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Le Orme - Uomo Di Pezza CD (album) cover


Le Orme

Rock Progressivo Italiano

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5 stars Le ORME have created so many great prog albums that they all should be talked about more than they are. "Uomo Di Pezza" is on of their finest moments ever in the studio and offers some brilliant moments. "Uomo.." is full of PFM-like orchestral interludes with the unmistakable sound of Aldo Tagliapietra and company. The first 10 minutes of the album will have your drooling on the floor demanding more from the moment it begins and ends with some very sweet melodies. Like so many other Le ORME albums this one ends far too earyl and only clicks in around 35 mins. Speaker separation is quite excellent and sound quality is surprisengly good. "Uomo Di Pezza" is a very complete album and should definitely appeal to fans of the classic early 70?s Italian prog scene. The quiet moments on this release are quite magical and very spiritual in many ways fitting nicely the concept behind this progressive rock masterpiece. Highly recommended!
Report this review (#17831)
Posted Sunday, March 14, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars Another classic of Italian prog. "Uomo di Pezza" is Le ORME's second prog rock album, their previous prog album, "Collage" seems to have only mixed reactions. "Prior" to "Collage", their music was psychedelic pop, as demonstrated on "Ad Gloriam". Anyway, "Uomo di Pezza" is the album prog rock fans started warming up to. It's basically a mellow prog album. The ELP hype is a bit exaggerrated, although there are some ELP-like organ from Toni Pagliuca from time to time (as well as some great use of Moog, and a little Mellotron). Aldo Tagliapietra's voice is unmistakable as always, and Michi dei Rossi provides the drums. The instrumental piece at the end sounds oddly like Canterbury in one passage, complete with fuzz organ that's obviously in the Mike Ratledge/Dave Stewart vein, although the rest of the piece has more of that heavy prog sound that's actually pretty uncharacteristic of this album. There are a couple of nice acoustic ballads, as what Le ORME seemed to be doing a couple of times on their best albums. This is some truly great music, and it comes to show how Le ORME became one of the Italian prog greats.
Report this review (#17832)
Posted Monday, May 3, 2004 | Review Permalink
4 stars Short reviews, please...Starting with a sinister organ solo then drum and bass, the first track gets not so agressive as the introduction, with a depressive and romantic atmosphere. Gioco di bimba is a beautifull ballad, something like a roundabout or a fairy tale. la porta chiusa, is a more agressive and good prog track. Breve imagine, as the name says itself, is a short and very emotioned song ending in a very beautifull way. Figure di cartone is a happy fast ballad and i love this song. Aspetando lalba is another very very beautifull track. Alienazione, is a little bit lost to my taste. An amazing band, and a not so agressive progressive but very inspired, very pleasant and very beautifull with one of the best and thriller vocals of all times.
Report this review (#17835)
Posted Monday, October 11, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is one of the most fantastic albums I´ve ever listened to, and I highly recommend for those who haven´t. Each track brings a different emotion, specially Aspettando l'alba, Una dolcezza nuova & Figure di cartone, which I think are the best in here. You won´t regret, really.
Report this review (#38910)
Posted Friday, July 8, 2005 | Review Permalink
erik neuteboom
5 stars According to the Prog Archives information the line up on this album was Aldo Tagliapietra on bass, vocals and guitars, Nino Smeraldi on guitars, Giuseppe Michi on drums, Claudio Galieti on guitars and bass and Antonio Toni Pagliuca on keyboards. When Le Orme started touring to promote this album, one of their guests was PETER HAMMILL. And both this LP as the single "Gioco di bimba" turned into a very successfull effort. Le Orme were hot in Italy in those days!

1. Una dolcezza nuova (5:28) : After a church organ-like intro, the music alternates between propulsive and bombastic featuring a dynamic rhtyhm-section and great organ runs (with strong echoes from ELP) and dreamy with sensitive acoustic piano. The Italian vocals sound very warm with a melancholical undertone, EXCELLENT!

2. Gioco di bimba (2:54) : This was the hit single featuring a mellow atmosphere with acoustic rhythm guitar, synthesizer flights and warm vocals along a surprising break with mandolin and clavinet.

3. La porta chiusa (7:28) : This track has captivating climates that changes from romantic to bombastic with great Hammond and Moog play, the final part contains first wonderful interplay between the Hammond organ and Grand piano and then a short but sensational, very dynamic piece in the vein of ELP.

4. Breve immagine (2:42) : WONDERFUL VIOLIN-MELLOTRON ERUPTIONS along warm vocals and bass, GOOSE BUMPS!

5. Figure di cartone (3:48) : This track delivers fat Moog flights with obvious hints from Keith Emerson his work on the Moog synthesizer during "Lucky man".

6. Aspettando l'alba (4:43) : A romantic climate with warm vocals and acoustic rhythm guitar, in the end delivering some flute-Mellotron.

7. Alienazione (4:43) : This is Le Orme in their most bombastic tribute to ELP with dynamic drums and spectacular keyboard play, this sounds so exciting!


Report this review (#43463)
Posted Friday, August 19, 2005 | Review Permalink
Andrea Cortese
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars This famous album by Le Orme, rapidly became a Classic in Italy and in the world prog scenario itself. Seven strong organ and keyboard oriented songs, with always delicate touch of acoustic guitar and warm vocals provided by Aldo Tagliapietra (Cutstone, I repeat it). But, what about the lyrics? After listening with attention to the album I've realized it is a quasi-concept album, if not a concept completely! The main theme has been always under my eyes.just look to the cover, what do you see? Surrealistic and oneiric images, a distorted vision of the reality! The feelings represented in it seem to be solitude, sadness, alienation etc. I think it is a further proof of the main theme: PSYCHOLOGICAL DISEASES, MENTAL DISTURBS, EMOTIONAL FRAGILITIES, IMAGINERY FEARS, PEOPLE THAT ARE OUT OF TOUCH WITH REALITY.

The opener (Una Dolcezza Nuova- A New Sweetness) is a great duet between organ and classic piano. The lyrics are revealer: ".there's in your eyes an ancient fear, ashes' dreams now burn in you. When the fears fade away, believe in me.the storm is in your heart, you take refuge in me. In the space shouts the thunder, your voice is now a sigh and you trembles beside me.". Is this a romantic interlude? Or is it the narrator the second of a double personality which tries to replace the first one, not able to bear all the crude reality anymore?

Gioco di Bimba (Baby's Game) was the hit single that helped Le Orme to established theirselves as one of the major band in Italy: ". she wakes up in the night, walks silently with closed eyes, like she follows a magical singing. And on the swing she restarts to dreams.with dressing gown, white face, moonlight rays on her hair. swinging the baby's game a woman loses herself.". A sleepwalker's story. It could be also the representation of that emotive state in which a person don't manage to exit from his (or her) childhood.

La Porta Chiusa (The Locked Door) is a stunning 7,30 mns piece with really captivating keyboards, great bass guitar and drums' work. ".As every evening you're alone in the dark, only your whiteness keeps you company. You hear a rustle at the doorstep and you don't know who is listen in silence. who's knocking at your door at this late hour?".

Breve Immagine (Brief Image) is a wonderful short track with dreaming atmosphere and lyrics:".it's a sweetest image, it's a fleeting image.".

Figure di Cartone (Cartboard Figures) is a great synth played song about the losing touch with reality: ".in your own strange world, made of cartboard's figures and lots of cloth's live there between those four walls, you don't remember who've leaded there, you only know who's playing with you. You don't have anxiety for the future, time for you has no talk with the Angels. In that closed circle of madness you've lost your youth.".

Aspettando l'Alba (Waiting for the Dawn) is a romantic track with a nice soft acoustic guitar. ".guitar's sound, a singing in the night, a fire on the beach.many footprints on the sand.there was an empty and dull face.a silent thought.".

Alienazione (Alienation), using the words of Erik this is the ".most bombastic tribute to ELP with dynamic drums and spectacular keyboard play"! Alienation could be the result of all the disturbed mental states mentioned above!

The theme is somehow complex and fascinating, what a pity the non-italian people cannot understand it! Le Orme's lyrics are great, always being a perfect marriage with their fantastic music! The five stars are a must (as well as a pleasure after listening to such an opus!).

Report this review (#52011)
Posted Sunday, October 16, 2005 | Review Permalink
3 stars I shouldn't consider England, USA, and Sweden as the only countries that have good progressive rock. Excellent Progressive rock can be anywhere in the world, and this album proves it.

I admit that I am not familiar with Italian progressive rock. The prog I heard is different from the other prog giants. Italian prog sounds closer to the prog I hear in Argentina.

This album might be an exception. I hear influences from English Progressive rock (especially Emerson Lake and Palmer). The Opening track, for example, has powerful piano and church organ moments that recall Three Fates from Keith Emerson. On the other hand, melodic moments appear in the same track. Gioco di Bimba is more accessible and poppish and has a very interesting clavinet break. La porta chiusa uses both the bombast typical of ELP and the soft melodic side of Le Orme. Figure di Cartone features a very old sounding moog synthesizer playing in most of the track. Aspettando L'Alba is an acoustic ballad with a haunting riff. Finally, the last track uses the ELP bombast once again and ends the album in a strong note.

The music is of 4-star quality, but because of its extremely short duration, I'll give it 3 1/3 stars.

Highlights: Una Dolcezza Nueva Let Downs: None

MY Grade: C+

Report this review (#64574)
Posted Friday, January 13, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars After the successful album "Collage", Le Orme developed some ideas already present in their previous work and released another masterpiece, "Uomo di pezza" (Man of rags). This album features the same line up (Aldo Tagliapietra, Antonio Pagliuca and Michi Dei Rossi) and the same producer (Gianpiero Reverberi) of the previous work and is reputed one of the most influential albums of the Italian prog scene. The wonderful art cover features a painting by Walter Mac Mazzieri titled "Garbo di neve" that perfectly describes the mood of this work. There's a perfect symbiosis between music and lyrics and all the tracks are in some way linked by a thread. This work was conceived almost like a concept album and it's a kind of journey in the feminine universe. Every song tells the story of a woman but the mood is not light and romantic at all. Troubled stories of violence, broken dreams, fears and madness are told in a very poetical and bold way while music underlines the poetical content of the lyrics...

The opener "Una dolcezza nuova" (A new sweetness) begins with a church-like organ sound. The organ tries to evoke the dreams of a young girl like a romantic relationship and a happy marriage, but some times things go wrong and the first experience with love and sex can be a real trauma. The rhythm section carries away those dreams. Then comes a new beginning, with a delicate piano pattern and soaring vocals... "I pick up your glance and I hold it tight in my hands / There's an ancient fear in your eyes / Now dreams of ash are burning inside you / When your fears melt away, you believe in me...". A new relationship with the right man can lead to a new sweetness. "The storm is inside your heart / And you find a shelter in me... Your voice becomes a whisper / And you, you are shaking beside me... I pick up your glance and I hold it tight in my hands / There's a new sweetness in your eyes / New for you...".

"Gioco di bimba" (Little girl play) is a wonderful acoustic ballad about a broken charm... "She stand up in the night like pushed by a spell / She silently walks with her eyes still closed / As if she would follow a magic song / And on the roundabout she comes back to her dreams...". Well, despite the dreamy mood of the music this song is about a rape. A man tears apart the dreams of the young girl, then it's too late for him to repenting... "A stealthy shadow gets off the wall / In the little girl play a woman gets lost... In the morning a scream resounds in the middle of the street / A man of rags is invoking his tailor / With a lost voice he keeps on saying / I didn't want wake her up this way / I didn't want wake her up this way!". In this case the tailor is a metaphor for God...

"La porta chiusa" (The closed door) is about a woman who lives locked in her house fearing an impending meeting with her destiny... "As every evening you are alone in the dark / Your innocence keeps you company...". The woman has renounced to struggle for love but suddenly she hears someone knocking on her door, what's up? She would like to open and she doesn't know why. Music contributes to rise the tension... Well, it's difficult to say whether it was just a scoundrel or love passing by... "You didn't open the door, why? / It could be him...".

"Breve immagine" (Short image) is a short and dreamy track describing an ideal woman through the eyes of a boy. She appears like a mirage, a light trick reflected in the water... "Over there, where the sky ends melting in the sea / There's a young woman who is smiling to me... It's an image that lasts just for a while / It's an image that the sundown carries away...".

"Figure di cartone" (Cardboard figures) tries to depict in music and words madness. It's about a woman closed in her room and completely cut off from the real world. She has lost her youth like a flower cut off from its branch in springtime... "You live in your own strange world made of cardboard figures and rag dolls / You live closed among those four walls / You can't remember who took you in / You don't know anyone but who plays with you / You don't have the anxieties of the future / Time is worthless for you / Tomorrow you will do again what you did yesterday / And in your dreams you talk with angels...". Despite the subject matter in this track music is not aggressive and there's a feel of mercy and melancholic sweetness... "You hold tight to your chest the pillow / And on the white wall shadows draw the profile of a woman with her baby / And so you fall asleep, happy...".

"Aspettando l'alba" (Waiting for the sunrise) is about a summer night spent on a beach waiting for the dawn. The sound of a guitar, songs soaring in the night, boys and girls on the sand around a bonfire... Nonetheless music doesn't express joy, there's something wrong, like a disquieting feeling in the air. There's a girl with an empty and dazed face among so many smiling ones, so many eyes have become just one look... What does it happen next? Well, lyrics don't tell us but probably it was something so nasty that made angry even the wind... "A strong wind at dawn became angry with the sun / And the sea waves raged all over beach...".

Last track "Alienazione" (Alienation) is an instrumental that tries to express madness and estrangement. It starts with a dark burst of energy, then an unquiet feeling soars from wild rhythm patterns hanging on until the end...

Report this review (#64961)
Posted Monday, January 16, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars Work released in 1972 "Uomo Di Pezza". It is a romantic fine work to have gone forward as for a classical rock route. It announces as it doesn't hesitate in the influence of the baroque music. An important motif is Bach's chaconne. It is indeed passionate music. The jacket is artistic and wonderful, too.
Report this review (#68513)
Posted Monday, February 6, 2006 | Review Permalink
Symphonic Prog Team
5 stars I am a relative newbie to Italian prog, but it took very little time to work its way into my heart. In a few months, I have collected quite a few albums.

My initial experience with Le Orme left me a bit indifferent to them. That changed when I heard "Uomo di Pezza."

The grandeur of the opening organs in "Una Dolcezza Nuova" grabbed me right away, and then it effortlessly morphs into something much more delicate.

I challenge anyone not to be taken in my the beautiful, gentle folk of "Gioco di Bimba."

"La Porta Chiusa" is a powerful piece of orchestration, on par with many of the classical masters.

The near freak out of "Alianazione" could make you wonder if it was falling apart at the end. There is nothing to fear, this is all part of the plan.

The other sections are not lacking any quality, but I like to point out the highlights.

The amazing part is that I can only understand a few words. However, I don't mind at all (Imagine how much more I would like it if I could understand it). This is great stuff. Any prog fan should do their best to find a copy of this album. It is a true prog masterpiece.

H.T. Riekels

Report this review (#94554)
Posted Saturday, October 14, 2006 | Review Permalink
Cesar Inca
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars This is the album in which Le Orme conquered the maturation of their own progressive voice, by craftily fusing the ELP-ish and genesian influences with the peculiar melodice that only Mediterranean musicians can naturally achieve. "Uomo di Pezza" is one of those absolute Italian masterpieces that give good fame to that country's progressive vintage among prog-heads. The album's opener 'Una Dolcezza Nuova' kicks off with a bombastic intro led by a marriage of organ and piano, until the piano alone functions as the lead instrument for the main motif, a soft, delicate melody sung by Tagliapietra with his high pitch. The mellotron-flute washes provide a proper background for the song's eerie mood. Next comes 'Gioco di Bimba', an acoustic semi-ballad Venezian style tha texudes folkish candor in all places: the 3/4 tempo, the playful synth lines, the electric guitar emulating a mandolin, all of them conjured by the precise rhythmic foundation provided by dei Rossi, bring visions of gondolas and grey streets in the afternoon to the listener's mind. In contrast, the following track is the most patently complex in the album: 'La Porta Chiusa' finds the band exploring their British influences across the various motifs and tempo shifts, while preserving their own special accent. After all, the Baroque sections that appear in places come from their own national tradition, so it's no surprise that they can manage them so fluidly and effortlessly. The coda theme is one of the ballsiest Le Orme's compositions ever. The album's second half starts with the dreamy ballad 'Breve Immagine': the intertwined sounds of mellotron, Moog and celeste bear a surreal overall sonic landscape that frames the main melodies in an overtly evocative ambience, to a degree, similar to some classic Genesis ballads dominated by mellotron. The next two tracks combine the folkish flavors of acustic guitar strumming and the special textures of the Moog synthesizer: while 'Figure di Cartone' puts a special emphasis on the folkish aspect, 'Aspettando l'Alba' digs slightly deeper into the realms of psychedelia while never letting go of the folkish nucleus. The instrumental closer 'Alienazione' does go to spychedelic places in full swing, with a Hammond organ that sounds more Ratledgean than Emersonian, although it's fair to note that the ELP factor is very evident in the track's structure, middle jamming and overall mood. Dei Rossi's drumming is a special highlight here, at times stealing the show from the keyboard extravaganza with its tribal pulsations. "Uomo di Pezza" is a must in any good prog collection, and indeed, one of the best Le Orme's albums ever.

Report this review (#99173)
Posted Friday, November 17, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars Uomo di Pezza is a great album from Le Orme. I might actually like this one better than Felona e Sorona. The ablum is not as dark as Felona e Sorona; in fact, it is quite varied in terms of types of songs. There are slower songs, light-hearted songs, darker songs, and songs that rock. There is actually quite a bit of acoustic guitar here, but the keyboards are still the main attraction. I think that the drums are great too; not overly fancy or complex, but just right for the music. My favorite tracks are Una dolcezza nuova, La porta chiusa, Figure di cartone, and Aspettando l'alba. The other tracks are good as well, with the last track Alienazione being my least favorite. It is an instrumental in the same vein as the last track from Felona e Sorona (the name escapes me at the moment), except the one from Felona is much better in my opinion. Alienazione starts out strong but then kind of gets lost in the middle section with a lot of uninteresting keyboard solos. It's not a horrible song, but the rest are so much better. Despite the weak ending, this is a great album, probably one of my favorite. It has a lot of variety and is very emotional in some parts. I think that Aldo has a great voice, one of the best in all of progressive rock. I would say that Uomo di Pezza is essential, especially if you enjoy any Italian symphonic rock.
Report this review (#105307)
Posted Tuesday, January 2, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars I bought this album on vinyl in 1976 when (thank God for albums and liners! Where are they now for CD's?) I was unemployed and had little to do but listen to the music. I was so fascinated with the lyrics and what they could mean that I purchased an Italian-English dictionary, The lyrics to Una Dolcezza Nuova haunted me. The very first line: "Colgo il tuo sguardo e lo stringo nelle mani" (those of you who *are* Italian, I beg your indulgence if I have butchered any of the words - I don't have them in front of me anymore and am relying on over 30 years of memory) translates loosely as "I catch your glance and I hold it in my hand." It's this kind of poetic beauty which hauntingly fills the groove of this album from start to finish. I was overjoyed to find Uomo de Pezza years later on CD, and every note and every chord was there for me to thrill to as I'd remembered it years before. Although the recording quality was slightly dismal, it doesn't lessen the impact of the musicianship or the lyrical content. It is - and always will be - one of the most haunting and beautiful collections of song I have ever heard.
Report this review (#117612)
Posted Saturday, April 7, 2007 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
5 stars I'll tell you how nice is to listen to an album like that; even nicer when you stayed more than 20 years apart from hearing it. I retook contact with LE ORME's "Uomo Di Pezza" some years ago as part of my progressive re-alignment with the genre I like to death which I neglected for almost a quarter of a century (my fault!). In fact, for those that became distant from prog-rock for a long time I recommend steadily to re-start with a piece like "Uomo Di Pezza".

It's fresh, it's beautiful, it's timeless, it serves for people of all ages. This incomparable output is certainly a natural choice to be placed within the Top 10 Italian prog albums and probably within the Top 25 prog albums ever made - an indelible work. The only point for complaining refers to the short album duration: surely all themes could be explored even more.

The album opens with the sublime 'Una dolcezza nova', a clear example of a true prog-rock song, with its omnipresent keyboards, followed by tough and decisive drum action and complemented by unforgettable poignant vocals. Changes in the signatures are soft and smooth done in a way that no doubt remains about the song's grandiosity.

The short and pleasant 'Gioco di bimba' brings a tasteful folk aroma this time accompanied by catchy flute and guitar soundings. 'La porta chiusa' blends a variety of styles: rock, jazz, fusion, avant-garde; all mixed in a very harmonic manner. Instrumentation is great since the band acts like an ensemble, but the synths decorate positively the melody; middle section solo part is breathtaking - unique and magnificent.

'Breve immagine' shows LE ORME's romantic side with some pop tunes popping here and there and extremely sweet almost cheesy vocals; even so the track is miles above the average and neatly hearable. 'Figure di cartone' is a fine song; the arrangements and voices remind band's early phase back in the 60s and although it seems out-of-place here it works nicely and does an exquisite counterweight for the rest of the album.

'Aspettando l'alba' is another genuine prog-rock tune, compounding rightly within the album's atmosphere - extremely progressive. 'Allenazione' provides the end of this work in a thunderous and electrified mood, where some band's influences are distinctively displayed - the result is almost jaw-breaking.

Running through the lines I wrote it's easy and clear to notice that in my opinion we are facing doubtlessly a masterpiece with its obvious rating: 5 (with honor).

Report this review (#125074)
Posted Thursday, June 7, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars "gioco Di Bimba" is one of the evergreen of Le Orme. But also "Una Dolcezza Nuova", for an example, Is excellent. By changing the order of songs "Uomo Di Pezza" becomes a Concept Albums really hard in the theme. And all this in the same style of "Collage." But here with greater conviction and means.
Report this review (#129387)
Posted Friday, July 20, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars Another great work by LE ORME, probably their best album after "Felona e Sorona". this album is very poetic and passionate, but instead of "Felona..." there is more sadness, specally into the lyrics,for example: Gioco di Bimba, La Porta Chiusa ecc. Anyway i'll give a 5 stars to this masterpiece of italian prog, because each time i listen to it, I feel great emotions every time. the musicians are awesome, Aldo Tagliapietra's voice creates an atmosphere of sadness and sorrow very very emotionaly. highly recommended!!!!!!
Report this review (#131016)
Posted Wednesday, August 1, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars Uomo di Pezza is certainly one of the most important albums of the Italian Progressive genre. The opening track ("Una Dolcezza Nuova") is a feast to the ears as the rich sounds of the mellotron lay a beautiful foundation for which the rest of the song builds upon. Not many songs are more beautiful than this one. While the rest of the album is solid, no other track quite stands up to this initial one. Le Orme does a nice job of layering all sorts of nice keyboard sounds together which I would have thought would have been pretty stunning in its time. The acoustic guitar gets more noticeable playing time than the electric, as it provides a steady rhythm in many of the songs. I have two complaints with this album, both of them fairly minor. The first is that most of the songs plod along at the same tempo (with "La Porta Chiusa" being slightly faster and "Alienazione" being significantly faster than the others). The second is that there really isn't a whole lot of music here. The album clocks in at 31 minutes, which was somewhat standard for Italian albums. I highly recommend this beautiful album which I consider to be one of the very best from the Italian Prog scene.
Report this review (#149332)
Posted Tuesday, November 6, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars The example of how prog can be poetry.

This is a PERFECT album, one of the best that Italy have ever seen, with a great musical work, but above all a collection of lyrics that can be defined as masterpieces. "Una dolcezza nuova" is a sweet opening, then you're led to a fantastic world, where girls are the most beautiful things you'll ever see.

The highlights are "Gioco di bimba" and "Figure di cartone", one of my fav tracks ever!

Vote it, please. Let the world know this LP is a must for everyone (don't care if you don't know Italian, it's still great). 5 stars forever.

Report this review (#153044)
Posted Wednesday, November 28, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars My first exposure to Le Orme has certainly been a pleasant one with this intimate and charming album. Uomo di Pezza is quite mellow--too much so in many places, but the overall quality of the music is hard to deny. I probably prefer some of the more chaotic moments on PFM in my Italian prog, but Le Orme takes a backstage to no one.

Rarely do you hear a band with a similar set-up to ELP, with a drummer, keyboardist, and guitarist. Le Orme definitely manage to pull it off, and often times deliver an impressively full sound for only three guys. Much of that is due to the variety of keys and synth effects used, with some nice additions of chimes and flute here and there to keep things interesting. However, there is also a simplicity to the music in many places, which may bore some proggers. I'm of the opinion that Le Orme overall do a nice job of balancing their slower parts, which adds to the charm of the album, but if I'm not in the right mood, they can strike me as uninteresting. In addition, there is nothing that I would consider virtuosic (including Aldo's oft-strained vocals), but everything about this album is tasteful.

As you can imagine, the highlights for me are the faster, more aggressive parts, including the beginning of the opening track, the inspired build-up toward the middle of La Porta Chiusa, and all of Alienazione. In all of these sections, you'll hear menacing organ, rumbling drums, and bouncy bass that can only remind me of ELPs better moments, though with a unique Le Orme touch. The other tracks take a more poppy format, from the solemn, 12-string dominated Aspettando I Alba, to the mellotron-soaked Brava Immagine, to the two bouncy, happy tracks (Figure di Cartone and Gioco di Bimba).

All in all there is plenty of variety, from playfulness to mourning, chaotic to stately. There are also plenty of solid melodies that will keep you coming back for more, and rewarding you when you do. I happen to find the music a bit too slow and simplistic (read: lacks a fullness that was also a downside to ELP) in places to consider this a masterpiece, but it is certainly one of my favorite Italian prog pieces.

Report this review (#156936)
Posted Friday, December 28, 2007 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Third album by the legendary Italian prog trio of Toni Pagliuca,Aldo Tagliapietra and Michi Dei Rossi.With ''Collage'' the band showed more than great promises for the near future,with ''Uomo di pezza'' (btw excellent cover) LE ORME were here to stay.The album had a very succesful single ( ''Gioco di bimba''), topped the Italian charts and the trio even toured with Peter Hammill in Italy in December 72'.For the history,''Uomo di pezza'' is a semi-conceptual release,refering to an unknown feminie universe,where the masculine attitude has no luck.

STYLE: Excellent keyboard-driven soft symphonic rock with emphasis on romantic atmospheres,sophisticated breaks and sensitive vocal lines.Not much virtuosity is contained in here,actually LE ORME were one of the bands of progressive rock to give big priority to the structure of their arrangements blended nicely with the lyrical content than to virtuosity.The tracks contain a variety of alternating keys,making them transform from light classical-based rock to majestic melodic prog.Few parts of the album have a spacey feeling later met in their upcoming ''Felona e sorona''.

SOUNDS LIKE/INFLUENCES: While LE ORME are actually a unique band with an easily recognizable sound,ELP with a touch of early KING CRIMSON are a good comparison.

PLUS: What to say about the keyboar work of Toni Pagliuca.... Demanding,melodic,sensitive... and dramatic,just give a listen to the remarkable keyboard parts of "La porta chiusa"...and what to say about the beatiful romantic and ethereal vocals of Aldo Tagliapietra.Definitely a classic of the Italian scene.

MINUS: My only negative point is the lack of intensity and dynamics of the album,it would really sound better with a bit more energy throughout...but again this is only my point of view.

WILL APPEAL TO: ...symphonic- or keyboard- prog freaks and anyone who wants to begin his trip into 70's classic Italian prog in a more than succesful way.

CONCLUSION: ''Uomo di pezza'' continues the sound of the band started by LE ORME with ''Collage''.One of the best albums to come out of Italy with a unique emphasis on deep atmospheres and a delicate sensitivity.4.5 stars and extremely highly recommended!

Report this review (#158169)
Posted Wednesday, January 9, 2008 | Review Permalink
4 stars Le Orme has now reached its fully symphonic side after some hesitant debut. An average debut album, an awful compilation of their early material and some sights of better things to come during Collage.

But this Uomo Di Pezza is superior. By far.

It opens on a smooth and almost pastoral Una Dolcezza Nuova. This song sets the tone for this very good album. Subtle, harmonious and very emotional. Each being a characteristic of this genre that I like so much. Just listen to Aldo's profound voice. A superb performance throughout the album.

La Porta Chiusa is seriously entering the world of ELP. Bombastic keys, convincing bass play and performing drumming. A well-known recipe. Almost heavy at times (during the instrumental parts), it combines lighter and vocal moments. A good combination for a good track.

But my favourite song from the album is Breve Immagine. Indeed much, much too short. This song is magical. Very much PFM oriented, it holds a jewel of a melody and so sweet and brilliant mellotron. One of my highlight. A shivering track, for sure. I wish I would be fluent in Italian the words...Bellissimo

The same sort of marvel follows. Figure Di Cartone is a fantastic and dramatic song. Full of superb harmony, but most of the songs here are of this calibre. A delightful journey in this beautiful music delivered in the most Italian symphonic manner. Brilliant again.

The same tone prevail during the melodic Aspettando L' Alba. Vocals are splendid again and brings the listener to a world full of sweetness, poetry and beauty. A highlight.

If one excludes the short Gioco Di Bimba which is a childish and commercial little tune, Uomo Di Pezza is almost perfect.

I won't be as laudatory either about the closing number. Alienazione is more complex and dark (hence the title). Crimson wouldn't have denied the paternity of such piece. Not the symphonic Crimson. The tortured one. But all the work here is of course keyboard-oriented (and therefore has some ELP flavours as well; especially in the first half).

1972 was a very good vintage for the Itamian symph genre. Storia Di Un Minuto, Darwin and this one. Almost the best of these three legendary bands (PFM, Banco and Le Orme).

I'm lacking some more guitar sounds maybe, and some longer and elaborate songs.

Four stars for this work.

Report this review (#158846)
Posted Thursday, January 17, 2008 | Review Permalink
4 stars By 1972, Le Orme were beginning to establish their niche within the blossoming Italian rock scene - with their album Collage, released the previous year, they made the step into progressive territory, and gained valuable experience by playing in large "Italian Pop" festivals. By the time they recorded Uomo di Pezza, they were still ironing out their influences, attempting to assimilate various styles, seemingly contradicting themselves at times . . . going from sweet, acoustic ballads to harsh, keyboard- laden freak-outs, and back again, sometimes in the same track. To further solidify their image as a prog band, they packaged Uomo di Pezza in a striking, Dali-esque foldout sequence, subtly depicting the themes they would touch upon in the lyrics. They also came up with a hit single, Gioco di Bimba, which brought them enough recognition to step out of the festival scene and tour on their own, with occasional guests - this is where they would be first acquainted with Peter Hammill, who would play a role in Le Orme's attempt to enter the English-speaking market in 1974 by writing the lyrics to Felona & Sorona (the English version of their next album, Felona e Sorona).

The album itself has the passionate, organ-loaded sound typical of the period, aside from the radio- friendly ballads which work due to Aldo Tagliapietra's warm delivery on vocals, and Tony Pagliuca's resourcefulness on keyboards - his setup has, by now, expanded to include several synthesizers and a Hohner clavinet in addition to all the staples of Italian prog. And let's not forget about Michi dei Rossi, the man behind the kit, always considered one of the "beasts" even in a scene that boasted many excellent drummers.

While getting to know this album, I found that the music is self-explanatory . . . if you like '70s prog rock with scads of keyboards and dramatic compositions, then you will surely enjoy this record. It fits right in with Genesis, Yes, Emerson, Lake & Palmer . . . you name it. But, because I do not speak the language of Le Orme, Italian, I cannot get the "full picture" of their work, which is a shame because they have a reputation as excellent storytellers. Relatively recently, I have been able to find some adequate translations, usually incomplete, but I was able to piece bits of information together in order to uncover part of this elusive picture. There is a rumor that the band had planned on doing a concept album or story within the music, about a little girl who is raped or kidnaped and goes insane, but is finally able to escape her demons through strong love and the power of imagination . . . but even so, they kept things rather ambiguous and (it appears) they changed the order of the tracks, maintaining a vague concept, based on isolation, sadness . . . those types of things (please forgive my absent- mindedness, I haven't been able to relocate various sources of information, but much of it is speculation, so keep that in mind). I'll do my best to make sense of the underlying story along with the track-descriptions, going in order that makes sense given the lyrics, so bare with me, it might be messy . . .

We begin with Gioco di Bimba ("The Little Girl's Play"), the single released from the album, which is fitting enough because it is a bouncy little tune with playful vocals and verses punctuated by an uplifting synth/clavinet jig. The irony is that it's describing a girl who is sleepwalking, while a "man made of rags" (the title of the album) is stalking her . . . the song ends from the man's point of view, as he laments: "I didn't want her to wake up that way." I'll leave it up to your imagination as to what happened. Breve Immagine ("Fleeting Image") continues in the stalker's point of view; somewhat overpowered by the situation. There is a level of empathy for his tortured soul; it opens by evoking a haunted playroom and builds into vivid colors and a breathtaking chorus section with angelic vocals underpinned by shimmering mellotron.

"It's a sweet and beautiful image, an image that I want forever, to be mine" . . . "A brief, fleeting image / One that the sunset steals away."

At this point, Alienazione ("Alienation"), the sole instrumental piece on the album, would fit, or it could go after the next track if you like. It is a dark, brooding force, which closes the album in its actual order. This is the closest Le Orme come to sounding like the more aggressive bands in Italy of the same period . . . Pagliuca seems very busy with various organ sound-effects and dancing piano phrases. The fuzz technique used isn't very far from Mike Ratledge of The Soft Machine. Following this interlude, we move into Aspettando L'Alba ("Awaiting the Dawn"), the aftermath of this horrifying night. A current of sorrow runs beneath the words that speak of lost innocence, contrasting the beauty of the night with the young girl's sadness . . . it becomes more specific before breaking into an experimental solo section reminiscent of King Crimson.

"The young man gazed, a quiet misery/ Warmth in the limbs of their tense bodies/ The moon ceased to set, and the dim light splashed upon the bank/ Her body is given for free"

Once again, the band makes excellent use of counterpoint between creepy, atmospheric parts and sweeping chorus lines, with ethereal keyboards filling the spaces in between. Figure Cartone ("Cardboard Figures") and La Porta Chiusa ("The Closed Door") further the theme of isolation. The former is another acoustic ballad, and wouldn't feel out of place on a George Harrison album (aside from the vocals of course), it has a lovely Mediterranean breeze to it - not exactly epic prog rock, but I find it equally beautiful. The bubbling synth sounds remind me of early ELP, or even Camel during the Mirage/Moonmadness period. La Porta Chiusa is just the opposite, the centerpiece of the album. More creepy verse sections after a terrifying intro sets the stage . . . plenty of filthy keyboard sounds here to please Emerson/Wakeman fans. The Hammond organ solo which closes the song is a particular highlight for me, as Tony Pagliuca sets a peaceful, church-like tone before letting loose with no restraint whatsoever. The story progresses as the girl becomes more out of touch and lives only with her own mind. "Now only you can see who plays with you." As her fear grows, and she becomes trapped in solitude - imposed on her by the 'man of rags', "As every evening, you are alone in the darkness. Your own purity is the only comfort." She waits for each night when she can walk freely and talk to the wind and dream about her childhood.

"You press a pillow against your body, create the figure of a woman/ On the untouched wall, she holds a baby . . . And so very happily, you fall into sleep."

The love in her dreams brings about "A New Sweetness" (Una Dolcezza Nuova . . . I say that one out loud sometimes because it sounds so nice) - the opening track on the album, the last part of the story. The band 'does their thing', with a Bach-inspired intro followed by a soothing piano melody. Aldo Tagliapietra's fragile voice brings the extra comfort before the song builds back up in the end. There seems to be several abstract meanings in the lyrics here, it's basically the resolution of the girl, regaining sanity or what have you. Maybe she was dreaming the whole time or maybe she just falls in love with the kidnapper, it's hard to say . . .

"The tempest rages in your heart, take refuge in me/ Thunder cracks through space, your voice becomes faint/ And you tremble beside me."

"Your gaze is caught and held in my hands/ In your eyes, there is a new sweetness."

Like I said, the element of interpretation is lost on me because I can't understand the words first hand (it's fun to try though ;). I seem to recall someone telling me the last verses are about reuniting with a creator, or mother, and that sounds good to me, so I'll go with it.

The album as a whole is hard for me to rate - it's one of, if not my number one favorite Italian ("RPI") album, and there are no weak points to be found . . . so on the Jimmy Row scale - 5 stars easily. But I hesitate to put it on the same levels as the 'benchmark' albums that beginners should have before investigating the Italian scene. A stingy four stars because it's not one of the very first things a newbie should hear . . . heck, you can add an invisible half star and that would be perfect: 4.5/5

And since I haven't done this review-thing before: special thanks to the "RPI Gang" and all the prolific and inspired reviewers at progarchives - it's a skill and I envy those of you who have it.

Report this review (#162467)
Posted Saturday, February 23, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars Without a doubt 1972 were the year where very many groups of Italian progressive rock catapulted themselves towards but high of quality in, the proofs are the first disc of Premiata Forneria Marconi and Darwin of Banco del Mutuo Socorrso , and also our old friends of Le Orme recorded the second album of their discography Uomo di Pezza, and that is also part of the classic trilogy, and it is really a truly amazing disc, a sublime combination of progressive tones that they elevate to this recording to be, for many, the disc of reference of all the discography of Le Orme.

In this work, flood of harmonic findings of strong color, we already found a total maturity in the form to compose and it is possible to be affirmed that the duet Pagliuca/Taglapietra is revealed like teachers of the grace, of the melodic style, the rythmical freedom, the flexible but meticulous counterpoint and the elegant and majestic tone, as well as composers of surprising fecundity. This masterful work catapult the group to the premier league of progressive rock, but throughout the world, called the attention until the musical leader of Van der Graff Generator, Peter Hamill, who is made fan to his music immediately.

This magnifies work contains the 7 more representative songs of how the Progressive rock in Italy becomes, of frank and strong rates (e.g Alienazione, the la Porta Chiusa), very pastoral, sensible songs and much very melancholic (e.g Aspettando l'alba, Breve Immagine), and until an example of which they will do after 1974 with the more pop song of the disc, but that contains a really progressive foundation e.g.(Gioco di Bimba), the quality of the production is pristine and is first of the discs of Le Orme in where it is seen like collaborator the master of the piano Gian Piero Reverberi.

The group follows in its same alignment with Toni Pagliuca - organ, synthesizer, piano, electrical organ, mellotron, celesta, Aldo Tagliapietra - voice, bass guitar, acoustic guitar and electrical of 12 cords and Michi Dei Rossi - drums, bells and percussions, accompanied by or mentioned Gian Piero Reverberi - piano in Una dolcezza nuova, and here they excel all the members of the group since independently of the equipment work that always have done, he is fascinating to listen this masterpiece, catapulting what or they had done in Collage and adding own influences of Italian music, with canterbury characteristics, obvious influences of Emerson, lake and Palmer (ELP), and inspirations of music classic in general, the album also very spiritual and nostalgic, and letters that is as it builds, best the side of Felona e Sorona, that has written the tandem Pagliuca/Tagliapietra; the extensive use of the Moog and the Sintetizador, causes that oniric musical landscapes of strong counterpoint are constructed in which finery through all the songs becomes, of this work. Also the cover is one of most characteristic of the Progressive rock, when revealing part of which the letters and cuasi concept which is this recording, it is an art work, and the relation with the letters that speaks to us of the mental diseases, psychological disturbances, of the emotional fragilities and in general of the people that east type of affections suffers, for that reason is not chance that completes melodies of the disc is called Alienazione, and the relation with the art of the cover of the disc is evident, a person seated in a diván and another one trying to listen what says and behind them, images psychoanalytic and also the night and day reflected in the front and the back of the disc, for that reason it is possible to be said that it is a work very finished and monumental of this great group, this art was designed by Walter Mac Mazzieri.

Most of the songs of the disc they recreate a dreamy atmosphere, melancholic, and with moments also of fastest intense, and that are no boring or no low moments, single of finished good progressive episodes, audacious quickly worthy polyphonic tones of keyboard of a virtuoso, the bass playing without effect overdrive, but exploring and operating the fact in Collage, guitars with exquisite and ingenious arpeggios, and immense rates worked by the drums, and with brilliant contrapuntist patterns simply and single obtained by some Progressive groups in the world (e.g. the use that gives to Michi to the Hi Hat plates or cons and maintaining a frenetic rate and extremely difficult in the song the La Porta Chiusa and that serves as example as the use of these in a rate clearly characteristic of the Progressive like style), adjustments and baroque timbres of the highest musical class, compositions of great elaboration, but, majestic and at the same time sublime with the use of the Mellotron on the part of Tony, a disc unforgettable and considered a masterpiece of Progressive rock, each one of its musical pieces is a drama and under each one of its harmonies a new intention is discovered and contributing to the establishment of musical comedy, that in this case is the Progressive rock, with a distinctive album in this magnifies Venecian group. This disc is a guarantee of excellence in all the Le Orme catalog.

And now the analysis of the songs:

1. - A Dolcezza Nuova. - The subject that opens this work instantaneously and feels one transported to adjustments of very classic cut, with the piano of Gian Piero showing so that it was asked for that it collaborated with Le Orme and constructing an avalanche of notes next to the bass player of Tagliapietra and the organ of Pagliuca, whereas the drums takes a frenetic rate, maintained by Michi until or it is transformed into a song full of evocations, with a rhythmic rate, and timbres done with the piano and the keyboard of Tony, with the great voice that has Tagliapietra and clearly it is indicating the sound that or moulding under the forges of Collage and it shows is this musical piece, of high flights, a loaded piece of emotions, in example of the letters and that indeed speaks to us vaguely of the conflicts of the double personality: :

... therés in your eyes an ancient to fear, ashes' dreams now burn in you. When the fears fade away, believe in me... the storm is in your heart, you take refuge in me. In the space shouts the to thunder, your voice is now to sigh and you trembles beside me... .

Perhaps he is this romantic interlude? Or he is the narrator of one of the parts of the double personality that tries to replace to first, that not this ready to never face the crudity of the reality more? Without a doubt I begin of disc outside series, and that by the way remembers to the fact by ELP in the song Three Fates of its idem album. Excellent 2. - Gioco di Bimba. - Second song of the disc in comment and Le Orme construct a subject with many elements here pop, nevertheless it is a musical piece where the notes and intentions of the letter stand out and valorize with subtle means that affect the rate, the harmony and condimenting with the electrical harpsichord of Tony, the sweet voice of Tagliapietra causes that one feels that happy harmony that transmits the musical piece, as if it was in a roundabout. Nevertheless the letter deals with the subjects the people who cannot even leave some episodes of her childhood; also it seems that it was removed like single in successfully sufficient the Italian market so that the music of Le Orme arrived to more public. A perfect sample of the melodic side of the group. Very Good.

3. - La Porta Chiusa. - The musical piece that defines Le Orme as one of the great names in the Italian Progressive rock and places in first row when naming to the great ones of that country, one of the most complex songs of the history of the group and that competes with much of the fact in Collage and Felona e Sorona and with the Contrappunti song of the album with the same name, peerless work of Tony with the keyboard and the mini Moog, showing really progressive passages, discordant notes and floods of virtuosity, and the sensation really occurs to be before the first épic composition of the group, with his 7 minutes, the work of Aldo in the bass guitar is extraordinary and full of meticulous and fine harmonies, as well as its voice that is very or in the calm parts of the work, but the work of Michi in the drums is the most incredible and... too encyclopedic for want of appropriate note word, thousands touched through his hi hat, developing a cadence of rates of but in the diverse shades, expresses, furious, calm or maintaining one cries out not peaceful, and an example for many of which without a doubt it is of the best drummers of the world, alternating through the musical piece, different poli rates and that sometimes I cannot believe it, that single it makes with a pair of hands and legs, really seems a squid touching the drum kit, as soon as meter, rate and melody, any fan to the progressive one of any tendency, it was more than satisfied with the fact by this great group, and the end is of furious, in the musical sense, that I have listened to Le Orme. The Lyrics are full of mystery, dark and obvious related to the general subject of the disc, I consider that basic song is the mysterious song, and the best one of the disc. Excellent.

4. - Brevve Immagine. - One of the songs with very many dramatic force by the voice of Aldo, really very melancholic, oniric, that moves to share that desolate feeling as if you lived it, that you were recalling some episode of your life in where the things did not happen as you hoped and you feel on the inner full of desperation. The keyboards of Tony are constructing a series of trimmed melodic that are accompanying that heartrendering feeling that trasmits the melody, and the use of mellotron (that clearly it difference of Keith Emerson, since him did not like the sound produced by that musical instrument), and who is listened to like a burning sound that really arrives until the pituitary gland, the drumming of Michi maintains the rate and remembers the fact by Michael Giles, with the first King Crimson, the lyrics, very good so that it does not leave the thematic one of all the disc, also mainly really incredible! And it clearly shows of which they are able to do. Excellent.

5. - Figura di Cartone. - Here Le Orme offers to us a melody of elegant turn and that has a rare refinement and a style a little lighter, but very effective, following that dreaming atmosphere, that happens with melodic melancholic to the descriptive virtuosity, courtesy of the keyboards of Tony and to the show of knowledge in the use of mini moog. the interest of the piece resides in a dialog between the voice and the keyboards, as well as the very precise rate on the part of the drumming of dei Rossi the lyrics are something really wonderful and that follow thematic the psychoanalytic one of the work: :

... in your own strange world, made of cartboard's you appear and lots of cloth's dolls... you live there between those four walls, you don't to remember whóve leaded there, you only know who playing with you. For You don't have anxiety the future, for Time you there are not value... you talk with the Angels. In that closed circle of madness yoúve lost your youth...

Then it did not lack more than this great group gave another prescription us of like doing excellent melody with very good lyrics. Excellent

6. - Aspettando l'alba. - in this album one Really goes listening to small masterpieces, to form a powerful and skillful set, and that it is possible to be said of this song, probably it competes with La Porta Chiusa and Alienazione to be considered as the best piece of the disc, but that difficult is to decide thus in a disc! Incredible of Le Orme and very melancholic, evocative and also imaginative other melody an acoustic guitar with relatively arpeggiated notes, that are constructing through the work a musical landscape, of sadness, enigma and solitude taken root in the personage, whereas the Voice of Aldo shines in the firmament, Tony gives a delight us of use of synthesizer-moog recreating this atmosphere with dismal and space tones, in addition to as it equips with powerful chromatist the set, a quiet thought as it says clearly to the letter and the drumming to it of Michi, doing use of small quiet rates but that they adapt like play do to the mold of the musical piece, a true sample of these great teachers in the scope of Italian Progressive rock. Excellent.

7. - Alienazione. - The subject that closes this masterpiece of the group and another one of the candidates to be the best song of the album, a sample which of the complex and contrapuntist rates which they are able to make these skillful musicians, the drumming of Michi wasting virtuosity to each note touched in his drums, Taglapietra's bass, creating meticulous, note resistances and which it is weaving little by little, the musical framework of all the song, and the keyboards of Pagliuca that dose of polyphonic refinement does finery of their musical faculty when prescribing to us, force, amplitude and elegance, combined with an inexhaustible force in the handling of the note multiplicity that it distills through all the range of instruments based on the keyboard and that dominates like but a completed master, a show of symphonic excellence, with clear Carterbury influences mainly as of the minute 2:30, where it is listened to more clearly and than he is not very characteristic of his sound, but equally fascinating one, a subject of very power and gotten upset tone. Excellent.

As they realize, if they have read kindly, this is one of the works more impressive than they have become in the Progressive rock and that they do not have to let pass opportunity to enjoy this disc, it is difficult not to let itself seduce by the enchantment that is given off, of his musical pieces, written skillfully, to develop an episode in music that I create difficult becomes to repeat.

Report this review (#163656)
Posted Monday, March 10, 2008 | Review Permalink
Italian Prog Specialist
4 stars Preceeding Felona E Sorona by a year, this excellent album is in many ways following the same recipe as it did, but it feels more inspired, more varied and thus ultimately, more rewarding than Felona E Sorona.

Following the same model as ELP, Le Orme is a piano/organ-centered trio, playing mostly quite mellow, melancholic pieces of music adding acoustic guitar ŕ la PFM where they see fit. Constantly spiced up with bombastic power-organ, heavy symphonic outbursts and unique effects courtesy of the keys and finally topped with delicate, augmenting use of bells and percussion, this is RPI of the highest class.

My first impression of RPI was the great use of melancholia in the music, in fact it's so perfectly executed and excellently captured I'd say it's one of the genre's main attractions. Le Orme isn't an exception, and especially Felona E Sorona shines from that perspective. Uomo Di Pezza remains true to that statement, but it adds a lot more disturbing features:

Screaming, chaotic keys and powerful drumming excesses reminds me of insanity and are just more menacing when set to the the generally mellower, peacuful tone of the album. The final song, Alienazione (indeed) says it all. Apparently the song Gioco Di Bimba was a hit, and it serves as a great example of showing the other side of Le Orme. Acoustic guitar, the sweet voice of Aldo and a nice mixture of bells and downsized keys adding melody now and then.

It's hard to pick a favourite on Uomo Di Pezza as it's unfortunately a very short gem. And when it finally clocks in at its thirty-two minutes, you really feel you've been listening to a long and great suite with the songs representing its different movements. Very consistent. However, the oh-too-short Breve Immagine shines like a beacon in the dark. Breathtaking in every way. Atmospheric keys (got to be Mellotron) and echoing bells riddle this gem, and for once Aldo reaches for a little more power. And grabs it. Goosebump moment.

And it's not the only one. Check for yourself.

4 stars.


Report this review (#167212)
Posted Tuesday, April 15, 2008 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Elegant, graceful music

Well, Linus and Jimmy Row got me to pull out the Orme again with their reviews so I suppose the time has come to rate it. I've avoided the "big 3" in large part because while I understand they are seminal to Italian progressive music my interests lie more with the lesser known bands. Why? I'm not sure, other than to say I'll take the blue collar Italian restaurant in the rough part of town with its checkered table cloth, 80 year-old family red sauce recipe, and slight spilled beer smell over the black tie Italian café downtown with the trained superstar chef who has been on cooking shows. There is something intimate and indefinable to me in many of the so-called "minor" bands that I don't necessarily get from the big 3, and yet, albums like this are still indispensable.

This album cannot be denied its well-earned reputation. The production is great for '72. The keyboards have such a mature, stately sound throughout, rarely cheesy, often majestic. The drumming is varied and very good without being excessively showy. The vocals are pleasant and relaxing but perhaps too mellow and polite for my tastes. It begins with a signature Italian prog track in "Una Dolcezza Nuova" which delivers it all. Gothic organ playing a sad progression before the drums engage, leading to the piano..Oh my God the piano lines here.are so damn beautiful. The intro stops and all is quiet as the most melancholic and gorgeous piano lines emerge. Enter the vocals. Mid ranged, calm, reassuring, warm and romantic. The whole of the sound in this track is what so many later bands would be influenced by. Gently the bass begins to flutter these delicate lines over the top of the piano and drums, truly a moment that almost brings tears. "Gioco Di Bimba" takes a more folky approach with a bouncy acoustic feel, somewhat whimsical synth lines on the side. "La Porta Chiusa" is the longest track and has a more urgent feel with somewhat frantic keyboard runs and rhythms. In the final minute there is a brief calm respite before a big ending. "Breve Immagine" has a dreamy feel that sounds like an echoed organ alternating with a strong chorus with swirling synths. "Figure Di Cartone" is a bit on the poppy side and features the only keys I don't like on this album, some rather cheesy synths (Moog?) that just bug the hell out of me. Almost kazoo-like..ouch. "Aspettando L'Alba" starts with an acoustic guitar slightly distorted with a fluttered effect. The drums and vocals come in with crisp strummed acoustic and the two sections trade off. Both are simply gorgeous. I swear I hear flute in there too though none is listed in our credits so I guess it's the mellotron flute. A very trippy washed out keys and effects pan the spectrum near the end. "Alienazione" begins with very heavy drumming and keys, very dramatic. It moves into a slightly funky but almost dissonant middle section with winding keyboard parts and driving, plodding drums. The album goes out wearing this bit of pizzazz and leaving you with a great aftertaste.

Certainly an essential Italian title for fans of the genre and a good bet for anyone who appreciates quality keyboard oriented prog. As is the case with some Ange, the awful Philips CD reissue I have gives you absolutely nothing in terms of liner notes, photos, or the like. It is really pathetic that Philips treats such great bands in this manner.

Report this review (#167687)
Posted Wednesday, April 16, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars 9.0/10 Incredible

I am really not a big fan of Le Orme's more intense tracks, and there are a couple on here, but this album has so many great melodic songs it well deserves this rating! Una Dolcezza..., Gioco..., Breve..., Figure..., and even Aspettando... are all amazing tracks on this album. La Porta and Alienazione just don't really do it for me. When I want Le Orme I want MELODY and beauty, something the band is so incredible good at! I guess there is a spot out there for someone loving the more intense stuff, but almost every album by them misses perfection because of this. I really do love this album, and can listen straight through without caring much about the two more intense tracks, they are still OK. When I hear the beauty found in Dolcezza... I am blown away, and wish it would just go on forever! The organ introduction, while pretty intense, is awesome because it isn;t drenched with wierd synth sounds and it actually a structured, balanced and downright badass melody. When that piano kicks off, though, you are swept away and this is what Le Orme had and should have expressed at all times! This album is great, the songs are really quite simple and beautiful, with some good experimentation going on but not enough to render this unlistenable, crazy prog garbage. I listened to this straight through time and time again while cleaning my basemeant one day, and it was pure peacefulness, so now it holds a special place in my heart! Check this out and enjoy!

Report this review (#174594)
Posted Friday, June 20, 2008 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
5 stars This is the single greatest Italian recording I have heard so far. I didn't expect this to be so varied either. At times it's raw and intrusive, and at other times it's too beautiful for words. They go from mellotron to fuzz organ, from sinister sounding organ to elegant acoustic guitar. And it all works to perfection.

"Una Dolcezza Nuova" opens with some powerful organ followed by drums, bass then piano as the organ continues. It settles down to piano only. Fragile vocals after 2 minutes. Drums are back 3 1/2 minutes in. This is simply breathtaking. So uplifting. Back to the fragile vocals and piano to end it. "Gioco Di Bimba" opens with keys and strummed guitar as fragile vocals come in. Pulsating synths follow. Some harpsichord as well. Drums eventually make an appearance. This is my least favourite track but it's still a good Folk song. "La Porta Chiusa" is an amazing track. Love the synths, drumming and the driving rhythm. Organ interupts twice before vocals arrive. A full sound follows with some great organ and synths. The contrast continues. Love the organ and drums after 3 minutes (think ANGLAGARD). Check out the drumming 4 minutes in as the organ continues to rage. Themes are repeated and the organ ends it in style.

"Brieve Immagine" opens with organ then reserved vocals. Drums and a more powerful sound a minute in. Check out the mellotron too. It's so majestic.The contrast continues. "Figure Di Cartone" opens with strummed guitar, drums and vocals. Fuzz organ comes and goes. Fuzz organ solo 2 minutes in. Piano 3 minutes in as it settles down. The fuzz is back. "Aspettando L'Alba" opens with gentle guitar as mellotron and a spacey vibe comes in. Vocals too. This is so emotional. Vocals get more passionate and drums join in. The atmosphere is other worldly. The mellotron is incredible. My favourite track and one of the best songs i've ever heard ! Guitar comes back. It's surprisingly spacey late reminding me of PORCUPINE TREE. It ends as it began with gentle guitar. "Alienazione" opens with heavy drums and sinister organ runs before the tempo speeds up dramatically. Piano joins in and then synths a minute in. Check out the fuzz organ before 2 minutes as the drums continue to pound away. The organ is killer before 3 minutes. This is just one mind boggling instrumental.

This really is almost perfect, one for the ages really. It has so many of the elements that I love about some of my favourite bands .I was even reminded of ANEKDOTEN a few times during the last song. For me this is huge, this album is going right on my favourite albums of all-time list.

Report this review (#178775)
Posted Monday, August 4, 2008 | Review Permalink
3 stars It is interesting to see that this album, at the time of writing (late September, 2008) is in Prog Archives' Top Twenty of all time, and it is almost universally recognised as a masterpiece of progressive music. Perhaps it was voted in by a number of people who grew up with it and who treasure it in their hearts? I only discovered it early this year (thanks to P.A., of course!) and I'll be the first to agree it's a pleasant piece of music - but a masterpiece of even greater stature than FRAGILE or LARKS' TONGUES IN ASPIC? No way! When I play UOMO DI PEZZA I hear sprightly prog clearly influenced by early ELP (TARKUS in particular) and IN THE COURT OF THE CRIMSON KING, with a few teaspoons of Mike Ratledge-style fuzz organ thrown in for good measure. Now, I don't want to suggest UOMO DI PEZZA is totally derivative. Le Orme definitely have a keyboard sound of their own: both their Hammond organ and their Moogs sound rougher than Keith Emerson's, which I find very pleasant indeed. Their vocalist, Aldo Tagliapietra, sings far more beautifully than Greg Lake, even if his 'celestial' voice sounds dangerously similar to that of early seventies balladeer Demis Roussos. (Sorry folks, but when I think of Roussos, I'm NOT immediately reminded of Aphrodite's Child, those Greek pioneers of prog... I just think of the sentimental ballads with which our Demis conquered the world in the early 1970s!) Besides, there's no harm in following the example of foreign bands you admire. One of the bands I grew up with, the Nits (a late 1970s Dutch phenomenon), were clearly inspired by American acts like Television and the Talking Heads, but they were creative and intelligent enough to write original tunes with catchy melodies and fun arrangements. It seems something similar is going on here, with Le Orme. So if you enjoy classic symphonic prog and can't get enough of it, you should try UOMO DI PEZZA. But a classic of seminal stature it is not. I find myself wavering between three and four stars.
Report this review (#184111)
Posted Tuesday, September 30, 2008 | Review Permalink
Avant/Cross/Neo/Post Teams
3 stars Whoa, is there such a sticky album all over Italian progressive rock?

At any rate, the first track is symbolical of this whole album, I consider. Floating tune and voice, surely these are not in other Italian progressive rocks. Generally, Italian progrock has canzone flavour, like Oriental flavour, and this is not floating sound I think. The beat presented by Le Orme is really smooth and sticky. Hum, that is like they are whispering, by the sound.

Even though they has such a character and an identity, the last song (Alienazione) has up-tempo and hard beat and sound. That is Italian flavour...There are varieties of sounds. Very joyful album, if everyone here can allow me, I'll give this album 3.5 stars.

Report this review (#192544)
Posted Wednesday, December 10, 2008 | Review Permalink
4 stars what a beautiful album is This,really,i don't Understand very well what they are saying,the italian lenguage.very romantic,amazing this is from my bad luck i was born on the 86,but,its OK.i can enjoy their music,and i am trying to imagine myself in that era of music,and what can i say about that?,that time is the birth of Prog..and all of this musicians they are amazings,Fenomenos...So,actually,sometimes the vocals semms to be Sad But with a touch of hope and confusion,there is not problem with that.. so we have a very beautiful music,very melodic,with good ideas.oh my God the drummer is amazing... now i see the influences of rhapsody...Anyway...4.4 stars

Report this review (#200633)
Posted Sunday, January 25, 2009 | Review Permalink
4 stars Everytime I listen to this album I like it even more.

Una Dolcezza Nuova- A great track. Starts off with a church-like organ and after a more bombastic part begins a very sweet playing between the piano and the vocal, then they are joined by some more instruments but still playing very smoothly. The music ends with the piano and vocals alone. 9/10

Gioco di Bimba- A very sweet and short track. Sure its commercial-oriented but its still very nice and fresh IMO because of the Folk feel it gives, almost barroque-ish, and also has a nice clavinet playing. 8/10

La Porta Chiusa- I didnt like this track that much in the beginning but it grew on me and now, altough its far from being my favorite track here, I think its a very good track especially on the instrumental side. 7/10

Breve Immagine- Also a sweet and short track but what a great one! It begins with the organ and vocals and then sets off to a great melody with a great mellotron. 9/10

Figure Di Cartone- One of my favorite tracks. One of the things I like more in this song is the contrast between the acoustic guitar and the fuzz organ sound and the organ solo that fits perfectly and that I LOVE!!!Altought it could be a little longer the song is perfect. 10/10

Aspettando L'alba- A great acoustic song. Love the guitar and love the vocals. It plays for +- 3 minutes before going into a sort of psychadelic part and after +-1 minute it ends with the inicial acoustic phrase. 8/10

Alienazione- The weakest track here for me but still has some very good drumming and synth playing, I just find it a little repetitive. 6/10

Overrall, I think Le Orme's problem with this album (and also felona... from what I've heard) is that most of the songs are very short. But what matters is quality not quantity and Le Orme makes some of the most beautiful prog with short songs.

I would recommend this album to start with Le Orme, over Felona.

My rating: 8,14/10 = 4,07/5 = 4,1 stars

Report this review (#201681)
Posted Wednesday, February 4, 2009 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars It's not hard to understand why this record is so loved. It has everything one craves in classic symphonic prog: the spirit, adventure, surprise, the dedication to something more than a rock album, even the classy Rousseau-like cover. In our time, the reasons 'Uomo di Pezza' is considered one of prog history's most important albums are perhaps less obvious when contrasted with the superprog of Porcupine Tree or The Flower Kings. But in Italy's prog boom of 1972, this LP was among the symbols of a new musical language that made the previous and highly accomplished decade seem trite. With this and other landmark releases the same year by Il Balletto di Bronzo, PFM, Banco and others, Rock Progressivo Italiano had truly arrived without any doubt as to the commitment and skill of its artists.

The material here is unrecognizable from that on Le Orme's debut and is a big step forward from the transitional second. A band now quite taken with the British prog of the period, the album is a short but sweet 32 minutes of concentrated material packed to the brim with as much love and tender mercies as they could muster. Antonio Pagliuca's wormhole synths are particularly well recorded against the pastorals of Aldo Tagliapietra's acoustic guitars, knitting together a dusty old quilt of canzoni, secular classical, and power-trio rock. A dungeon organ finally breaks into a proper overture, Tagliapietra sounding just fine with a clean soprano performance over the quiet piano while 'Gioco di Bimba' evokes its title with a carousel of folk guitar, kinderclavier, and the moans of a concerned father. Increased velocity for 7-minute 'La Porta Chiusa', a track that drips with antique synths, honking nebulas of organ and hot drumming from Michi dei Rossi. Light and catchy 'Figure di Cartone' recalls the art pop of early ELP, the lavalamps come out in 'Aspettando L'Alba' with the band evoking their psych past, and 'Alienazione' is shameless prog pomp in all its absurd rocketship glory.

More than terrific prog, an unctuous album that will seduce many into the steamy and stormy love affair that is RPI.

Report this review (#209006)
Posted Friday, March 27, 2009 | Review Permalink
4 stars Classic Prog Keyboard Extravaganza

Le Orme's Uomo Di Pezza is the first RPI album I purchased, and in many ways it represents the prototype of the genre for me. This is not inappropriate, as all of the classic elements are here: romantic themes, soaring melodic Italians vocals, and heavy classical influence. The instrumental makeup is a power trio a la ELP, with vocalist Aldo Tagliapietra handling bass and occasional acoustic rhythm guitar duties, strong drumming provided by Michi Dei Rossi, but the music is mainly dominated by the keyboards of Toni Pagliuca.

The overall sound of this album is much more pastoral than ELP, however. The introductory two songs are quite soft, the first dominated by piano and the second by strumming guitar, both carried by pleasant swaying melodies and a slightly medieval flavor. Though I am normally a fan of organic music sounds, this album is a prime example of keyboards raising good music to excellent. The best example is track 3 "La Porta Chiusa." Starting with aggressive synths and then opening up into a simple dark organ line supporting the vocal, the song then switches into classic prog synth work and certainly ups the sense of risk. Track 4 is a short, mellotron-heavy piece evoking some of KC's classic moments. But the band is best when the Moog is in the forefront. The variety of synth sounds on the record are astounding, always adding to the music, and astonishingly tasty. On track 6, we get some spacey, almost Floydian sounds interspersed with arpeggiated guitar and a riff a little reminiscent of Led Zep's "No Quarter." The closer "Alienazione" is another dark, intense work that leaves this listener wanting more.

The songs here are solid, and the rhythm playing very good. But the soundscapes propel this album, the feel and timbre of the instruments, especially the keys. I sometimes wish the band had spent more musical space darker and riskier, but instead they chose to vary the emotion between songs. Certainly this is a valid and musical choice, and this band displays a remarkable sense of good taste, never over-reaching or extending their explorations too long. I respect the selection even if my tastes run a little different than the offering.

Lovers of classic prog keys will delight in this album. I enjoy it quite a bit more than the aforementioned ELP. I personally also prefer some other RPI albums to this one owing to wider instrumentation and more complex composition / songwriting. Nonetheless, it is still excellent, an excellent addition to any collection.

Report this review (#220706)
Posted Thursday, June 11, 2009 | Review Permalink
Prog-Folk Team
4 stars EMERSON LAKE AND PALMER's influence in progressive rock is undeniable, and they touched young musicians across the globe during their heyday to the present. Many followed the bombastic and technically brilliant keyboards of Keith Emerson, sometimes to the point of blatant idolatry. Those that moved beyond mimicry did so by infusing Emerson's teachings with their own vision of the classic inspiration, and, of these, LE ORME were arguably the prime exponents. Allowing for the fact that they were a also a trio in which the bass player sang and occasionally doubled as guitarist, LE ORME not only stood out from the imitators but from the masters themselves with their warm romantic vision, something rarely hinted at by ELP, and first brought to bear on "Uomo Di Pezza".

While Toni Pagliuca's organs dominate from the outset in "Una Delcezza Nuova" and elsewhere, sometimes to a fault as in "Alienazione", his synthesizers in "La Porta Chiusa" are just as impressive and enthusiastic. Aldo Tagliapietra's voice is both assertive and soothing, and his frequently wrought acoustic guitar and bass, and Michi Dei Rossi's drums lay a formidable groundwork for the rich melodies throughout, perhaps the best of these being on "Figure Di Cartone", which also includes Aldo's trademark acoustic guitar. Le Orme could wax reflective too, as in the profoundly expectant "Aspettando l'Alba", which needs to be heard with headphones for full effect. The most romantic and playful number is "Gloco Di Bimba", which sounds like it could have been rendered as a courtly dance 400 or 500 years ago, sans electronica.

Whereas early PFM could be too moody for my tastes, and I could never quite get BANCO, LE ORME, on several albums including this one, seems "just right", and is recommended as a starting point for those wanting to explore the RPI of the 1970s.

Report this review (#250352)
Posted Friday, November 13, 2009 | Review Permalink
Prog Metal Team
4 stars Le Orme are one of the most popular bands from the Italian progressive rock scene. Their music is very warm, sweet and just a tad melancholic. A delicate balance that could easily turn towards the sentimental but Le Orme walk the thin line between mellow and syrupy with a confident grace.

Le Orme are often compared to ELP, and while I would admit that they sure must have taken a lease on some of ELP's equipment, the resulting music sounds very different to me. The flamboyant tendencies of ELP pop up occasionally but the focus is fundamentally on the sensitive qualities of the songwriting. The featured organs and keyboards are applied with restraint and never show off their obvious dexterity. Also the rhythm section is very tasty. The solid drums and bass gives the songs a strong backbone that prevents them from veering off into all too romantic directions. Given the soft and sweet vocals, that tight rhythms section is more then welcome. There is no electric guitar which adds to the sonic similarities with ELP, but the music sits closer to a mix of classical renaissance with early King Crimson.

Besides the fact that it is very short, I have only one quibble with this album. As you may know I have a firm grudge against the bee-buzzing tone of the type of early synths that are used here. My resentment in that particular area is tested on a number of occasions but I'm sure it won't be a problem for most prog listeners. Besides, the emphasis is mostly on the more organic sounding instruments such as the drums, bass, organs, mellotron, piano and acoustic guitars.

Uomo Di Pezza is one of the most delightful romantic prog albums that I have heard. While not amongst my current RPI favourites, this is sure an album that will continue to find its way to the heavily contested place in one of the audio devices here.

Report this review (#266852)
Posted Thursday, February 18, 2010 | Review Permalink
3 stars 3.5 stars actually!

Considered by ProgArchives one of the best RPI albums, i remember when it's note were 4.55!! A giant!

This album is really delightful, most of the songs are attached to italian popular music and two of the songs, "La Porta Chiusa" and "Alienazione" are similar to ELP's music (the line-up of Le Orme and ELP are the same). Some unusual instruments are used and the band play hits with it.

Highlights to "Una Dolcezza Nuova" (such a beautyful song), "La Porta Chiusa" and "Alienazione" (the best instrumentation are found in these songs).

An album that worth but does not deserve such a great note.

Report this review (#266861)
Posted Thursday, February 18, 2010 | Review Permalink
Symphonic Team
5 stars

Uomo di Pezza is as good as it gets from the masters of RPI, Le Orme. Let's get straight into this track by track. You can then draw your own conclusions.

Una dolcezza nuova is the first track that is heavily reliant upon piano and quiet vocals to begin with after a lengthy introduction of pipe organ sounds. The cathedral sounds are intriguing, giving it a religious stately feel. Gioco di bimba is a short piece that is as melodic as the track from Felona E Serona simply called Serona. It is a pop orientated tune that is pleasant to the ears and a beautiful instrumental.

La porta chiusa is a 7 and a half minute triumphant track that begins with loud symphonic stabs of prog virtuosity. The bass keeps the same melody as the vocals and this works very well. The track is split by massive instrumental sections. The band launch into an amazing discordant keyboard and bass trade off with intricate busy drum metrical shapes. There are sparse orchestral arrangements, featuring primarily Pagliuca's organ phrases and the spacey guitar of Tagliapietra. The minimalist feminine sections are augmented by the masculine rock sections balancing out the quieter moments. The sonata form structure is powerfully realised, utilising an opening theme, transition, a second theme, and a final closure. This is one of Le Orme's finest compositions from their early albums. It all settles down and we hear a lone voice followed by cathedral pipe organ sounds. The track then detours into a synth line and heavy speed keyboards. It slows for a section then speeds into a frenetic freak out of bass, drums and keys, the band at their best. Rossi's drumming is frenetic and chaotic; he just pounds the hell out of those drums. Then it ends abruptly with a scorching Hammond explosion. A master work.

Breve immagine is another short piece that begins with shimmering, sparkling keyboards and strong vocals. It crashes headlong into a powerful sound with symphonic strains. This is one of the most ethereal tracks from the group, a sombre sad feel and reminds me of King Crimson's In the Court of the Crimson King at times.

Figure di cartone is a track that focuses on an acoustic guitar and harmonious vocals. It begins with the beautiful acoustic vibrations of Tagliapietra, a real beauty that meanders like a flowing stream. Then we are thrown over the waterfall as the majestic wall of keyboards bursts through like sun bursting through dark clouds. There is a nice tune throughout and this is broken by shattering keyboard passages. The keys sound like a buzzsaw at times, a bit like the sound in ELP's solo in Lucky Man I will admit.

Aspettando l'alba begins with clean acoustic picking and shimmering keyboards. It is very atmospheric prog; the way the vocals are answered with instruments is admirable. The flute segment works well, and in fact the whole track is high pitched instruments to match the falsetto vocals. This is a more uplifting track then some of the previous work on this album. I love the effects of an ocean and the way the song interchanges time signatures. The ending features awesome synth washes like waves on a beach and a scintillating solo of keyboards. The atmosphere is unbelievable. It stops and moves back to the intro to bookend this masterpiece of prog.

Alienazione is a fast paced dynamic instrumental that relies heavily on intermittent drumming and keys. The sound builds constantly and is quite dark and ominous. The next section allows the track to breathe and changes a new direction that keeps the metronome working overtime with changes in time signatures. Then the last movement is the apocalypse which is a soundwave of multi-layered textures and nuances. This is absolutely incredible music and there is a focus on a pounding Pagliuca motif with chaotic punctuation. The fuzzed keys in the mid section adds a new element, and it feels portentous and off kilter. The piano is an estranged tune that does not seem to gel with the other instruments, and this alienates the listener, hence the appropriate title.

This last track sealed the deal for me. I believe this is better than Felona E Serona, though they are different conceptually and musically, I would rather this wildly inventive album out of the two if given a choice. It is not as restrained as Felona and is certainly an excellent example of RPI at its most innovative. At about 32 minutes this is a rather short blast of prog albeit one of the best from the legends of RPI. 5 stars as an outstanding RPI classic.

Report this review (#276794)
Posted Wednesday, April 7, 2010 | Review Permalink
Prog Metal Team
4 stars I picked up Uomo Di Pezza based on the praise that this album has received and dived head-first into the music without knowing anything about this release. My tactic, or the lack of such, seemed to pay off since I was hooked from the first sounds of Una Dolcezza Nuova and things got even better towards the end.

Le Orme is definitely as Italian sounding as they come with soft melodic arrangements and lyrics sung in Italian seems almost like a cherry on top. By the time of this release the band had already scaled down to a power trio formation but that didn't mean that they we another ELP clone, in fact there aren't that many similarities between the two. It would actually make as much sense to compare Rush with ELP as it would in Le Orme's case. After putting all those fears aside let's indulge into the music.

The brilliant album opening Una Dolcezza Nuova is just that, starting with an instrumental section that leads into a soft and soothing vocal-dominated part. The contrast between the different sections of this 5+ minute composition feels natural and the transition to the album's hit track seems very well thought through. The ballad Gioco Di Bimba was a domestic success but although the pleasant melody and the 3/4 signature it doesn't appeal to me on any grander scale.

Unfortunately I'm also not a fan of La Porta Chiusa, taking up more than 20% of the album space, at its 7+ minute time span, the composition is just not memorable enough for me. While writing this review I've had the opportunity to hear it twice, not counting any of the precious occasions, but I still can't remember how it sounds. Luckily the album once again shifts into high gear with the almost hypnotic sounds of Figure Di Cartone. This is easily the highpoint of the album with a great combination of melodic vocal delivery, acoustic guitar and percussion work. After this, the rest of Una Dolcezza Nuova finally returns to the quality that was heard on the opening number with Aspettando l'Alba and Alienazione making the best out of each moment that they entail.

So far everything I have heard from Le Orme has been highly appreciated by me and Una Dolcezza Nuova is by no means an exception to the rule. This is almost an essential piece of progressive music limited only by the forgettable La Porta Chiusa and an even better follow up release!

***** star songs: Una Dolcezza Nuova (5:28) Figure Di Cartone (3:48) Aspettando l'Alba (4:43) Alienazione (4:43)

**** star songs: Gioco Di Bimba (2:54) La Porta Chiusa (7:28) Breve Immagine (2:42)

Report this review (#280740)
Posted Thursday, May 6, 2010 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars As with all old prog "classics" that I am only now having the privilege of discovering, I've been taking my time to get to know Uomo di pezza. I can assure you, it has been truly a labour of love. This is a beautiful album with some wonderful songs, sounds, and melodies.

1. "Una dolcezza nuova" introduces some of Uomo de pezza's distinctive sounds: organ, fuzzy bass, pastoral piano, and, of course, the beautiful voice and singing of guitarist/bass guitarist Aldo Tagliapietra. 8/10

2. "Gioco di bimba" introduces what becomes one of the other distinctive sounds of Uomo: the 12-string guitar. Joined by clavinet and synthesized flute, the song has a rather Donovan mixed with Scarlatti feel to it. Cheery, 1960s sunshine. 7/10

3. "La porta chuisa" begins with a Camel-like sound with synth, drum and bass, before shifting into a more theatric sound with organ, followed by solo organ notes sneaking over the drummer's rim shots. Higher pitched vocal singing follows the organ until a heavy, "Tarkus"-like organ section appears and disappears, becoming the alternating partner for the soft, rim-shot-accompanied, high pitch singing sections. Enter some Nektar/Camel-esque riffs at 3:15, followed at 3:40 by the bass drum pounding out quarter notes till 5:10's silence. This pounding, quiet, pounding, quiet pattern continues alternating until a church organ fills the soundscape at the 6:15 mark, followed by piano at 6:45, ending with an ELP sound and pace. 7/10

4. Breve imagine" sounds like a return to "Una dolcezza nuova" with the higher-pitched singing done over a church organ until 0:50 sounds a crescendo of mellotron, rhythm section, and synthesizer. The quiet, bucolic A section and King Crimson-like crescendoing B section alternate two more cycles. Beautiful song. 8/10

5. "Figure di cartone" begins with a very engaging "My Sweet Lord" kind of feel: strumming 12-string guitars, KC/"Lucky Man"-like drums, roving Prophet 5 synth, and a very catchy vocal melody. A long solo from a buzzing synthesizer sound. 8/10

6. "Aspettando l'alba" uses very pensive, ominous sound and chord choices, which then yield to guitar strums at the 0:50 mark. The defining Uomo song structure seems to be the alternating quiet and dynamic sections--used to great effect. Here the quiet sections are peppered with a variety of instruments: flute, keyboard synths, drum travels, echoing space sounds, and quiet guitar strums until at 3:20 there is a complete change to percussives with flute-like keyboard chorus to fade. 8/10

7. "Alienazione" is Le Orme's attempt at discord and complexity a la King Crimson. (The song actually has quite a similar feel to it is KC's "21st Century Schizoid Man," though I'm also reminded of The Doors and Traffic. Dark and ominous.) 7/10

Overall very high consistency and quality. Le Orme exploring a lot of new sounds while relying on one basic structural pattern--to perfection--and having wonderful singer. I can't quite give it a five star rating--though I do think this is Le Orme's finest work. Still, an excellent addition to any prog-lover's music collection.

Report this review (#286832)
Posted Thursday, June 17, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars Le Orme - Uomo Di Pezz (1972)

Take some good Italian weather and a great Italian valley panorama, some ELP influences and some perfect crafted melodic song-writing and you'll know what to expect from this great album of Le Orme. This threepiece RPI group, consisiting of keyboards, bass/acoustic guitar, and drums made some of the most accessible yet intelligent symphonic prog from the Italian scene of the seventies. The vocals are are deligthfull, both emotional and authentic. The keys show the bombastic and neo-classical influences like ELP and the bass often joins the melodic section. On some of the songs there's no bass-guitar but a nice acoustic guitar.

All songs are good. Often the instrumental passages with bombastic keys stand out together with the great vocal melodies that evoke quite a lot. In fact, I always feel the urge to sing along allthough I can't speak Italian at all. This album isn't completely perfect though. Some of the moogs are slightly out of pitch ( a lot of us won't be bothered, but I'm a musician myself) and the album is a bit too short with it's 31 minutes. The cover-art is great though and I still hope to find a fold-out vinyl copy of it.

Conclusion. A great Italian sympho-prog album with some crossover moments. The song- writing is very adorable and the atmospheres are great. Four stars!

Report this review (#303433)
Posted Monday, October 11, 2010 | Review Permalink
2 stars I must be missing something here. I just can't get excited about UOMO DI PEZZA. It is far from the strongest and most vibrant prog album I've heard, but maybe that's the point. This album suffocates itself with delicate melodies and more heart-wrenching compositions. So, this has lots of emotion pouring out of the speakers, but I find this album to be stuffy.

All instrumentalists are skilled, but no one other than the keyboard player really stands out. The synth leads on ''Figuro di Cantone'' are the standout highlight overall, although memorable motifs appear in ''Alienazone'' and ''Gioco di Bimba''. My problem is that I've heard so much prog at this time that Le Orme's brand just blends into the prog scenery. That, or the more avant-prog bands took the fun away from this.

Don't let me party poop on your prog adventure. I say trust the rating UOMO DI PEZZA has and try it out, especially if you're more of a newcomer to this genre. It's strong on melodies, has some pop leanings and is one to give you goosebumps from the emotion. I really can't penetrate this album, probably because my brain is wired towards competely different wings of the prog halls.

Report this review (#305285)
Posted Monday, October 18, 2010 | Review Permalink
5 stars After the promising Collage, all expectations a progressive music lover could have was achieved with Uomo Di Pezza. And all good things about to come is already pre revealed by a very nice album cover art !

The musical mark presented in previous Collage is here, but the lack of production is absent, compositions reaches perfection; and our three magister musicians seems to be completed developed and mature, each one giving the best of their skills. The result is one of the most beautiful masterpiece of music I have ever heard.

What else can I say ? Music here is melodically perfect. Some of the times it is a soft bass/piano/drums/voice. Other time there is an acoustic guitar conducting ballad like songs, like we see in Gioco Di Biuba , but soon we see Toni Pagliuca´s clavinet coming over the ž rhythm making it very singular and positively appreciable. And what about the deep beauty we see in Breve Imaginne ??

Even if you are a metal fan, don´t fool yourself about Le Orme softness. You will find here music at its higher standards. It is like myself hearing ACDC´s Black In Black here and there. Le Orme´s Uomo Di Pezza is so singular that demands everyone´s attention. For band´s singular style and the fantastic compositions presented here, five stars with no doubts !

Report this review (#436166)
Posted Wednesday, April 20, 2011 | Review Permalink
5 stars Uomo di Pezza is not only Le Orme's best album, but one of the the undisputed classics of RPI and a cornerstone to any complete prog collection. Building on the momentum from 1971's Collage, Le Orme embody lyrical creativity, technical prowess, and the human condition on Uomo di Pezza in a way rarely matched. Though Felona e Sorona is widely recognized as their masterpiece (and probably is from a conceptual standpoint), I would argue Uomo di Pezza is more coherent and rewarding, and has more broad appeal. Fans of the symphonic greats like Yes and Genesis will immediately recognize the high quality of inventive composition combined with instrumental class. Even those with more sophisticated tastes will not find Uomo di Pezza trite or sentimental, due to its wistful, imaginative nature. Le Orme create the music of dreams on this release, one I would never leave home without.

Like Collage, Uomo di Pezza begins with an opulent organ introduction on "Una Dolcezza Nuova." A more serious tone clearly demonstrates the progress Le Orme has made in one short year, as bass and drums collide to pave the way for a strikingly beautiful piano melody. Aldo Tagliapietra's fragile voice only further adds to the languid atmosphere, before the piano motif turns on itself three minutes in. Tagliapietra's bass amply supports the piano solo as the song takes an uplifting turn and Michi Dei Rossi finally enters with his solid drumming. At a mere five and a half minutes, "Una Dolcezza Nuova" feels like a mini-symphony and provides a commanding start to the album. Orme's biggest hit "Gioco di Bimba" follows, and if you've never heard it before, you are in for quite a treat. "Gioco di Bimba" is the standard by which all Le Orme ballads are judged (none having achieved the same level of simplistic, almost childlike, beauty). "La Porta Chiusa," the longest song on Uomo di Pezza, has drawn ELP comparisons; these are largely generalized and mostly inaccurate. Other than the basic format (bass, drums, organ), Le Orme share little in common with the aggressive and unapologetic persona of that group. And while I greatly respect and acknowledge Emerson, Lake & Palmer's contribution to progressive rock, Le Orme were able to accomplish similar success with less grandiosity.

The otherworldly "Breve Immagine" begins side two, as reverb-laden organ assists Tagliapietra in creating a mythical ambiance. A thunderous cymbal crash abruptly transitions to a powerful chorus and lends weight to the song. The brief Mellotron ending fades out and "Figure Di Cartone," with its acoustic guitar introduction, begins. The following eight minutes, encapsulating both "Figure Di Cartone" and "Aspettando L'Alba," are the best on the album and difficult for me to write about. I nearly cry every single time I hear these two songs, partly for nostalgic reasons but primarily because of the way they concisely convey what it is like to feel human. Any aspersions cast over the previous thirty minutes are completely obliterated as "Alienazione" impresses even the most refined prog fanatics. Uomo di Pezza may not be the best Italian Prog album, but it's certainly among the top five.

Report this review (#491245)
Posted Wednesday, July 27, 2011 | Review Permalink
5 stars A definitive step into prog territory, following the psych-prog dabblings of Collage, sees Le Orme taking a Keith Emerson-inspired approach to the synthesiser and applying it to pastoral, early Genesis inspired prog with some beautiful acoustic guitar passages. The influence of Van der Graaf Generator can also be heard in the chaotic, apocalyptic conclusion to the album's final track, Alienazone, suggesting that the band members must have paid close attention to the famed 1971 Charisma tour of Italy - a tour which, considering the widespread adoption of Trespass/Nursery Cryme-era Genesis's pastoral approach to prog in the RPI scene, must surely count as one of the most important in prog history. The unique fusion of influences, coupled with Algo's almost operatic vocals, results in a novel blend which is sure to reward repeated listens. This, right here, is Le Orme's first true masterpiece.
Report this review (#496636)
Posted Wednesday, August 3, 2011 | Review Permalink
5 stars This album, published a year after "Collage", brings the Orme to a higher level.

The music is superb. Symphonic. The songs are perfect.

"Uomo di Pezza" is an album more catchy, compared to the previous. But, in this case, it takes all the possible benefits.

" Una dolcezza nuova" is the beautiful opening track. Significant. ID. These, ladies and gentlemen, are the Orme and their sound. The Hammond and piano sad.

"Gioco di Bimba", probably the most famous song of the band. Released as 45 rpm record. Was an immediate success. It sounds like a lullaby. A fairy tale that hints at a legend. The music is perfect.

"La porta chiusa" it's a scary song. Shady. Is nearer to the sounds of "Collage", but it is very charming.

"Breve immagine" continues in the wake of sweetness. This is a melancholy album, playing on the strings of the soul.

"Figure di cartone" was the B side of 45 rpm record. The guitar and percussion, voice and solo piano. The sweetness.

"Aspettando l'alba" closing phase of the dream. Remember that the time will never erase. Never. At night, the wait. I remember, exactly.

As long as the dream fades, the day is coming. The memories have forgiven in the drawers of the time, and running back. A fight. To lose, to get together maybe. Tonight? Tomorrow? When?

But why do not we have more time for dreams?

"Alienazione" is this. Forty years ago, like today. That time there were the dreams, however...

An album that you need.

Report this review (#557050)
Posted Tuesday, October 25, 2011 | Review Permalink
4 stars Collage showed Le Orme taking a definite step into progressive rock territory, but Uomo Di Pezza is when the famed Italian trio ditched the last bit of psych influence in favor of a purely symphonic rock sound. By 1972 the progressive rock movement was at its creative apex, and Uomo Di Pezza is without doubt one of many highlights from this fantastic year. Le Orme's third album captures them at the height of their careers, and the result is nothing short of a complete Italian progressive rock classic. I don't think that Uomo Di Pezza reaches the emotional heights of a few other RPI sacred cows, but there still is little doubt in my mind that this is one of Italy's finest gems from the early seventies'. Though not entirely flawless, Uomo Di Pezza is an essential Italian progressive rock album that should be heard by everyone curious about the genre.

On Le Orme's previous album, the band was caught somewhere between a full-on symphonic prog sound in the vein of Genesis, ELP, and King Crimson, and a flowery sixties' psychedelic rock style. On Uomo Di Pezza, Le Orme has left behind that final hint of 'poppiness' for a completely progressive style of symphonic rock. Uomo Di Pezza also sees Le Orme expanding upon the progressive side of their compositions - whilst Collage had ELP as a main point of reference, this album has a much more varied style of symphonic prog with more influences from the pastoral sounds of Genesis. The way the band mixes heavy organs, pastoral acoustic guitars, and romantic Italian vocals makes for a totally unique style - this LP sounds distinctly Italian, and although there are traces of British prog throughout the album, Le Orme had completely found their own unique approach on Uomo Di Pezza.

Unlike a few other Italian symphonic prog classics, however, I can't say that Uomo Di Pezza always connects with me on an emotional level. Very much like a few of Emerson, Lake, and Palmer's classic releases, a decent portion of the music comes across as a bit 'unconnected' to these ears; while always being technically amazing, the transitions joining the various musical fragments on Uomo Di Pezza don't always feel particularly coherent. I'm clearly in a minority, but I don't quite get enough of an emotional high to consider this a masterpiece. With that said, this is always a pleasant (if a rather short) listen, and of course its massive influence on future Italian progressive rock albums shouldn't be underestimated. While I do not think Uomo Di Pezza is an entirely flawless classic, it is still a classic and deserves to be heard by any curious RPI listener.

Report this review (#655815)
Posted Monday, March 12, 2012 | Review Permalink
4 stars Le Orme is one of the finest and most influencial italian prog band in last 40 years.With their third album from 1972 named Uomo di pezza, the band manage to take the listners by storm, with this album they become world wide known and a respected band across the years. Combining symphonic elements with blistering keyboards - to me the most intresting and solid parts of the album together with the beautiful , warm voice of Aldo tagliapetra. Also the overall atmosphere has a romantic feel, typical for italian bands. Some killer instrumental passages here like on opening track or on La porrta chiusa, ElP meets Genesis with a italian romantic atmosphere. Definetly to me a very solid album together with their next one who is even little better. 4 stars easy, one of the most intresting italian prog rock albums from early '70 and a very nice art work.
Report this review (#886273)
Posted Wednesday, January 2, 2013 | Review Permalink
4 stars Le Orme is considered one of the big three of Italian Progressive Rock along with Banco and PFM, and not unlike these two, the band plays a very unique style of music that has elements of symphonic, jazz, and the melodic leanings of pop music to form a truly eclectic experience. A continuation of the sound established on their first couple albums, Uomo Di Pezza is probably the band's first essential album and has its fair share of exciting, dramatic, and beautiful moments alike.

The general sound is similar to the previous two, which is best stated as a combination of PFM, Banco, and ELP. The keyboard is the dominant instrument, along with drums high in the mix. Each song offers something unique as there is nothing really weak. There are some highs and lows, but overall the musical journey is fairly consistent from beginning to end, albeit a rather short one at only 32 minutes. Nonetheless, the variety of songs is fantastic; straight up bombastic prog can be heard in most songs, especially the lengthier 'La Porta Chiusa,' but they have no problem with slowing down in parts, and have their fair share of melodic moments, such as in the short but sweet 'Gioco Di Bimba,' or the darker and disconcerting 'Breve Immagine.'

Le Orme certainly hit the mark on this album that wasn't quite reached in their previous. Though not quite as strong as the following album, the strong songwriting with a successful intertwining of melody, atmosphere, and progressive intensity makes this one of Italy's better offerings.


Report this review (#1109234)
Posted Tuesday, January 7, 2014 | Review Permalink
5 stars After the important and groundbreaking album "Collage", a definite musical step in the right direction for Italy's Le Orme, next comes this excellent follow up album "Uomo Di Pezza". Any way you look at this album, technically, emotionally, spiritually, dramatically, it is a winner.

The great thing about this record is that there are no weak or out of place elements to it. Aldo Tagliapietra's voice is as emotional and moving as ever (my not knowing the Italian language does not hamper me in appreciating his fine vocal delivery), and instrumentally, the band is firing on all six cylinders; inventive drumming by Michi dei Rossi, who always has that perfect sense of timing and dramatics, the well crafted and executed bass and six-string guitar of Aldo's, and of course great, classically inspired to the fore keys playing by Tony Pagliuca, all co-existing to make a wonderful recording. And the resultant atmosphere created by these musicians is unique in it's way, despite comparisons with Emerson, Lake and Palmer's sound.

This album is the perfect transition from the previous "Collage" to the next one, "Felona e Sorona". No look at, or appreciation of, this band would be complete without "Uomo di Pezza". Actually, no seventies prog collection, period would be complete without this masterpiece-it is that essential. 5 stars, no less.

Report this review (#1373168)
Posted Wednesday, February 25, 2015 | Review Permalink
3 stars Romantic and dreamy

First true progressive album by Le Orme, "Uomo di Pezza" ("Rag doll man" in English) offers a music on par with its cover art: sweet, mellow, reassuring, oneiric... The disc can be divided in two sides: Side 1 incorporates classical music elements and could be described as symphonic prog, whereas Side 2 - my favorite - is more dreamy and soothing. However, the compositions possess a proper Italian sensibility that cannot be found on British bands.

Keyboardist Antonio Pagliuca plays synthesizer for the first time on this record.

To be honest, I'm not really a big fan of Side 1. The opening of "Una Dolcezza Nuova" is the introduction of JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH's chaconne no. 2 in D minor, BWV 1004, played by guest pianist Gian Piero Reverberi. The rest is a delicate ballad, smooth but a little cheesy. Released as a single in Italy, "Gioco Di Bimba" is a gentle naive song, typically Italian, with a slight medieval touch, a bit too sugary for me. Some nice floating passages can be found on "La Porta Chiusa", the longest track of the disc. Influenced by symphonic prog bands such as ELP or KING CRIMSON, the song contains a few changes, but is overall uneven.

Nonetheless, the dream really begins with Side 2. The soft "Breve Immagine" is a pretty moment, touching and enchanting. The spacey ethereal keyboards enhances the oneiric impression. Too short. The delicate "Figure Di Cartone" has a beautiful melancholic melody, while the trippy crystalline "Aspettando L'Alba" seems to come from the unreal world depicted on the cover, somewhere above the clouds. These three songs are simply delightful. The only intruder here could be "Alienazione" and its more oppressive ambiance. This threatening instrumental, jazzy at times, is nevertheless quite nice.

Despite the average tracks of Side 1, Side 2 is well worth the listen alone and make "Uomo di Pezza" an essential record of the genre, possessing its own charm and identity. Furthermore, the music is coherent with the cover art. As a non-Rock Progressivo Italiano fan, I recommend this album to people into symphonic or even space prog wanting to discover this style and, of course, to RPI lovers.

A romantic dream awaits you...

Report this review (#1572929)
Posted Tuesday, May 31, 2016 | Review Permalink
4 stars Here's to you the third album by "Le Orme". After the spectacular debut on progressive rock with "Collage", Le Orme take with them synths and mellotron, and try to make a step forward.

"Una Dolcezza Nuova" (A New Sweetness), five and a half minutes, begins with a long instrumental piece on keyboards by Pagliuca, resembling the touches and fugues by Bach, but unlike "Collage", after two minutes the singing by Tagliapetra arrives to stand out above a classical piano (here we can feel the hand of Gian Piero Reverberi, author of the music, together with Tagliapetra). A slow and introvert song, it's in fact an acoustic ballad with a melancholic melody. Vote 7.5 / 8.

"Gioco di Bimba" (Female Child's Game), three minutes, has a music suitable for his title: nursery rhyme with an almost circus organ-like sound. It's the album hit. Le Orme have always had an eye on the commercial side. In fact it is almost a vaudeville pop song. Vote 7. "La Porta Chiusa" (The Closed Door), more than seven minutes, has an instrumental beginning to the keyboards almost space-rock that recalls various pieces of Collage but also in this case it's only an incipit, which soon leaves to the voice by Tagliapetra. It seems that "Uomo di Pezza", unlike Collage, doesn't "take off" with music. But finally the instrumental piece in the middle of the song brings back to the glories of Collage. When the voice of Tagliapetra reappears, it seems that of Greg Lake in "Peace" by King Crimson (Lp In The Wake of Poseidon). Then last half minute in instrumental tour de force. Great track. Vote 8+.

The short "Breve Immagine" (Brief Image) opens the second side on an organ carpet that soon explodes into a rock debtor of EL & P. Vote 7.5. "Figure di Cartone" (Figures of Cartoon) is a ballad where the sound of Pagliuca's synths, is what dominates on the background of the drums played by De Rossi and the acoustic guitars played by Tagliapetra. It is a resigned and minor piece. Vote 6,5/7. "Aspettando l'Alba" (Waiting for the Dawn) begins with the acoustic guitar and an indecisive rhythm, as long as the keyboards of Pagliuca arrive but this time they don't take off: Tagliapetra in this album has more parts sung, which more cage Pagliuca (despite for the first time he plays synths and mellotron), which can express itself only in the long final fading. Vote 7+.

Last song, "Alienazione" (Alienation), is a great instrumental track where finally Pagliuca can shows his skill in playing the typical instruments of prog. Song that sounds like a soundtrack, it concludes the album with a crescendo of quality. Vote 8,5.

"Uomdo di Pezza", on the whole, confirms the status of high-class prog group for Le Orme after the sensational "debut" in this genre. Compared to "Collage", "Uomo di Pezza" has less engaging parts, no particular steps forward, if anything more weak pieces, in fact it can't repeat, if not in a few parts, the really brilliant passages that Collage showed for more than half album making it a masterpiece. Overall, "Uomo di Pezza" is more than a good album, although not innovative and less brilliant than the previous one. A step of settling, waiting for new ideas, which will arrive on time with "Felona and Sorona".

Medium quality of the songs: 7,57. Vote album: 8+. Rating: Four Stars.

Report this review (#2135639)
Posted Sunday, February 10, 2019 | Review Permalink

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