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Picchio Dal Pozzo - Picchio Dal Pozzo CD (album) cover


Picchio Dal Pozzo


Canterbury Scene

4.10 | 280 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars It would take a lifetime of dedicated listening to sample and sort the vast array of music pigeonholed as Rock Progressivo Italiano, but even a casual visitor can see that this oddball ensemble was doing something unique: hence their relocation on this site to another subcategory altogether. In truth the style of music on their debut LP was more Zappa Jazz than Canterbury (despite the dedication to ROBERT WYATT), with an inventive Avant-Prog flavor not often heard in RPI circles.

This was an album that refused to sit still, blending equal measures of symphonic grandiosity, Rock in Opposition weirdness, Canterbury Fusion, RPI romanticism, and even a little interstellar Space Rock. But, unlike the efforts of too many '70s Prog Rockers with short stylistic attention spans, the album is never erratic, even at its most haphazard change in musical direction.

For example, there's the delicate acoustic guitar and multi-tracked flute interlude of "Bononchia", fighting some unlikely space-synth interference over its brief 0:51 length. Which leads directly (on compact disc, at any rate) to the demented big-top soundtrack of "Napier"...which in turn morphs into what sounds like a crazy modern ballet score...which (somehow) becomes an actual song, with a widescreen instrumental chorus of astonishing beauty and scale. All that in a single five-minute stretch of music, without a seam showing .

The album was apparently more a critical than a commercial success in 1976, hardly surprising with music so far ahead (actually, so far removed) from its time. One of the shorter numbers is actually the most distinctive: the hypnotic album opener "Merta", rolling forward on a groovy but precise (and molto Italiano) acoustic guitar melody. But hardly far enough for my tastes: it's too bad the track ends after only three minutes instead of thirty. The more polite Fusion of "Cosmelastico" is almost a letdown afterward, although the added mouthwash gargle was an inspired non-sequitur.

The last two cuts dial back the eclecticism for some blissful piano / voice experiments, completing a singular experience well worth investigating. But enough said: you get the point, and newcomers should be allowed the joy of discovery for themselves.

Neu!mann | 4/5 |


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