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I Santoni - Noi CD (album) cover


I Santoni


Crossover Prog

2.58 | 10 ratings

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Honorary Collaborator
2 stars Pleasant Italian rock

I Santoni were a beat band formed in Florence in the mid 1960s. Cited among their biggest influences were If and Procol Harum. Unlike so many of the bands gracing our pages, Santoni did not blossom into an RPI band. Instead, their one album from 1972 is actually regressive in a sense, ignoring the wild experimentations happening around them in favor of a dated (even for then!) late 60s rock sound. They would have a good live schedule of activity until their breakup in 1974. One of their members told me that despite being mentioned on progressive rock sites, Santoni were a mix of the Italian beat with European psych-rock and jazz. I'd have to agree with that assessment. I Santoni is a basic hard-working gigging band adorned with keyboards, sax, and flute. Despite being a collection of rather "groovy" beat tracks in the 3-5 minute range, as opposed to progressive rock, "Noi" is an upbeat and enjoyable spin. Some tracks are sweatier rock numbers with a very basic feel, while others have a more romantic Ital-pop sound. But most offer melodic flute passages or vintage organ sounds to flesh them out. A few tracks have extended solo passages which get distinctively jazzy. The vocals are warm and all of the playing is of absolute professional standards. The problem for the prog fan is that the most spirited stuff pulls back to the song proper before anything too exciting happens. You have this feeling that they are holding back a bit here while their gigs were probably much more jamming. But if you enjoy groups like Raminghi or Equipe 84, you will almost assuredly enjoy this one too. It's a fair album mostly "for fans" of the Hammond and Italian beat scene. I personally enjoy it, but just be aware it sounds like the 1960s, not the 1970s Italian scene. 5/10.

Finnforest | 2/5 |


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