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Perigeo - Genealogia CD (album) cover

GENEALOGIA

Perigeo

 

Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.92 | 52 ratings

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Aussie-Byrd-Brother
Special Collaborator
Rock Progressivo Italiano Team
4 stars I came across this album totally by surprise at a recent record fair, thinking I may have snapped up a bit of a highly regarded Italian progressive classic! I was initially hugely disappointed to find that, although Perigeo are an Italian band, they don't play the usual sort of passionate and emotional prog associated with that country, rather an intoxicating and captivating form of jazz-fusion, highlighted by electrifying performances and a manic Canterbury styled touch of sophistication.

At first I found this album to be a little by-the-numbers and quite charmless. Everything sounded in the right place, competently played by a bunch of great musicians, but I just wasn't clicking with it. Then on a drive into work on my nightshift, through sheer lack of inspiration and with nothing else to listen to, I put the album in the CD player and suddenly, it all worked for me. Like `Soft Machine's black and moody `5', an album I feel is quite similar to this one, it was the colder weather and dark night ambience that made more sense with the music I was hearing. There's a frequent sad and reflective tone to the music that made perfect sense so late in the chilly night.

`Genealogia' is best taken as a complete piece, all the wonderful instrumental compositions shifting between ambient electronics, driving sax, jazz-rock fusion, varied electric piano/fuzz organ/moog, and lovely emphasis in some parts on warm acoustic and searing electric guitars solos. There's a subtle and restrained touch, with occasional noisier outbursts picking up the pace when needed. Always prominent bass player Giovanni Tomasso also performs some effective wordless vocals on three of the tracks. I also thought there was a few sections with wild violin, but from what I understand that's actually him using a bow along his bass! Highly original, and gives the album a truly unique sound all it's own.

Strange electronics (moog?) begin the 8-minute title track on side A, before piano and commanding saxophone enter. I'd swear that was a violin throughout the constantly repeated grand theme, sounding very medieval! The sax becomes more fiery, sounding like something performed by the various Canterbury bands (probably why this album reminds me so much of Soft Machine's `5'). Very repetitive track, it becomes dizzying, with a real wild abandon. Jazzy drumming, catchy sax melody and shimmering electric piano on `Polaris', with throbbing bass and harsh electronic effects swirling around. There's a real explosive urgency to this one! `Tore Del Lago' has delicate piano and mournful sax. With gentle sighed wordless vocals, it's one of the most beautiful pieces on the album. `Via Beato Angelica's sweet acoustic guitar and pulsing electronics give way to an upbeat Latin- styled Santana groove, especially with the hot electric guitar solo and effective use of the congas.

The dirty drama of side B's `(In) Vino Veritas' has maddening Canterbury electric piano, out of control wailing sax, and tearing electric guitar! Listen for the knockout bass playing and furious drum-work on this one too, the band completely loses it! The gentle comedown of `Monti Pollidi' is a relief from the previous track, alternating between an evocative sax theme and whirling electric piano/bass/percussion subtlety. `Grandi Spazi' is an ambient dark-jazz piece with a very dank bass sound and somber sax. More Soft Machine-like urgency on `Old Vienna' with a fuzzy electric guitar and piano showdown, frantic bass playing and percussion, before a slightly abrupt ending. The album finishes on the initially sedate `Sidney's Call' with eerie sighs, gentle congas and lovely acoustic guitar before turning into a sax heavy workout in the middle, complete with drum solo. It then falls away into a wordless enveloping lullaby to finish the album on.

Housed in a bare plain-white sleeve with a pleasant and simple illustration on the cover, with music performed by a talented and inventive group of musicians, `Genealogia' is wonderful late-night jazz-rock/prog with a darkly immersive ambience.

Aussie-Byrd-Brother | 4/5 |

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