein, mostly improvs that start to take shape into something building towards another unseen end. A little touch of Hare Krishna is in there (a place Claudio was already headed with the eastern tinges throughout this and future works), but a raucous late 60's San Francisco jam isn't too far away either. Some of the first genuine rock and roll he's delivered to that point. The delicate closing piece, Tutto Quello Che Ho Da Dire is a pastoral afterthought that brings us to a gentle close.

Recommended for adventurous Incredible String Band fans, and to those who thought Alan Sorrenti wasn't 'quite all the way there'. The Roy Harper reference by Finnforest is also not far away from some of the vibe here too, but this is the best straddling of the folk/prog line I've heard from any Italian albums of the early 70's.

Ran into an original on Ariston-weird front center cut fold out textured cover, a bit crackly, but a real obscure gem of RPI.

3.75 stars

zeuhl1 | 4/5 |

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