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Esagono - Vicolo CD (album) cover

VICOLO

Esagono

Jazz Rock/Fusion


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4 stars Album released in 1976 "Vicolo". The only work of new group that the main member of ARTI E MESTIERI such as Gigi Venegoni concentrated. This member faces the ARTI the re-formation in 1979. The style of music is exactly a style of that ARTI. The title number was collected to work "Quinto Stato" of ARTI. It is an album of wonderful jazz-rock.

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Send comments to braindamage (BETA) | Report this review (#72389)
Posted Monday, March 20, 2006 | Review Permalink
Finnforest
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars A lost fusion treat!

Esagono, from Turin, featured members of the band Arti & Mestieri and Errata Corrige. They released this feisty and classy instrumental jazz-rock album in 1976 on the MU record label.

"Vicolo" recalls things like Arti & Mestieri and perhaps Isotope or Hatfield/North in places with accomplished playing and obvious passion for jazz. But there is a wild card here that I love: the instrumentation is spiced up with some cello, sax, flute, piano and other keys which keeps things interesting. Marco Gallesi's bass is all over the place and quite "in your face." And of course the percussion is really tight. But what I most like about this album is that it has more life, more warmth to it than some of the other jazz-rock I've tried in the past. It's not cold, predictable, or mechanical. The album takes a moment to warm up with the first two tracks being less impressive than the rest. But things take off somewhere during the third song and never look back! The middle of the CD tracklist is the slam dunk for me: "Arena" is very cool with lots of effects at the beginning that give it almost a space-rock-psych feel on top of the jazzy rhythms. The bass is monster, the flutes are heavenly and the keyboard solos out of this world. The 8 Ż minute "Araba Fenice" might be the highlight for me. Acoustic guitars, hand percussion, and a middle Eastern atmosphere give the track a mysterious and attractive backdrop for the soloists. The pace varies and changes keeping you on the edge of your seat.

Notes music critic Franšois Couture: "Gallesi has a mean, slurpy bass sound that evokes Brand X's Percy Jones -- he comes close to matching his virtuosity too. The irresistible clavinet riff opening "Five to Four" sets the pace. Each cut will feature a similarly sharp basis, even the moodier "Diatomea." "Vicolo" concludes the set with a high-energy number worthy of Jean-Luc Ponty's best writing at the time. Cimino leads this one on cello with Aldo Rindone providing ever-changing chords on the Fender Rhodes." [this paragraph credited to Franšois Couture, All Music Guide]

Their current label (they are together again for a project) describes their style as "influenced by a tendency to highlight the melody of their themes, in parallel with the solo moments, always developed in a setting of collective "multicolored orchestral sound." Make what you will of that!!

The sound on the reissued CD is pretty decent for '76 and the booklet has a history but only in Italian. Unfortunately they also altered the original cover art to make it more eye-catching. This album is easily recommended to any lover of jazz, jazz rock, instrumental music, or Italian bands. If you're in any of those groups I think you risk very little by ordering this gem.

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Send comments to Finnforest (BETA) | Report this review (#133410)
Posted Thursday, August 16, 2007 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars After ARTI E MESTIERI broke up (temporarily) after two amazing albums, bass player Marco Gallesi helped to form this band. Some of his former members guest on this album. As the bio here says, this album combines Classical and Jazz as several of the musicians here were trained in Conservatories.That goes a long way in explaining why I don't like this release. I've been listening to it all week and it has not grown on me at all, in fact it's been a chore listening to this. All I can say is that it doesn't sound good at all, and i'm not talking about the sound quality but rather the music itself.

"Five To Four" kicks in quickly as sax and flute help out. The tempo then slows down. Some clavinet as well on this one. "Serpente Piumato" is led by synths, drums then sax. "Dedalo E Caro" is uptempo with violin. Sax and drums lead after 1 1/2 minutes then the violin returns. "Diatomea" features some prominant bass after 1 1/2 minutes.Flute leads 4 minutes in as bass continues. Violin 5 1/2 minutes in.

"Arena" has some atmosphere early and also minimoog. Flute, bass and drums take over. Piano before 4 minutes then the flute returns to end it. "Araba Fenice" is led by percussion, acoustic guitar and flute early. Drums and bass after 1 1/2 minutes. The bass is chunky. Sax before 3 1/2 minutes, guitar a minute later. Flute, sax and guitar takes turns from here. Sax, drums and keyboards are prominant on "Maya", some vocal melodies too. "Nino" opens with flute and piano as bass and drums join in. The bass is fat 3 minutes in. "Vicolo" is jazzy with violin. Sax and drums standout as well.

I can't even bring myself to give this 3 stars.

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Send comments to Mellotron Storm (BETA) | Report this review (#265342)
Posted Wednesday, February 10, 2010 | Review Permalink

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