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Accordo Dei Contrari - UR- CD (album) cover

UR-

Accordo Dei Contrari

 

Jazz Rock/Fusion

4.18 | 41 ratings

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BrufordFreak
5 stars Italian jazz-rockers set forth a goal of achieving Birds of Fire-like power and ecstatic energy. Result: Mission accomplished. Especially on the first two and last songs.

1. "Tergeste" (9:00) opening three minutes reminds me of FIVE-STOREY ENSEMBLE if Olga & Co. continued their meteoric development that began with RATIONAL DIET. When drums and electric guitars and bass join in, it starts to sound heavier than I've heard before. By the middle of the fifth minute, I'm totally immersed in MAHAVISHNU ORCHESTRA territory. Love the slow sonic and compositional fade in the eighth minute that leads to an organ drone over which bass, sax, and slowly re-build the complex riffs that the keyboards started in the first three minutes. Perfect execution of a perfect composition--complete with a guitar arpeggio at the very end that comes straight out of MO's Birds of Fire. (20/20)

2. "Così Respirano gli Incendi del Tempo / Thus They Breathe, Time's Fires" (7:45) inspiration is one thing, imitation another, but here we get almost too-close-to-differentiate replication: the song's chords, melodies, dynamics, and even sound engineering of the instruments sound too close to MAHAVISHNU ORCHESTRA--could be, in fact, lifted from particular songs from 1970s records. Don't get me done: It's masterfully done, with impeccable skill and virtuosity, but I was hoping for/expeciting a little more originality from this band. At least the directional change in the fifth minute takes them into different, more jazzy territory. And then the piano interlude in the sixth minute has a its own originality to it--like a Rachmaninoff étude, but then the Rick Laird-like violin sound joins in... It's gorgeous- -incredible melodies on multiple levels making for a weave of compositional mastery, but? But I don't know what! These are just mind-blowing skills being dispayed in the form of beautiful music! Man! that went by fast! My favorite song on the album! (15/15)

3. "Più Limpida e Chiara di Ogni Impressione Vissuta (Pt. III) / More Limpid and Clearer Than Any Lived Impression (Pt. III)" (4:23) More clean power jazz-rock, this time with a little more Italian/ADC feel to it (until the Rick Laird violin enters to shred). It's the piano and clean whole-band power chord structures that make it ADC--especially that gorgeous piano-guitar-cymbal interlude at the end of the second minute. Sax solo in the third minute reminds me of some early KING CRIMSON, but then dirty organ solo brings us into different territory. Maybe MUSEO ROSENBACH, BIGLIETTO PER L'INFERNO, or even OSANNA? (8.7510)

4. "UR-" (10:50) Are they really? Are they really taking us into the hallowed ground of their own countrymates, AREA? or is it BANCO DEL MUTUO SOCCORSO they're trying to honor here? Whatever it is, the opening 90 seconds of this are truly captivating--even when they start to feel like their tip-toeing through GOBLIN territory, it's great. Then the sax-and-electric guitar join in to introduce the main melody--sounding like Cervello's CORRADO RUSTICI (who was imitating and inspired by John MeLaughlin) and Corrado's brother, Danilo's band, Osanna's ELIO D'ANNA (who would later team up to form the great NOVA lineup). The odd, repetitive motif that is played out over the next few minutes sounds more like Van Der Graaf Generator or Norway's wonderful SEVEN IMPALE. What great sound! What a wonderful tribute to so much of the best of avant prog and 1970s jazz-oriented Rock Progressivo Italiano! (17.75/20)

5. "Secolo Breve / The Short Century" (4:35) Here we get a complex jazzy rock tune that feels more avant garde and yet follows some standard jazz and rock rules and forms. Again, the talents of these instrumentalists--especially the keyboard player, but even the bass and drums--are on full display here. Not as engaging or "beautiful" as the previous two. (8.75/10)

6. "Contrari ad Ogni Accordo / Opposed to Any Agreement" (5:53) piano and plaintive sax perform a duet that almost sounds like a VINCE GUARALDI jazzed up a little but still maintaining that deep, timeless beauty in its melodies. Violin and then drums and bass join in during the third minute bringing us back to Mahavishnu territory (reminding me that some Mahavihsnu songs often had a very simple foundational chord structure--this while the soloists went bat-ape shit crazy over the top). Great tune; great work by all, somehow managing to keep that understated Vince Guaraldi essence throughout. (It was the piano, of course!) (9.25/10)

Total Time 42:26

Well, if capturing the magic of Birds of Fire was their goal, then, mission accomplished--only, with modern day production values, they may have surpassed any of Johnny Mac's early 1970s expeditions--especially in terms of sound clarity/quality.

A/five stars; an indisputable masterpiece of progressive rock music. Composition and performance of the VERY highest levels. In my humble opinion, this is the BEST album of 2021.

BrufordFreak | 5/5 |

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