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Arti e Mestieri - Tilt - Immagini Per Un Orecchio CD (album) cover


Arti e Mestieri

Jazz Rock/Fusion

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4 stars Excellent band from Italy. Their music? Jazz rock with a progressive flavour. This is their best effort, showing a dreamy violin sound (in the same vein of Quella vecchia locanda) and the powerful drumming of Furio Chirico, who had jaust left The Trip. Definitely recommended.
Report this review (#1097)
Posted Thursday, January 8, 2004 | Review Permalink
4 stars Excellent debut album, whose re-mastered version earns a lot, in comparison to the original issue. It's a fusion progressive, with some music elements already included within a few albums by some jazz progressive bands such as PERIGEO and AREA, but these latter are often more experimental or harsh,sometimes less pleasant too, in a lot of circumstances... The use of the violin is very clever as well as balanced, in the whole production of ARTI & MESTIERI!! The new re-mastered version is highly recommended!!
Report this review (#1098)
Posted Thursday, April 1, 2004 | Review Permalink
Sean Trane
Prog Folk
3 stars 3.5 stars really!!!

One of the most emblematic Italian prog albums with that simple but stunning album, which could probably the progressive spirit: indeed that wide funnel could be where the progressive movement engulf all of their individual or collective influences and transfer them into a tank for the mix, thus producing an incredibly varied and complex end product. This suggestive imagery belongs to yours truly, but I doubt I will be the only one who thought about it. It is further reinforced by the subtitle of the album's name: imagination for the ear. Often classified as JR/F, this band doesn't make pigeonholing that easy, especially when the violinist induces a bunch of symphonic or classical shades into the overall mix. A sextet from Rome (despite the majority being from Turin), the group is lead by three or even four frontmen, including a wind player (Vitale) and a string (violin mainly) player (Vigliar) as well as the more standard keyboards (Crovella) and guitar (Venegoni), thus allowing a very varied (in principle) sound. Let's not forget to mention drummer extraordinaire Furio Chirico and the no-less awesome bassist Gallesi.

What you will find on the slice of wax or vinyl is a fairly-typical Italian-sounding group, stuck between the more symphonic (early PFM or BMS) and the jazzier penchant (Perigeo or later PFM) of the Italian scope of prog, but not venturing in its more-experimental side like Area or Stormy Six (if you except the short closing title track) or its prog folk slant (Saint Just).

A mostly instrumental album, despite two sung tracks, A&M plays a very demonstrative melodic prog oscillating between symphonic and jazz styles, which give them a good but not unique quality to stand out from the mass of their compatriots. Indeed, while the sax gives the blue-notes sonorities, the violin and mellotrons counter with more European influences, despite the compositions being mostly that of guitarist Venegoni. Opening on the slightly Mahavishnu-esque and instrumental piece of Gravitation 9.81, you find yourself slipping without warning into the Crimson-like layers of Trons of the following piece of Strips, whose vocals are quite PFM-sounding. The short Corrosione is more of a transition piece that will polarize us into the +/- track (again Mahavishnu, but with added vibes) in order to prepare to the Cammino, a slow-evolving and gradually incandescent, in great part due to Vitale's winds and Venegoni's fiery guitar solo, before the short Scacco piece ends the side rather abruptly.

The flipside is mostly hogged by the album's highlight, the 13-mins+ Articolazione, the other track featuring vocals, but it is sandwiched by two short track, the first of which Farenheit is Maha-inspired, while the closing Tilt piece is definitely more abstract and totally musically out of context of the rest of the album: interesting but artificial. Let's go back to the epic, truly the more complex and energetic piece of the album in the "Crimson meets PFM" mode, but featuring some IMHO expandable texts, but clearly the centrepiece of Tilt. I'm not sure if the album's production was perfect or is it that the music could've used a tad more energy and dynamics, but maybe a remastering would be helpful.

While there are some undeniable Mahavishnu influences that make this album interesting to fusionheads, it's likely to interest more progheads, especially if you've heard the previous The Trip formation, you will impressed by the progress they made.. I often wonder how the group might have sounded and fared without the violin, out of pure speculation (he's not a composer anyway), but it's quite pointless since imagining A&M without Vigliar is unthinkable, because his sound is somewhere between Goodman, Lockwood or Ponty. Not essential (IMHO) to either jazz or prog fans, but Tilt is definitely worthy of some attention from both sides.

Report this review (#1099)
Posted Wednesday, April 14, 2004 | Review Permalink
Cesar Inca
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars "Tilt" is the amazing debut album by a band whose members were not newbies at all. The six musicians' combined former experiences had led them to the roads of jazz and prog rock (even the very young, masterful drummer Furio Chirico had played in The Trip's last two albums) for some time, so their expertise was quite obvious and quite impressive as well by the time "Tilt" introduced Arti + Mestieri to the eyes of the world. The jazz-rock oriented sound delivered by the band serves as an appropriate field for the expression of every individual's skill, while the compositions and arrangements are cleverly ordained in order to create an "orchestral" feel that keeps all individuals united in a fluid rapport with each other. It is precisely that "orchestral" feel which allows their sound not to be restricted by the habitual standards of regular jazz rock, but makes the band draw a bit closer to that special sensibility, that typical mix of baroque and Mediterranean folk so frequent in Italian symphonic prog. Some of this magic is expressed by the mellotron layers, the classically oriented lines that the violin and wind instruments indulge in at times, and the "suite-like" sequence of the linked tracks (1-4, 7-8). Given the immense diversity of the instrumentation (saxes, clarinets, violin and vibes join the usual ensemble of guitar-bass-keys-drums), it can be easy to rely on some extremely free stuff and go with a chaotic flow, but these guys prefer to act similarly as a small orchestra, giving every part for each instrument a proper place in the sonic landscape exhibited on each number. But again, Chirico's superb (which some may consider over-played, but I simply label as genius) drumming, Venegoni's cadence on his guitar leads and picks, and Crovella's subtle use of his piano/electric piano parts (a times complemented by the vibes, occasional courtesy of saxophonist/clarinetist Vitale), keep the listener well reminded of the jazzy essence of Arti + Mestieri's overall sound. That's where Vitale and Vigliar get some space to expand themselves on - in both the prog and jazz sides of the band's sound, the violinist and the wind player play almost all leading roles. As for drummer Chirico, he clearly relies on Gallesi's precise bass playing so he can beat and roll endlessly and become the other leading man. The weird title track closes down the album with a disturbing touch of dissonant layers of mellotron and ARP synth, occasionally accompanied by a few ad-libitum parts on bass clarinet and violin: this is AM emulating Area, which should not come as such a big surprise, since Area's guitarist Paolo Tofani (together with Venegoni) produces the album. I actually like this Cage/Stockhausen-inspired stuff, but I feel that it would have found a more suitable place in the middle, as a curious rarity, instead of the closure, which eventually kills the captivating splendour displayed in the final section of 'Articolazioni'. Apart from that, let me tell you that it's hard for me to pick a particular fave in a mostly homogeneously great repertoire; anyway, I will mention tracks 1-4 and the 13-minute long 'Articolazioni' as the most impressive and significant examples of what this band is all about. All in all, I regard "Tilt" as a masterpiece of 70s Italian prog.
Report this review (#1101)
Posted Monday, November 29, 2004 | Review Permalink
4 stars A great album, to be sure. I just wish that someone would have given the drummer some downers before each recording session. And that's coming from someone who played LOUD drums in several rock bands before I took up electronic music. He's a wonderful, gifted drummer, but his "fill every nook and cranny with a loud sound" philosophy distracts the listener away from what the other musicians are doing, and from the music itself. Furio obviously doesn't know the meaning of the words "nuance, subtlety and delicacy". And the other musicians DO, which is what makes it an issue. I bought the LP when it came out, and boy, what a crappy press!! I went through two or three copies, and they were all scratchy, though obviously new. So, although I don't have a remastered copy of the CD, I'm "contented".
Report this review (#1102)
Posted Friday, December 24, 2004 | Review Permalink
4 stars Compared to their Italian progressive rock contemporaries PFM and American based groups like MAHAVISHNU ORCHESTRA, ARTI & MESTIERI were an excellent but overlooked band. These Italian purveyors of prog-rock deserve further consideration as Tilt proves to be an archetypal interpretation of a sound that was still in the developmental stages at the time.

In very small-italicized print underneath the album's bold title are the words "Immagini Per Un Orecchio", translated it means "Images For An Ear." I find that very insightful as I am always saying how good instrumental music has the ability to create images inside my head, thus eliminating the need for vocals.

This was the group's first release in 1974. For a maiden voyage into the world of recorded music, they faired quite well. Although they use vocals sparingly, they really did not need them at all. Their music was very visually stimulating. By using all of their talents to their fullest capacity, a pleasing mixture of keyboards, guitars, bass, percussion, violins, saxophone, clarinet, and vibraphone became part of their final creation. Because they used so many different instruments, their music gradually pushed itself to another level of complexity, in so doing it transformed their compositions into progressive quests that were a captivating treat for your ears and mind.

As per usual, the 180-Gram vinyl LP format never lacks for sound and quality.

Report this review (#1103)
Posted Monday, January 24, 2005 | Review Permalink
Andrea Cortese
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars "It seems there's no time to wait for science and for losing doubts. It needs too much patience..." (excerpt from "Articolazioni").

I'm not really a jazz-rock sub-genre's great amateur. Probably I've never been and I'll never be that! Despite this, I enjoy to listen to Arti & Mestieri's 1974 musical debut in its fresh (and always excellent) Akarma re-issue!

I have to admit Tilt is a strong release wisely builded up by jazz, classic symphonic prog and mixed with a folkish delicate taste. Musicianship offers enough pleasure to the exigent ears of any prog-lovers! Violin, clarinet, guitar, mellotron and hammond organ are the most relevant instruments. All the band's members are talented musicians and played live supporting other historic bands as Premiata Forneria Marconi and Gentle Giant.

Vocals are very sparse and feature in only two songs: "Strips" and the memorable long track "Articolazioni" (13,41 mns), the best of the album in my opinion. Close second is the instrumental opener "Gravitŕ 9,81" (only 4,06 mns).

Another excellent album from the vast and deep ocean of the seventies' impressive italian prog scene!

Report this review (#66713)
Posted Wednesday, January 25, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars The first work released in 1974 "Tilt". Album recorded by six members including violin and wind instrument. It is a present from Italy. Extraordinary masterpiece where rich music is enclosed. The sound is symphonic jazz-rock. There is a rich poetic sentiment in all melodies. It is keeps straight, simple, and there no complex construction though it is variegated music. It is a great masterpiece of symphonic jazz- rock, and one of the eminent masterpieces of Italian rock.
Report this review (#72099)
Posted Friday, March 17, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars man this is a debut album and you can hardly believe it: the sound is already so mature and complex that looks like the result of a 10 years passion for a project by the whole group.

The violin is really excellent, the drum work is incredibly powerful, but maybe it's the less mature, being too furious (as the name of the drummer, Furio, recalls); it makes a good contrast which sometimes is too much, though.

Since I'm italian, I can also talk about the lyrics: sometimes they give me the feeling of going nowhere, some others I'm able to find a deep meaning for them.

this is one of my favourite albums, with all its defects.

Report this review (#72104)
Posted Friday, March 17, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars Arti+Mestieri's debut album titled "Tilt" was Italy's answer to the Mahavishnu Orchestra. Layer on top of an album full of high energy and high creative explosions the masterful drumming of Furio Chirico and you have a recipe for great success. With varing styles and major tempo and mood swing this band unleash a truely wonderful album that will light the ital-prog veins in you! I should also mention that there is a good dose of Mellotron work here too. The addition of Saxes, piano, and vibraphone also give this album a stong polarity into the jazz genre. The violin wok of this album (Giovanni Vigliar) reminds me very much of Jean Luc Ponty and when combined with the band in full sounds truely majestic. Strongly recommend this album to all fans of Fusion and Ital-prog genres.
Report this review (#85734)
Posted Friday, August 4, 2006 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars The Italian jazz-rock scene is a solid subsection of the famed Prog tradition, with numerous bands of extraordinary virtuosity, none more so than the undisputed leader of the pack, Arti+Mestieri. Unquestioningly led by the dazzling (an appropriately named) Furio Chirico, one of the greatest stick "n skins men ever and revered by many prog drummers, the band kicks some serious butt, a fast-paced, intense prog-fusion that rivals anything by anyone in the same genre. At times quite symphonic due to Beppe Crovella's sweeping keyboards, shouldered by some frenetic fretting provided by Gigi Venegoni and the wild sax ramblings of Arturo Vitale , doubling on violin and flute, the main focus remains on the overpowering and hyperactive Furio, leaving one to wonder about his propulsion pack (first nuclear drummer?) . Neil Peart is not unique, dear Rush fans! This is not just all technique, the material is original, distinctive and highly infectious.. No wonder this album retains a hallowed place in many a Prog collection and deservedly so. 4 furious drumsticks
Report this review (#117669)
Posted Sunday, April 8, 2007 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
5 stars This is the best album that i've heard in a while. They remind me of MAHAVISHNU ORCHESTRA at times, but during the mellow sections I think of PFM. Lots of mellotron too, and a drummer who reminds me of Peart and Cobham the way he is so fluid and powerful. Lots of sax and violin as well. This was apparently co-produced by AREA's guitarist Paolo Tofani.

"Gravita 9,81" opens with a blast of horns before it settles with mellotron, clarinet and violin. Amazing sound when the keys and drums come in. Gorgeous. I like the violin that follows.The bass and drums sound fantastic after 2 minutes as mellotron then sax comes in. The violin returns late. What a song ! My favourite off the album. "Strips" opens with keys as a brief guitar melody comes in. Check out the drumming and mellotron that follows. Violin, sax then vocals 1 1/2 minutes in. This reminds me of PFM, the gentle vocals and acoustic guitar. Beautiful. Mellotron before 3 minutes and violin follows.

"Corrosione" opens with mellotron as keys, drums and sax follow. A short but good instrumental. "Positivo / Negativo" opens with strummed guitar as violin comes in. Drums, bass, piano and vibes join in. It kicks into gear before 2 minutes with drums and violin leading the way. Guitar then comes in ripping it up. Nice. "In Cammino" opens with mellow sax lines. Electric piano, drums and violin 2 minutes in as the tempo picks up.The violin starts to rip it up. Mellotron before 3 minutes. Love the drumming and piano after 4 minutes. Guitar 4 1/2 minutes in is killer as the bass throbs. "Farenheit" is the only track without mellotron but then it's only 1:15 long. Piano opens before clarinet, drums and a fuller sound follows.

"Articolazioni" is almost 13 1/2 minutes long and it's a ride. It's led early by piano before violin and drums become prominant. Fantastic drumming here ! Nice bass too. Sax starts to lead. It settles before 3 minutes as sax and mellotron take over. Vocals follow. The drumming is so impressive before 5 minutes then it settles with mellotron. The tempo picks up as vocals return. Violin follows then a powerful section after 6 1/2 minutes comes in. It settles briefly with mellotron then kicks back in. Guitar, vocals and mellotron 8 1/2 minutes. Tempo picks up again. A great flood of mellotron 10 minutes in then it turns jazzy. Love the vocals 11 minutes in as it turns mellow. Mellotron is back. "Tilt" is the 2 1/2 minute closer. It's experimental with some dissonance but check out the mellotron !

Nothing less than 5 stars will do for this fantastic recording.

Report this review (#203080)
Posted Monday, February 16, 2009 | Review Permalink
4 stars Excellent crossover prog......... or whatever you want to call this music.

Fusion/Jazz it is then. Truth to be told, it is fusion, with both feet firmly grounded on Planet Jazz. But the rest of the body is all over the place. Italian Symphonic Prog, Canterbury Scene, Folk Prog etc etc. Arti E Mestieri has really created something special here. Most of all a very playful album with some very good nods towards the likes of National Health and Hatfield & The North. Some Soft Machine flirting can also be found here. Not to mention Return To Forever which is a good reference point. The songs are strong and based on various instruments. The drumming is excellent. The various instruments I refer to is both violins, guitars (electric and accoustic) and all sorts of classic tangents like moog and hammond. The result is a very warm sound. This is pretty much underlined by the lush, inviting vocals. This makes it a surprisingly poetic and pastorial album. But the music are still firmly rooted in jazz. Which makes this a very lush album and a true gem. It is also a unique album and I have never heard anything like it in my life.

It would be unfair to single out a special song here. I regard this as one single piece of music and I recommend this album.

4.25 stars

Report this review (#240314)
Posted Saturday, September 19, 2009 | Review Permalink
5 stars Arti & Mestieri are one of the best known Italian prog bands and have been active since 1973. They come from Turin and were formed on the initiative of Furio Chirico (former drummer of The Trip) who met with keyboardist Beppe Crovella (former member of a band called The Mystics) and four musicians coming out from a jazz rock band called Il Sogno di Archimede, Gigi Venegoni (guitar), Giovanni Vigliar (violin, vocals), Marco Gallesi (bass) and Arturo Vitale (sax, vibraphone). In 1974 they released their debut album for the independent label Cramps, "Tilt ? Immagini per un orecchio" (Tilt ? Imagines for an ear), a brilliant mix of rock, jazz, classical, Mediterranean influences and melodic passages. The art cover by Gianni Sassi, featuring a flying funnel in a blue sky among white clouds, in some way describes the overall sound of this work where many influences floating in the air are caught and channelled through this conical utensil having a narrow tube at the apex to be blended and conveyed on the tracks of the album.

The title of instrumental opener "Gravitŕ 9,81" (Gravity 9,81) is inspired by the law of gravity formula. Ignoring air resistance, an object falling freely near the Earth's surface increases its velocity with 9.81 m/s (32.2 ft/s or 22 mph) for each second of its descent. As gravitation causes dispersed matter to coalesce, on this track the creativity of the band perfectly blends the Mediterranean touches of colour evoked by the violin with a pulsing rhythm section and a jazzy sax solo. This piece is an authentic trademark of the band by now.

Next comes "Strips", where the dreamy and romantic mood of the music contrasts with the bitter disenchantment of lyrics condemning a reality of empty conventions, of absurdities filling your head, of languid songs and artists whispering useless words, of faded stories about planets, wizards and gods...

"Corrosione" (Corrosion) is a kind of short bridge leading to the beautiful instrumental "Positivo / Negativo" (Positive/Negative) where a first solar and dreamy part, featuring acoustic guitar and violin, gives way to a second part full of energy, featuring a great rhythm section and a good electric guitar work.

"In cammino" (On walk) is another excellent instrumental that opens with a melancholic sax introduction, then rhythm takes off and melancholy melts in joyful passages where the members of the band showcase their musicianship. On the original LP it was the last track of side A.

Next comes the short instrumental "Farenheit", where the rhythm goes slowly up like the temperature of a thermometer introducing "le plat de resistance" of the album, the long and complex suite "Articolazione" (Articulation), a piece about the necessity to live the present facing the reality. There's no time you can waste waiting dreaming for better days while the Death is leading into the grave all her dear lovers... "It's not because you think to have understood / That your future is going to change / In the mirror you must see / What is harder seeing...".

The experimental "Tilt", almost an example of concrete music, concludes an excellent album where music flows away without weak moments. A must for every Italianprog lover!

Report this review (#278455)
Posted Sunday, April 18, 2010 | Review Permalink
5 stars Like Area and Perigeo, Arti e Mestieri blended jazz rock and fusion elements with traditional symphonic flair. Tilt may be the best representation of this movement, and along with the debut albums by Etna and Il Volo, one of my favorite fusion albums of all time. Anyone familiar with Mahavishu Orchestra will have a frame of reference here, but Arti e Mestieri takes the concept one step further by not just integrating jazz music with rock instrumentation, but also western classical and Mediterranean influences as well. A near-perfect listen from start to finish, a masterpiece of the genre, and necessity for any Prog collection.

"Gravita 9, 81" starts the album off with an attention-grabbing motif that fades quickly to a deceptively melancholy intro...the combination of clarinet, violin and synth here is celestial. Then after the electric piano kicks in and sets the tempo, the world is introduced to Furio Chirico. Italian prog stalwarts will recognize the drummer from The Trip, but to the uninitiated, hearing Furio play drums the first time is like your first kiss - a little scary at first, somewhat sloppy, and WAY TOO FAST. But then you get that feeling; that warm buzz in your stomach like hot chocolate on a winter day. It courses through your veins and fills your entire nervous system with dopamine. That's what Furio Chirico's drumming is like. Bill Bruford will always have a special place in my heart, but if I had to pick one drummer as the "best," it would be Chirico.

Nowhere is his mastery of the drum kit more evident than in "Strips." An absolute monster beat, so carefully and thoughfully composed to accentuate (not overstate) the arrangement. "Corrosione" gives us our first taste of Mellotron, and again the woodwinds playing against violin is a combination of sheer brilliance. Nothing groundbreaking, but usually intonation suffers between these two particular instruments - not here. Giovanni Vigliar and Arturo Vitale play in perfect unision, often switching instruments not just mid-song but mid-phrase! A real show of virtuosity but also restraint. We then segue into Positivo/Negativo, another amazing showcase for what the band has to offer. "In Cammino" solemnly rounds out the first side.

"Fahrenheit/Articolazioni" is one of those songs that, once you hear it, is like a part of you. I will seriously just be sitting in traffic and it pops into my head, and get goose bumps every time. The first two-thirds of the suite is structured much like the rest of the album, but the third act is where the symphonic influences really take orchestral feast for the ears that tugs at your heart strings and doesn't let go. I always get a little sad at this point because I know the album is almost over. A case for quality over quantity if there ever was one. Arti e Mestieri would go on to record many albums, but none as fine as this one.

Report this review (#491553)
Posted Thursday, July 28, 2011 | Review Permalink
5 stars Like their Cramps label-mates Area, Arti e Mestieri are a Zappa-influenced Italian fusion group, but they distinguish themselves from the other band by having less influence from avant-garde rock and chamber music and more influence from sources such as the early Mahavishnu Orchestra albums. Tilt is an electrifying fusion masterpiece played at breakneck pace by the band, with exceptional musicianship displayed throughout - Giovanni Vigliar's violin playing being, to my mind, a particular highlight. Composed and performed with amazing confidence for a debut album, Tilt is a fusion classic which sets the band apart from the rest of the Italian progressive rock scene of the era.
Report this review (#520384)
Posted Sunday, September 11, 2011 | Review Permalink
Symphonic Team
4 stars A lost classic of the 70s golden era

Arti E Mestieri are an obscure band from Italy who focus on jazz rock fusion unlike many other Italian prog artists. Their debut primarily is an instrumental with moments of Italian singing. The title of the album is "Tilt: Immagini Per Un Orecchio", and this is translated as "Images For An Ear" which seems profoundly appropriate. The tracks blend together beautifully in places, such as the stunning 'Strips', 'Corrosione' and 'Positivo / Negativo', and jump wildly about with odd time sigs and virtuoso musicianship. At other times, on tracks like 'In Cammino' the sound becomes rather subdued and tranquil.

The band are consummate professionals at their craft consisting of Furio Chirico on drums, Beppe Crovella on acoustic and electric pianos, synths, mellotron, Hammond organ, Marco Gallesi on bass, Gigi Venegoni on guitar, synthetizers, Giovanni Vigliar on violin and Arturo Vitale on soprano and baritone saxes, clarinets, and vibraphone. Vitale's sax work on 'In Cammino' is an incredible tour de force and of note also is the guitar lead break of Venegoni. This track is a definitive highlight along with the spine tingling opener 'Gravitŕ 9,81'.

'Articolazioni', the mini epic that takes up most of side 2, features vocals along with 'Strips', the only occasions, and these are rather a nice break from all the musicality. This track features stunning clarinet and some very heavy passages mixed with moments of peaceful serenity. These dark and light sections are balanced perfectly with the amazing drumming skills of Chirico. The time sigs are everchanging and it even locks into a 6/8 rhythm and beautiful vibraphones are heard from Vitale. Vigliar's violin is absolutely gorgeous and sings sweetly in the melancholy soundscape. This really is a masterpiece track with some of the finest musical structures in the 70s golden era of prog.

Overall, Arti E Mestieri's debut is a lost classic in Italian prog and really deserves more recognition. The music is similar to Mahavishnu Orchestra and at times just as astonishing in terms of virtuosity. There is never a dull moment and it is packed solid with inventive musicianship and creativity.

Report this review (#613493)
Posted Thursday, January 19, 2012 | Review Permalink
5 stars 109 ratings and 17 reviews don't serve this Italian Jazz/Symphonic band justice. If classified as a Jazz/Fusion album, then it's my favorite album in the whole extensive genre. I'll explain why...

Aggressive at times, but never out of control. Peaceful at times, only to build to an opus of Giovanni's violins and Furio's furious drumming. (Not to mention hypnotic keyboards adding depth to the already dense songs). Despite the rarity of finding this album cheap, every dollar you pay goes towards the infinite replay value you'll get from this musical gem.

Some reviewers discredit the album closer, veering from the flow of the album. Though, after the confused techno-babble, there's melodies recalling previous songs. It's an amazing reprise, reminding you of all the great melodies you may have forgotten. In my take, these distorted reprises reminds me of a bubbling cauldron containing each melody only to be swooped up by the everlasting mellotron. I won't evaluate each song since they all flow into each other, ending (what seems like) abruptly. Clocking in at 37 minutes, you wish it would last just a bit longer. Any jazz- enthusiast or prog-enthusiast would find something special in this album. Hell, anyone would. If you've yet to hear this due to the jazz/fusion classification, LISTEN TO IT. It took me years to finally venture into the jazz/fusion realm, and it sickens me to think I could've missed out on this.

Report this review (#1117410)
Posted Tuesday, January 21, 2014 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars How is this album, this band not as famous and talked about as other Italian prog from the mid-70s? The instrumental prowess, mature songwriting, broad dynamics, and great production here is to my mind on par with PFM, Banco, and Cervello and even AREA! Prog of ANY era does not get better than this--especially in the fact that acoustic and folk elements are worked in and there were no computers! Where are people finding the deficiencies or inadequacies! Not in melody. Not in sophistication. Not in sound quality. Is it in the seeming lack of originality? (I read all the comparisons to Mahvishnu and Jean-Luc Ponty.) Break out albums happen. The fact that they emulated--that they inspire other musicians to create in a similar style--should be rewarded not penalized! To strive to be the best--to go through doors that other geniuses have opened--should be lauded and encouraged, not denigrated and discouraged! They may even end up refining something to make it even better! But it could never happen if they are discouraged from trying. I have no hesitation calling this album a masterpiece of progressive rock music--composition and performances of the absolute highest caliber---and, best of all, very accessible/engaging and enjoyable (as opposed to some of the obtuse and jarring music made by Mahvishnu, Miles, and even Yes. Check this album out everybody! It's a work of genius, passion, and inspiration from start to finish. It should be heralded as one of the shining pieces of 1970s progressive rock music--not just RPI or jazz-rock fusion.
Report this review (#1909483)
Posted Monday, March 26, 2018 | Review Permalink

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