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The Odeja - Winds of May CD (album) cover


The Odeja


Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.07 | 5 ratings

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3 stars A nice (and short!) rarity

The Odeja appeared at low point in the RPI timeline and embraced obscurity further by not finishing their lone album. As Todd points out in his bio this Roman band was suffering line-up changes and musical direction shift while recording their lone album. With only four tracks in complete form the sessions fell apart and Mellow Records released "Winds of May" anyway. It certainly deserves to be heard and noted at PA, and is quite enjoyable though it is not typical RPI. We chose to include them because of their Mellow association and because they would fit no where else, lost between RPI, jazz-rock, neo-prog, and with some light avant-garde touches.

Luisa Marigliani provides delicate female vocals in English recalling Prowlers vocalist Laura Mombrini quite closely. The music is different though. Odeja comes across first and foremost as jazz-rock with the influence of the late 80s neo-prog. The instrumental choices are somewhat traditional though, led by acoustic piano and saxophone, and backed by a fluid, energetic bass line. "Secret Feeling" sports a particularly impressive sax solo. This is followed by a long and equally fiesty guitar solo before Luisa comes back with a traditionally jazzy delivery. The title track is my favorite with more symphonic overtones, lovely piano and a classical emotional vibe to the progression. Soft synths behind the piano. In "Till the Dawn" the synths are burdened by a dated, rather cheap sound that brings things down a notch. "The Moon is Down" is much better with an eclectic, experimental feel that shows the potential the group had. It opens with a swirl of ascending piano notes against Jaco style bass frittering, cymbal showers, distant saxophone, and echoed mysterious vocals. The playing quality can be a bit Jekyll and Hyde, with some sections being very impressive and other sections feeling a bit hurried or off. Presumably this is due to the lack of band cohesion and abandonment of the project mid way through.

"The Odeja is a group that will not resemble most of the progressive Italian groups (in fact, the cover of the album has nothing to do with the context of music as it is a medieval environment), rather we hear a mix of Jazz-Fusion which highlights Sax and the use of keyboards, mainly the synthesizer and mellotron though in a discrete form, with an excellent singer clearly influenced by Holiday well as the jazz singer Carmen McRae. In their only album, the sextet leaned to soft forms with discrete jazz inclination, resembling Spyro Gyra, Sadao Watanabe and others." -Sinfomusic blog, 2011

"Winds of May" is an album for Mellow Italian-prog collectors and obscure 80s prog fans, the album cover art is typical of many from the era. If you enjoy jazz/neo/symph mixtures with a strong saxophone presence, this 24-minute rarity will tickle your fancy. A bit south of 3 stars but close enough to grab it.

Finnforest | 3/5 |


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