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Allegri Leprotti - Au Zulo CD (album) cover

AU ZULO

Allegri Leprotti

 

Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.93 | 11 ratings

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Finnforest
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Diverse, vivacious, playful!

Allegri Leprotti are a band for adventurous listeners. Their music is steeped in the rich avant-garde tradition which runs through so many of the RPI bands from the classic era to today. So much so, this group could almost sit as comfortably in the Avant sub-genre but were approved by the RPI team for their mixture of the avant-garde, folk, jazz, classical, and even electronic, loaded through and through with the Italian vibe. And as brash and bold as their music can be it is less dark, warmer, and more frequently melodic than many of the groups which inspired it, which certainly weighed in their favor when considered for RPI. The story began in late 1970s Milan when the Passador brothers began working on RIO inspired music 'rich in irony, poetic-intellectual lyrics, and a good pinch of folly.' For about 15 years the band continued with changing line-ups, yet never recorded, until the loss of Marco Passador in 1996 brought things to a halt. Around 2000 the band began to stir again, the members attempting to recapture the explosive creativity of their past with a bit of their present day musical maturity, always concentrated on being daring explorers of sound and style.

'Au Zulo' is the first and only CD to date, released on MaRaCash Records in 2007. It is such a diverse offering, filled with a passion for music and a Zappa-like sense of humor toward life. The lyrics are lighthearted, somewhat surreal musings on the mundane little things in life. The male and female vocals can be theatrical in nature, sometimes going off into mini-plays with dialogue rather than singing. There is one part where a very deep, gruff male voice is having a discussion with a female counterpart and it leaves me smiling every time, he sounds like a real character. Musically the songs begin with a nervous energy, switching to jazzy jamming or very mellow sections, sometimes electric, sometimes acoustic. One track sounds symphonic with mellotron behind adventurous saxophone and lovely flute elements. 'Il Garzone' sports a traditional Italian song with lovely flute and strings. 'Casablanca' is an ambitious 8-minute uptempo folk concoction that will transport you to an outside table of some picturesque little coffee shop. Soundtracks for life! But much of the album has what I'd call an organic, unpredictable avant-jazzy backdrop colored by all manner of gregarious instrumentation and vocal stylings. There is plenty of joyful weirdness but also plenty of melody to ease you into this world gently. It's a far less jarring and more enjoyable album than some which dabble in this neighborhood.

A great collection of aural oddities to get this band started, hopefully albums of new material will follow. The booklet features complete lyrics in both Italian and translated English.

Finnforest | 4/5 |

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