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Duello Madre - Duello Madre CD (album) cover


Duello Madre


Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.51 | 42 ratings

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4 stars One of the better jazz-rock groups to come out of Italy, Duello Madre was comprised of bass stalwart Bob Callero and a band of misfit accompanists: Drummer Dede Lo Previte came from Circus 2000 and the talented guitarist Martin Zoccheddu from Nuova Idea. Callero and Zocchedu were also in Osage Tribe together, and likewise Dede Lo Previte in Circus 2000 with woodwind player Prippo Trentin. This familiarity shows, as Duello Madre craft a tight and lean fusion offering from 1973. While maybe not as highly regarded as Arti e Mestieri and Area, Duello Madre is just good enough to recommend without reservation; all fans of Jazz Rock and Fusion will delight in its terse economy - not a note is played that doesn't need to be played. This quality also prevents it from becoming a masterpiece of the genre, but three stars doesn't seem right either.

The album begins deceptively with "Aquile Blu," the only vocal track. A mysterious intro not unlike E.A. Poe segues to the vocal passage, which picks up again at the coda. In between, Callero puts down a thick and dirty repeating bass line, almost with reckless abandon until the entire band stops on a dime. Despite the lack of live activity, it is clear Duello Madre had some symbiotic, extrasensory musicianship going on; the arrangement is focused, yet has an improvised quality few bands are able to achieve. My favorite track "Momento" showcases this perfectly, as again Callero sets the tone and everyone else just follows effortlessly. Zoccheddu is a chameleon. His guitar playing reminds me a lot of Corrado Rustici's in its fluidity, but with the formal restraint of Steve Cropper. One minute you hear a smooth Wes Montgomery lick, and a freewheeling Joe Walsh the next. Zoccheddu is a treat and one of the primary reasons to seek out the album.

"Otto" is where things start to set into a groove and stagnate a bit. The album isn't necessarily stale, but does not reward the attentive, critical listener. Duello Madre is a good album to have on while life happens in the background. Its floaty, repetitive nature allows the audience to daydream a bit which I appreciate at times. That being said, "Madre" is the longest and most demanding of all compositions herein. This one will force your ears to perk up and take notice. Elements of Zappa's '72 group can be heard, and even slight Canterbury influences start to creep in. The ensemble work here is a joy to behold, and jazz nuts will find a lot to like. This penultimate track ends softly, and the dissonant "Duello" ends the disc. "Duello" sounds like a cross between a King Crimson instrumental and Mahavishnu Orchestra, yet far less obtrusive than either. I would be remiss if I didn't mention the fantastic album cover.

coasterzombie | 4/5 |


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