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Latte e Miele - Passio Secundum Mattheum  CD (album) cover

PASSIO SECUNDUM MATTHEUM

Latte e Miele

 

Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.92 | 98 ratings

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Andrea Cortese
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars I always have been uncertain on what it should have been the right evaluation of this ambitious album. I think the starting consideration/remark has to be that this is a debut album. The italian trio Latte e Miele are not what you could easily define an ELP inspired band. It was 1972 and they thought, wrote and played one of the most memorable concept albums in the whole italian prog scene of the seventies. The power and fascination of their record is based, as the title in latin language easily tells, on Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ through the Gospel of Mattheus. I think the band was impressed by a famous movie shot in 1964 by famous italian writer and director Pierpaolo Pasolini. That film was just on the same subject and had the same title, in italian.

The main question that Latte e Miele seem to let un-answered is what the musical structure of an opus like that had to be. Symphonic? Jazz-rock? or what?

When I began to listen to the album for the first time, I presumed that the general mood of it would have been based on a strong both theatrical and symphonic vein. Vocal richness: recitative parts, church-choirs and charming singing by the band's members. All the ingredients for an impressive symphonic record: pianos, hammond pipe organ (!!!), harpsichord, mellotron, moog and celesta.

What an upset, though, from the sixth song on! The band wisely and rapidly change their style moving to a warm jazz-rock long interlude based on piano and powerful drums. Also a jazzy electric guitar appears and, wow, it's so well played! All this change was so unespected...what I could say? It's the demonstration of the high capabilities of these three guys (Marcello, Oliver and Alfio) who were able to play and build up a so varied opus!

Could the surprises end at this point? Of course, not!

The epicenter is touched at the nineth track titled "Giuda"... an explosive duo between distorted electric guitar and drums alternating with the previous jazzy vein and then... suddenly the symphonic majesty returns in all its splendour and pompousness. We are entering the longest (and most important for the concept) section titled "Calvario". Ah, the hammond pipe organ is here and does its wonderful job, creating a mystical atmosphere...marching drums and choirs open to the scene of Golgotha, there lies Jesus on his Cross... the Gift He gave us is now revealed: His Own Life!

The final track on the CD format was not really part of the original release but was a sigle issued in 1974. Very different from it, mainstream melodic pop of that era...

Ok, the sound's quality is not the best I've heard from an italian classic prog record. In some parts the album even seems to has grown older ... but ... this musical concept remains a must have in any good collection of Rock Progresivo Italiano (as in the recent months it's named in this site...).

Andrea Cortese | 3/5 |

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