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Moogg - Le Ore I Giorni Gli Anni CD (album) cover




Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.81 | 42 ratings

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Rock Progressivo Italiano Team
4 stars A charming and infectious debut album, `Le Ore I Giorni Gli Anni' (The hours, days and years) by Italian band Moogg is an endlessly melodic, catchy and well played Canterbury Scene-styled jazz rocker. It contains a mix of strong vocal tracks and several varied instrumental workouts with a unique upbeat sound that also allows for moments of reflective and darker passages as well. Much of the sound of the band is defined by the confident and purposeful Italian vocals of Marco Dolfini, as well as the endless chirpy keyboard soloing of Antonio Gafforini that will quickly bring a smile to your face!

One thing that Moogg proves yet again is that, just because a band hails from Italy, they don't necessarily perform in the unique and identifiable Rock Progressivo Italiano (RPI) style the country is known for in progressive music circles. Moogg is no exception to this rule, although you will find little moments throughout that incorporate brief similarities, perhaps on the passionate delivery of the vocals on `Classe 21' or `Welfare Botanico'. Although there's been plenty of bands who have adopted the Canterbury sound without being directly linked to the original founding musicians, there hasn't been much in the way of Italian bands following in the same path. Picchio Dal Pozzo perhaps come to mind, but they now have good company with Moogg.

Anyone who loves Caravan will greatly enjoy the opening title track, with it's foot-tapping and cheerful arrangement. After a snappy opening, chiming guitars, glistening electric piano and dancing bass fall in place with Marco's confident deeper vocals that keep the piece from sounding too lightweight. Not even two minutes and we're off to the land of Grey and Pink, with a dazzling extended synth run and gorgeous melodic guitar soloing that sounds like a modern interpretation of that classic Canterbury album. That's one thing Moogg does so well, take their love of 70's Canterbury music and give it their own modern and contemporary spin.

My personal favourite and album highlight is the second track `Classe 21', showing that the band doesn't merely rehash and remake other bands and albums. Beginning with programmed electronics, heavy drumming and brooding guitars, it's takes a quick dip back into a sprinkling of twinkling electric piano and jazzy guitar noodling before the main melody finally kicks in. Tense phasing electronics and hard distorted bass, with a dark and moody treated vocal from Marco, nice aggressive synth soloing in the middle, and edgy emotional guitar grinding from Ivan all through this too. Very modern sounding and hints at the real potential of the band.

`Il Perche' Di Esser Me' starts as a more serious and relaxed vocal/electric piano piece but quickly builds in urgency, then launches into an uptempo jazz/fusion rocker with the band really taking off. Passionate delivery from Marco and grooving electric soloing carries the piece home. There's also a real positivity to `Responsabilita', a quirky fusion pop/rocker with boisterous vocals, leaping bass, uplifting electric soloing and jazzy electric piano.

The total knockout of the album is the nearly 15 minute `Welfare Botanico'. The piece covers so much ground, really challenging and pushing the band to the limits of their talent. Moody ambient sections, an overload of forceful fusion and Hatfield and the North technicality, smoky groovy breakaway moments, experimental fragments, blissful Mellotron wisps - the imigination and variety never ends on this one! All the while, it's perfectly grounded by the constant fluid bass of Gianluca Avanzati. Marco's vocals gets a real workout on this one too, moving from reflective croon to forceful booming - Ahh, there's that recognized Italian flavour. Wait for the truly stunning rising Mellotron/synth fanfare finale that wraps the piece - absolute progressive precision and grandiosity.

As for the three instrumental tracks, the first half of `Gli Arroganti' is a hyperactive wavering Moog/synth run over loose jazzy drumming and dreamy guitar, before a fiery lead guitar and bass duel in the second half - the band really cooks on this one! `Lunalia' is a warm and romantic word-free lullaby with gentle percussion and a floating cloud-like synth melody, simply beautiful. The peppy fusion rocker `Moogugni' is full of ragged guitar and pumping bass soloing, manic drumming and sprightly electric piano, but regretfully keyboard player Toni can't help dropping in a melody from the Bee Gee's `Staying Alive' in the brief disco diversion about a minute in! Cute the first time, a little annoying and cheesy on repeated plays! Still, it shows the band has a wink in their eye and a nice sense of humour!

Anyone who wants to hear an inventive and talented modern band bring the Canterbury sensibilities of Hatfield and the North/Caravan and 70's jazz/rock/fusion kicking and screaming into the modern age, with typical Italian tastefulness and a welcome sense of humour need look no further. Moogg have released a beautifully produced, perfectly played and exciting debut album that deserves plenty of attention, and I can't wait to hear a follow-up. So much charm, potential and talent, and you also won't find a better album to put you in a great mood either!

An easy and well-deserved four stars.

Aussie-Byrd-Brother | 4/5 |


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