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Mauro Pagani - Mauro Pagani CD (album) cover


Mauro Pagani

Rock Progressivo Italiano

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5 stars Highly recommended! Not only but especially for AREA-Fans. Very passionate progfusion, clearly related to AREA (look at the lineup) more than to PFM (look at the lineup). Strong eastern-mediterrenean folk influences, irresistable rhythms, melodies and solos especially from Mauro on violin an diverse flutes. Also irresistable vocals from Demetrio Stratos and Theresa de Sio. Get it! Its a true gem.
Report this review (#82349)
Posted Saturday, July 1, 2006 | Review Permalink
2 stars I'm a bit lost how to describe this!

There's a certain progginess to it on some tracks but it's probably best described as world music.

One thing for sure. It's about as far away from PFM (his previous band) as you can imagine. He has clearly drawn heavily on eastern folk music. In fact parts of this remind me of a collection of Bulgarian folk music I have in my possession somewhere. It can make pretty uncomfortable listening to the Western ear accustomed to major/minor keys.

There's no doubting the technical ability from the man and his supporting musicians, but it really is not easy on the ears. A notable exception is the track "Il Blu Incommincia Davverro" which is a lovely piece featuring simply guitar and bouzouki (the latter played by Mauro).

I may be being slightly hasty in reviewing this album as it's only just come into my possession and may yet grow on me. However I sense this is one that I'll be playing only when I go through one of those phases when I want to listen to different musical idioms, or to introduce unsuspecting friends to different musical influences.

With some hesitation I have to give this a 2 star rating.

Report this review (#105019)
Posted Sunday, December 31, 2006 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars His first (and maybe best) solo effort!

Yes, this is the same Mauro Pagani who used to play in a well known Italian band named PFM and i wanted to review this album ages ago, now i feel like writing something decent. Itīs curious to see that non of the collabs have actually reviewed this album, i use to read the reviews of the album im about to review, i hope to see soon a couple of reviews more about it.

So, Mauro Pagani during the years has gained recognition not only in his country but around the world, his work as a member of PFM was remarkable on the bandīs music and of course it helped him to gain respect from the same musicians of the best 70s Italian prog bands and some more better known musicians in the local Italian scene.

After he left PFM, he started a career as a solo artist and this first and self-titled album was released back in 1978, Mauro Pagani contains 8 songs and a total lenght of 36 minutes, maybe we could wonder what would have happened if he hadnīt left the band, better leave it to our imagination and concentrate in this great, believe me great album.

I will start now with the songsīreview, but first i would like to let you all know that in this album we will find other known names besides Pagani, such as Franz di Cioccio, Patrick Djivas, Demetrio Stratos and Giulio Capiozzo, among others, who worked together with Mauro in this album, and they were really helpful.

Europa Minor is the opener, i love the opening acts because i like to see the way the album runs, some first songs are strong, some others melodic and some other just show a brief example of the music we actually are going to listen. this song starts as it has to start, with a clear and obviously great violin playing with a mediterranean flavour, the sound is not that symphonic oriented, but some kind of jazzy-folk style (if that thing exists), the song follows with that mediterranean style, and there are some clappies, (mm that word remnds me to some known PA charachter who im sure loves this album)

Argiento features for the first time in the album vocals, female vocals actually by a girl named Teresa who actually i donīt know who is or how did she get to sing on this album, not my favourite vocal style, acoustic guitars ala folk RPI of the 70s, a nice melody.

Violer dīamores is a short violin solo song with a classical style, he shows a little bit of his virtuosism, he is a trained musician, if you didnīt know.

La cittá aromatica itīs a nice song, as normal a violin driven song, but this time accompanied by the exquisite playing of his ex PFM mates, a beautiful instrumental passage, great music and noticeable guitar playing, a very enjoyable song.

LīAlbero di Canto (Pt. 1) is the second time in the album we hear voices, but this time Demetrio Stratos gave his unique vocal style to this song, we will listen to the piano first, then violin and the odd but incredible Stratos voice, the song actually sounds like some Area tunes, one of the best songs of the album without a doubt.

Choron starts with a flute and a calm and soft sound which lasts almost 2 minutes and then fades out, then a totally folkish sound begins with some percussion which in fact reminds me to some of my country (Mexico) folk passages, then Paganiīs violin enters and the song follows the same road throughout the 5 minutes.

Da qualche parte tra la Calabria e Corfų il blu comincia davvero , i was lazy to write the name of this song so i copied and pasted it from above (lol), now we are about to reach the goal, we are in the final 10 minutes, this song is beautiful, acoustic guitar which reminds me to Riccardo Zappa, bello, molto bello.

LīAlbero di canto (pt.2) after a great instrumental acoustic guitar song, we finish this great album which i really enjoy listening to, as you can imagine as the first part of this song, we will listen to Stratos vocals and the Area flavoured song, since this is kind of a reprise.

I like the album a lot, i think every RPI lover should take a listen to this. Not outstanding, not bad at all, an excellent addition to any prog lover, 4 stars.

Enjoy it!

Report this review (#171635)
Posted Monday, May 19, 2008 | Review Permalink
4 stars If you love the contamination in RPI... Pagani is the best example.

'Mauro Pagani' is not a solo work but a band album by Mauro Pagani and other italian musicians that love the Arabic music. This is the messae by Mauro Pagani in album sleevenotes. And sure this is true.

The music is not too pure RPi but it is clear that the 1st song of this album ('Europa Minor') is a pure Area's song. But it is clear that 'Mauro Pagani' is not only 'Europa Minor'. 'Mauro Pagani' is also a possessed Teresa De Sio in 'Argiento' or Demetrio Stratos voice in 'L'albero Di Canto' (eng: 'The Singing Tree'). It is true that the Arabic influences are used for a new RPI version and experience and for this motive 'Mauro Pagani' is more in the way of Peter Gabriel contaminations that in Aktuala style way. The magic and the emotions of 'Mauro Pagani' are not in first plan but if you love RPI this album is a pure recommended album.

In my vision 'Mauro Pagani' is not comparable to PFM (Pagani's previous band) but with Area or Aktuala (this last band in improperly way).

The production and sound mix are OK and the mini LP package (BTF reissue on Italian Prog series) is extremely good.

Report this review (#231003)
Posted Tuesday, August 11, 2009 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
4 stars Mauro Pagani left PFM late in 1976 to take a break really from the world tours and recording studios to do some teaching. He would deepen his knowledge of Mediterranean music at this time as well. This is significant as his passion was renewed to get back in the studio and record this style of music we now call World Music. It's very cool that Mauro gets help on this album from not only his PFM bandmates but several from AREA as well. It would be the following year that Mauro would join Demetrio Stratos and Giorgio Vivaldi (both help out on this record) to further push the boundries of this style of music into more Avant territories in a band called CARNASCIALIA. Well I took the usual route into work this morning as I listened to this album yet I felt like I should be riding a camel on a dusty road in the Middle East.

"Europa Minor" features several AREA members instrumentally and it hits the ground running with violin and a beat leading the way. Aboe replaces the violin before a minute but not for long. Check out the violin 2 minutes in as the aboe comes and goes. I like the percussion 3 minutes in. "Argiento" opens with Bouzouki and it sounds great as female vocals join in. Vocals stop and violin joins in at 2 minutes. Aboe too then the vocals return around 4 minutes. "Violer D'ammes" has violin throughout and Mauro is very impressive.

"La Citta Aromatica" is where Mauro's PFM mates (drums, guitar & bass) help him out. We get drums, bass, violin and more. So much going on. Guitar before 1 1/2 minutes. A great sounding track. "L'albero Di Canto Pt 1" is Stratos on vocals with three other AREA mambers helping out instrumentally. It opens with piano then we get violin, drums and bass after a minute. Killer sound before 2 minutes.The piano leads before 3 minutes in an uptempo section.The bass then becomes prominant then violin. Piano is back then Stratos. "Choron" has flute of some sort only for 2 minutes then a new soundscape takes over with a cool sounding rhythm. "Da Qualche Parte..." has this intricate Bouzouki melody then the sound builds. So good. Beautiful stuff. "L'albero Di Canto Pt 2" opens with violin as Stratos joins in.

Not as good as as the album that would follow under the band name CARNASCIALIA but still a four star album.

Report this review (#576664)
Posted Monday, November 28, 2011 | Review Permalink
RPI Team
4 stars First off, I have to say I have never been a fan of solo albums from my more favorite groups, prog or otherwise. What we usually end up with is a watered down version of the mothership, or a muddleheaded excursion into territory best left for those who have a gift for that particular field. I can count on one hand solo albums that are really stand-outs from a collection of 3,000 or so lps and cds. The few exceptions are the ones that really strive to break new ground that the parent band wasn't ready to try. This album is one of them.

First thing fans need to know: this album does not sound at all like PFM. The second thing is that this album is mostly acoustic. Those two facts might stop folks from jumping in right away, but before you turn away, please read a bit further.

There is an all star cast of guests on here, but the main players are from PFM and even more tantalyzing-Area. However, their participation is limited to mostly only 3 of the 8 songs. Opener Europa Minor sets the tone and has a strong Balkan folk feel reminiscent of some of Boiled in Lead's excursions on Orb from 1990, and features most of Area, sans Stratos. The second song features vocalist Teresa De Sio, and is supported only by an oboe and bouzouki with some violin interludes in the instrumental section. Her voice sounds a bit like a 'prettier' Dagmar Krause for the Cow fans out there. A processed violin solo is a little forgettable but leads to the one track that will probably entice PFM fans (it contains Franz Di Coccio, Patrick Djivas, Franco Mussida and collaborator Roberto Colombo). This track echoes some of the proggier midtempo jazzy pieces from later Dixie Dregs as Mussida and Pagani have a delicate electric dance between lead guitar and electric violin. One of the better songs on the album, and we have arrived at the end of side one (too quickly by my estimation). Overall, side one has a subdued feel similar to Oregon's work of the 1970's-delicate guitars and oboe weave throughout.

Side two begins with a stunner-a full on Area workout? Featuring their drummer, bassist, keyboardist, magical vocalist Demetrio Stratos with only Pagani as the non Area member we get a full on Area styled opus. This song alone makes this album essential to any Area fans-Stratos weaves his lyricless vocal intonations throughout in a way that only he can. The only flute on the album shows up on the next song, Choron- a flute and percussion workout that some might consider filler until a nice trio of percussion duo with violin enters abruptly, saving the song from anonymity with a bit of furious bow scraping over Indian styled percussion talking drum. That is followed by Il Blu Incomnicia Daverro, a longish lingering duet with acoustic guitarist Luca Balbo with Pagani on bouzouki would be comfortable on Dimeola, DeLucia and McLaughlin's Friday NIght in San Francisco-(I even played it for friends who love that album and told them it was an outtake and they believed me without questions). Gentle acoustic interplay that is magical, but still very far from PFM. The album wraps up with a reprise of L'Albero Di Canto-Demetrio Stratos shows up again with a vocal that brings the whole proceedings to a joyous end-like the final song of an all night outdoor mediterranean sunset party. A repeating figure on processed violin invites us to join for a final magical whip round that, in the spirit of things, never really gathers. Stratos quietly whoops and intones in his best 1978 fashion until the fade out.

Remembering this is acoustic album primarily, fans of Paul McCandless and Ralph Towner's work in the jazz band Oregon might want to give this a spin. PFM fans may find this too far a stretch as Balkan influences are strong, but Area fans should jump on this immediately for what is really a 15 minute Area EP contained inside a Pagani solo album.

Four stars for the adventurous, three stars for prog purists.

Report this review (#2378104)
Posted Friday, May 8, 2020 | Review Permalink

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