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ALPHA RAPHA BOULEVARD

I Numi

Rock Progressivo Italiano


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DamoXt7942
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Moderator / Psych / Avant / Neo Teams
3 stars The basis of Italian progressove rock...really? :P

Immediately the songs fades into me from the windblow. From the strong windblow, softer mellotron and softer guitar sound come and bewilder us a bit, perhaps. :) No, not bewildering...whispering vocal and light guitar sound are very comfortable. 60s' psychedelic and avantgarde flavour, fuzzy and lazy keyboard and vocal...in the album we can feel enough well! But trust me we can easily understand their melody and beats...in that period did RPI have such an atomosphere? Each member took lead vocal on each song, that is, there's no lead vocalist in the group. (Oh, sounds like The Beatles' style!) I can't help chucklin' with listening to this work always. Exactly this sound and style would be one of the bases of Italian progressive rock I guess. The 6th track 325 is just like New Trolls in the era of SENZA ORARIO SENZA BANDIERA. Furthermore, the last track I can feel...wow, let's rock and roll! Not progressive!

Only the first track Alpha Rapha Boulevard has great progressive flavour. The other songs have exactly Italian atmosphere but not progressive, I feel. Bluesy and lazy, early 70s' comfort if you love, I should recommend this work RIGOROUSLY. ;)

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Send comments to DamoXt7942 (BETA) | Report this review (#198521)
Posted Monday, January 12, 2009 | Review Permalink
Finnforest
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Honorary Collaborator
2 stars Early transitional band mostly for RPI enthusiasts

I Numi were a 5-piece band formed near Rome from various beat bands and are considered a minor player on the Italian prog scene, probably a third tier band to many people. As is generally the case, when you actually check out these lesser acclaimed bands the low expectations you have allow you to be pleasantly surprised. Numi is far from a progressive rock powerhouse even for '71. But you will find good moments here in the pop-rock vein with psych and prog influences. The tracks were composed not by the band members but by Italian singer-songwriter Guido Bolzoni from Pavia and was originally released on the Polaris label. The late Bolzoni (who died in 1995) was an inspirational person to the band and seemed larger than life, very bright and social. He would have large parties and hold court discussing music, art, books, etc. When the band got the deal with Polaris they needed to begin recording in about a months time. They panicked a bit only to be told by Bolzoni to relax, that he had plenty of ideas. The album was recorded in a very short time of course and a very funny story was told by drummer Furio Sollazzi to Augusto Croce. Sollazzi claimed the original acetate of the album sounded so ridiculously poor that the band actually drove back to the studio and barricaded themselves into a studio without reservation, and refused to come out until they had the thing remixed to something more acceptable. The second try turned out much better but still not exactly what they hoped for. When they heard what PFM had accomplished with regard to sound quality they were disappointed they didn't achieve a similar production. The band had a good schedule playing live and there were other short-lived projects with different line-ups throughout the 70s.

In describing the Numi sound on Alpha Ralpha, Scented Gardens mentions The Zombies and Procol Harum, while the band themselves claim English influences of the Beatles, Crimson, Yes, and Cream among many others. In terms of Italian bands, they share the same melodic, romantic and even psychish tendencies as Capricorn College, but with the ability to occasionally rock that you'll find with Buon Vecchio Charlie, Fabio Celi, or Il Mucchio. Immediately I was smitten with the title track's strong bass guitar presence and the urgent drumming contrasted with gentle, melancholic vocals and guitar leads, and varied keyboards. Piano and spinet/celesta are employed. All of the musicians are quite good but it is important to remember that Numi stop short of heading down explorative symphonic avenues, this is fairly straight ahead rock music in most cases and simply has proggy flavorings. The songs have fade-out endings and feature pretty typical rock rhythms and structures. It is the beauty and lovely arrangements typical of the romantic Italian approach that sell the music on ARB. Tracks like "Luce e gloria per te" feature some pretty dated wah-wah and psych keyboard treatments that are not particularly impressive, other bands were more interesting even at this early date. There are wind and water sound effects throughout but they sound more an afterthought than any kind of seamless part of the songwriting. There is a lovely flute over bass guitar and harpsichord over "Furma" that is a highlight. "325" is a long, laid back serenade of sentimentality and sunshine, with some nice change-ups and breaks in pacing and mood. I'm going to quote my friend Damo here because he nailed this album in his closing sentences-here is the bottom line: "Only the first track Alpha Ralpha Boulevard has great progressive flavour. The other songs have exactly Italian atmosphere but not progressive, I feel. Bluesy and lazy, early 70s' comfort if you love."

ARB is certainly a decent album with some nice moments but it is unquestionably a title for RPI enthusiasts only, and one that they need not check out before getting many dozens of the more important titles. Even when getting down to the less important bands from the progressive perspective, I would choose a band like Capricorn College over Numi for what they attempted versus what was achieved: a pleasant melodic pop-rock with catchiness first and serious considerations left to more experimental bands. The Numi CD reissue from AMS is another nice gatefold mini, the sound is good for bass and keys, but there is an annoying hiss on the vocal "s" that detracts. Not bad, but not quite enough for a 3 star rating for me. 5/10

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Send comments to Finnforest (BETA) | Report this review (#212616)
Posted Monday, April 27, 2009 | Review Permalink
2 stars This only album of the Italian band I NUMI "Alpha Rapha Boulevard", with to notable exception of the track 1 "Alpha Rapha Boulevard" (the only track with really characteristics of progressive rock), it is constituted in his majority by pop ballads, and it doesn't deserve (at least in my point of view) the denomination of progressive rock. Besides, the last track "Alpha Ralpha reprise" is much more similar to a rockabilly or even a twist in Little Richard's style or something like that! I recognize that the progressive rock was born of the mixture of all of the musical tendencies, including the ballads and even the twist, however in most of the tracks of the album, this mixture doesn't exist, and it is for this reason that I don't consider appropriate the progressive term for this work. My rate is only 2 stars .

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Send comments to maryes (BETA) | Report this review (#488005)
Posted Thursday, July 21, 2011 | Review Permalink
apps79
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Neo Prog Team
3 stars Italian Proto-Prog band from Pavia, born out of the ashes of small Beat groups in late-60's with Giuseppe Barbieri and Aldo Tagliaferri on guitar/vocals, Tony Galante on keyboards, Paolo Buccelli on bass and Furio Sollazzi on drums.Come 1970 and I Numi face a severe line-up shake with only Buccelli and Sollazzi remaining from the original core, now featuring Roberto Tava and Mario Rognoni on guitar/vocals and Beppe Tiranzoni on keys.They came in touch with Bruno Pallesi, the boss of Polaris label, through keyboard player Mario Battaini, who watched the band live at the Napoleon Club in Lodi.They had also a strong relationship with singer/songwriter Guido Bolzoni, who helped I Numi by offering some of his compositions and contributing vocals in the self-titled track of their 1971 debut ''Alpha Ralpha Boulevard''.Sax/flute player Paolo Fabbri, who later became a regular member of the band, participated also in the album's recording sessions.

I Numi belong among the mass of Italian acts, which played during the traditional period between Beat Music and Progressive Rock.They sound a bit like METAMORFOSI during their first album minor the Classical influences and with more apparent psychedelic overtones, based on melodic Hammond organ, clean Italian vocals and guitar work that ranges from smooth playing to slightly jazzy vibes.While the 60's psych tunes are the most precious source of inspiration in here, the listener will detect a mood by the group to offer more intricate material, characterized by the change of tempos, the mix of mellow and harder parts and the few flute and harpsichord lines in chase of a less conventional style.They appear to be extremely talented on shifting between dramatic moments and sensitive deliveries with Pop underlines and all compositions are well-crafted with a balanced sound, very good vocals and memorable choruses.''Alpha Ralpha Boulevard'' lacks the true spirit of Prog Rock music as a very early entry within the Italian Prog circles, but the passion for good music and interesting arrangements is obvious throughout the album.

Somewhere in the middle of the road, which connects I POOH with GLI ALLUMINOGENI, and that is organ/guitar-dominated melodic Psych with progressive aspirations.Recommended.

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Send comments to apps79 (BETA) | Report this review (#1160150)
Posted Friday, April 11, 2014 | Review Permalink

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