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Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso - Io Sono Nato Libero CD (album) cover


Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso


Rock Progressivo Italiano

4.36 | 963 ratings

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5 stars You just know when you're hearing world-class musicians. Not some extremist steroidal athletes trying to outplay their peers or cooler-than-cool avant guarders stirring the sh*t storm (though I dearly love both), but players who'd passed through those stages and came out seasoned, focused but mellowed, and ready to truly compose at a level few even approach. When you add a breathtaking mix and exquisite fidelity, Io Sono Nato Libero is an album that deserves and perhaps even outshines every bit of praise it has gotten. No big surprise, I guess; leave it to the Italians for quality art production. And then there's that year again, 1973, right on schedule.

I don't much buy into Prog influences here-- Banco was more in line with a grand Italian tradition of musical identity and innovation, and don't sound much at all like ELP or Tull or anyone else ascribed to them. The Bros. Nocenzi are also another example of how well two keyboards can be utilized, and the advantages of a pair who turned any sibling rivalries into a perfectly attuned unit. Marcello Todaro's guitars blend when required and shine when needed, Calderoni/D'Angelo sound as if they were joined at birth, and Francesco Di Giacomo finishes the Nocenzi's pieces with pining emotion and sincerity, turning them into proper songs. The material here, as 'Canto Nomade per un Prigioniero Politico', is so carefully conceived and finished that it could be mistaken, I suppose, for something it was never intended to be: like Muzak. Nothing new for Prog of course, the eternally misidentified, misunderstood and misrepresented genre. Jazz abounds everywhere on the record but always quite deliberate and at the service of the music. Stunning Mediterranean sunsets, brief deviations, and flavors of the East permeate regularly. 'Non mi Rompete' takes us on a ride down the Grand Canal past the Palazzo Cavalli-Franchetti, 'La Citta Sottile' is a haunting beauty with droning jazz and a touch of darkness, and 10-minute 'Dopo..Niente e Piu lo Stesso' is a standout, maybe the highlight, and will please most proggies.

In all honesty I probably would not have liked this album even just ten years ago, and there is no denying its polished, pristine surface and Di Giacomo's bleeding-heart singing is not for everyone. Or even for a significant percentage of music listener. Heck I'd be surprised if the average Prog fan likes Banco. But that doesn't mean this isn't one of the finest recordings ever achieved by a rock band. Elegant, clean, and filled with marvelous stuff. What more could one want?

Atavachron | 5/5 |


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