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Maxophone - Maxophone CD (album) cover




Rock Progressivo Italiano

4.23 | 350 ratings

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Anthony H.
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Maxophone: Maxophone [1975]

Rating: 7/10

Italian prog is known for its "one-album wonders"; throughout the 70s, many RPI bands released a single album and called it quits soon afterward. I don't know why this was such a common trend, considering that progressive-rock was quite popular in Italy during the decade. Regardless, this pattern produced many gems. Maxophone's sole album is a superb and adventurous piece of work. Like many Italian groups, Maxophone approached their music in an eclectic manner, combining jazz-rock, symph-prog, hard-rock, and folk to create a consistently interesting melting pot of ideas. This strange melding of PFM and Zappa manages to sound completely natural, making for an exciting and memorable one-off effort.

"C'e Un Paese Al Mondo" begins with some fantastic jazzy piano, transitioning into heavy symphonic rock with light vocals. The track breaks down into unorthodox swing-jazz about halfway through, creating one of the most exciting pieces on the album. "Fase" is an absolutely phenomenal instrumental that blends various styles. The ripping vibraphone solo is especially awesome. "Al Moncato Compleanno Di Una Farfalla" is a light pastoral piece ala PFM. "Elzeviro" is one of the less interesting pieces here; the vocals sound a bit off. Still, there's plenty of exciting instrumentation to be found. "Mercanti Di Pazzie" is a slow-paced piece with pretty acoustic guitar and interesting reeds. "Antiche Conclusioni Negre" is a bombastic slice of Zappaesque big-band rock. This is another standout track. The largely acoustic "Il Fischio Del Vapore" features the best vocal work on the album. The Moog solo at the end is also worth noting. "Cono Di Gelato" is a soft closing piece that ends the album with beautiful vocals and guitar.

Maxophone's sole album is an excellent piece of work that successfully amalgamates various influences and styles into a cohesive whole. However, I don't consider this a masterpiece. Some of the tracks drag on slightly, and the best ideas are not carried through throughout the album's entire duration. Regardless, this is a fantastic album with incredible diverse musicianship and memorable composition. This certainly isn't the greatest thing to come out of Italy in the 70s, but any RPI fan will find much to enjoy here.

Anthony H. | 4/5 |


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