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Picchio Dal Pozzo - Abbiamo Tutti I Suoi Problemi CD (album) cover


Picchio Dal Pozzo

Canterbury Scene

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Steve Hegede
5 stars PICCHIO DAL POZZO's second album seems to have been influenced by HENRY COW's "Western Culture", STORMY SIX from Italy, and Frank ZAPPA's jazz compositions. Combining these influences (along with Italian prog rock), the music is complex in a RIO style, yet accessible.

Report this review (#18715)
Posted Sunday, March 21, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars Truly a masterpiece. I know this word (masterpiece) is used very lightly. But what can you call it? Truly original, highly entertaining, well produced and even hum-able (only a couple of songs, i admit). This is inventiveness at it's best. Not for those just looking for tons of mellotrons and italian prog rock cliches. An aquired taste of wonderful rewards.
Report this review (#35189)
Posted Friday, March 25, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars Picchio Dal Pozzo - Abbiamo Tutti I Suoi Problemi (headline of this one is humourously actual - isn't it?) may be in my oppinion one of the most interesting albums existing on this site! There are many Italian bands represented here but... this item seems to be "the upper limit" to this site - chance to be one of the best rock-related musics ever! Very surprising fact but this record is re-released on CD only in Asia - South Korea and Japan (only LP version is released originally in Italy)??!

Well. Picchio Dal Pozzo was the band from Genova (my favourite city in Italy I have been). The music of them would be maybe complex Canterbury fusion mixed by RIO, zappaesque jazz compositions + something melodic from Italy... Abbiamo Tutti I Suoi Problemi was their second effort. Both first two records of them are very worth to listen. Very juicy spectrum of sounds (the basis of every musics in general always) + intelligent and adventurous compositions give to this album a status of masterpiece. We can hear instruments like recorders, saxes, clarinette, flutes, trombone, violin, keyboards, bass, guitars, drums, vibes.

In fact my personal fave is Moderno Ballabile - because of almost perfection as "ideal music could be". The other very impressive composition is Mettiamo Il Caso - the longest and maybe the most adventurous one - with hints to two tracks from PDP's first album (Napier, Seppia). Only the bonus track Uccellin Del Bosco from flexi-single doesn't fit with the rest of the masterpiece - in spite of this one still doubtlessly five stars!

Report this review (#70728)
Posted Tuesday, February 28, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars The second work released in 1980 "Abbiamo Tutti I Suoi Problemi". New work after an interval of four years. It becomes an organization that enhances the brass instrument on three new members. It advances toward a more avant-garde direction music as an opening sound collage symbolizes. Avant-garde jazz-rock to which discord etc. are positively taken. A tension, seriousness, and a tense humour come to the surface. The performance has an exact image with a clear intonation in irregularity. It is a chamber music rather than jazz. HATFIELD AND THE NORTH of Italy became HENRY COW of Italy. Masterpiece that might not become antiquated.
Report this review (#71807)
Posted Monday, March 13, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars Unremittingly dense and inventive, "Abbiamo Tutti I Suoi Problemi" transcends the canterbury scene (and originates hundreds of miles away from its borders) by dismissing the trademark matter-of-fact singing style and introducing elements of the avant-garde. Each long composition is characterised by a tight mesh of reed instruments - the more traditional rock gear is sidelined and serve only as accompaniment and vocals are usually restricted to narration, but it shouldn't be a huge obstacle even if you're not familiar with the language. This isn't an album that's at home to virtuoso play but more of an ensemble piece where the composition's the thing.

Although there are no weak points here, or even any sections where the musicians fall into an uninspired light jazz sequence, this reviewer's favourite track is "I Problemi di Ferdinando P." which quite honestly sounds like a thousand saxophones arguing about which sad yet urbane chord to play next.

National Health may be a suitable but approximate reference point; Fans of Frank Zappa's instrumental work would be at home here, along with those who appreciate the more experimental side of Robert Wyatt or Hugh Hopper, but that's a little exclusivist - anyone who enjoys inventive music and the sound of the saxophone should pick this up as soon as possible.

Report this review (#109778)
Posted Tuesday, January 30, 2007 | Review Permalink
Sean Trane
Prog Folk
3 stars 3.5 stars really!!!

Second album released but chronologically-speaking this is their third album after the never-released (until the turn of the century, that is) Camere album is their second one. Abbiamo is also the second album of the new PDP line-up retaining only two members from the debut album. Musically we are worlds away from the debut album as the Canterbury Soundscapes are much eclipsed by a form of RIO that is reminiscent of Henry Cow/Slapp Happy and their "dissidences", but there is still that very twisted jazz inflection that gives it its Kent spicy touch. The bizarre, quaint, naďve, (almost botched) artwork gives you a hint at what kind of weirdness you should expect, but it is difficult to prepare you for the shock if you are coming from PDP's debut album. Supremely inconvenient is the track list on the back cover not in the chronological order (but alphabetical), so the Cd reissue (remastered by Bob Drake for ReR in 06 in Southern- Central France) had to reinstate it.

The first side of the album is two lengthy tracks interspaced and sandwiched by short Sgargianza interludes, all three fairly different. Rather a difficult listen for Problemi Di Fernando (the title track in fact) as we plunged in a strange cross of Art Bears with some mid-Soft Machine (4) era with some Area (to make an Italian comparison) and Frank Zappa. Moderne Ballibile is a lengthy piece where the two saxophones are dominating the debate (but not always sure where to go next), even if they are often interrupted by quirky percussions bits and breaks.

The flipside doesn't get much easier with Strativari, which starts on a big bass and electric piano, before the rest of the group meddles in. The most intrusive instrument (IMHO) is the vibraphone, which is used almost irritatingly to screw whatever groove was in danger to be built-up. Halfway into the track, dead silence appears, broken by a flute (first charming, then not so much), and as the track rebuilds; it goes back to the same obtuse world. The 16-min Mettiamo Il Casa Che is maybe the most accessible track of the album (and my fave), as they seem to hint as the Hatfield-Health realm, but not returning to their debut album either. Not sure if the last track is a bonus track or not (it isn't mentioned in the original artwork), but Ucellin Del Bosco stands out sonically (but not really musically) from the rest of the album as it sounds from a different session. Edit: indeed this was from a flexi-vinyl from a magazine.

I must say that Abbiamo is one of the more disturbing Italian albums, partly because of the singing, which is miles-away from what we are used to, but here this is just too close to Krause's weird discordant vocal nonsense for comfort. If you're not into RIO (in the Art Bears and Area sense), you'd better stay clear of this one, as the Italian lyrics will be one more obstacle for the non-Italians. As far away from their debut album as possible, but not any less worthy, but I wouldn't call it essential.

Report this review (#126521)
Posted Friday, June 22, 2007 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
4 stars Not as spacey as their debut as they have replaced that with a more Rio / Avant flavour. Frank Zappa came to mind a few times in this mostly instrumental album where the horns are very prominant. HENRY COW and STORMY SIX would be the other reference points.

There are three short songs that make up the "La Sgargianza" suite.This suite is silly and Avant and I mean that in the best possible way. "I Problemi Di Ferdinando P" is so beautifully done. Organ and horns lead the way for the most part. "Moderno Ballabile" opens with drums, horns and vibraphone in a Zappa influenced tune. We get some guitar and dissonant sounds 4 minutes in. Spoken words 7 minutes in.This song is another highlight for me.

"Strativari" kind of starts and stops as vibes, keys and horns lead the way. Some melancholic flute 6 1/2 minutes in is good. This is more of a Canterbury flavoured song. "Mettiamo Il Laso" actually has some vocals, in Italian of course. Some welcomed guitar arrives after 3 minutes. Nice. Plenty of vibes,drums and horns. The vocals are back before 8 minutes, and the guitar comes back after 12 minutes. "Uccellin Del Bosco" is the most aggressive track on the album.

Not quite as good as the debut in my opinion but this is so well played and challenging.

Report this review (#144381)
Posted Saturday, October 13, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars The collapse of the Grog label might be advanced for them with a few groping and conversions of directionality in the music character of the band. However, construction and consistent directionality of the music character that they had had kept had been expressed as an element always involved and might have been opened.

There was a name of Robert Wyatt, Henry Cow, and Frank Zappa in the name enumerated as a musician from whom they had been influenced. Construction of music with of course high quality that they had listener listen with 1st Album. And, the element that completely absorbs good atmosphere that derives from Canterbury. Those flows might already have been established.

However, years of about four years were necessary by the time they announced this album. And, the music character that they had in the years develops further. The extension of the width of the music that had been done in 1st album was uniting of the idea indeed absorbed. They guess that they had gone aggressively in live after announcing 1st album. The performance that spends between 1977 and 1978 and is done though it is a collapse of the belonging label is announced as "Camere Zimmer Rooms". This sound source uses the sound source of the performance done in Genova in Italy. The base of the activity might not have been wide at all. However, it might be certain that they always provided with the advancement of individuality and the technology from the part of a consistent music character further.

When 1st album is compared with the content of this album, they are the parts where various elements in addition to a part developed music were absorbed and the parts of a few avant-gardes. And, there might be a certain kind of refinement and construction as a collective impression. Flow that is reminiscent of part of Henry Cow and Frank Zappa in addition to atmosphere of good Canterbury offered with 1st album. And, there might have been an influence such as Stormy Six of the same label , considering the fact that this album is announced from "L'Orchestra", too. The band is producing this album newly adding three musicians. And, Aldo De Scalzi has shifted to New Trolls after the activity of this band. And, it participated in the tour of Anna Oxa.

"La Sgargianza Parte 1" is a song and a voice with a collage by the sound of the percussion instrument and the decoration and mysterious melodies. And, a few avant-gardes are uniting with the atmosphere of good Canterbury.

As for "I Problemi Di Ferdinando P.", the melody of Sax and the keyboard with the anacatesthesia unites well. Progress of Chord that composes mysterious harmony. The composition in which the part of the chamber orchestra is added to the atmosphere of 1st album expresses a good flow. Coming in succession of sound by Sax. And, the construction of the melody with complete ensemble flows in the space. The composition of a simple sound in which the decoration of the extra is excluded has decided the impression of this album.

"La Sgargianza Parte 2" is a melody of the song processed by the effect. Part of song intermittently constructed. And, the atmosphere of the avant-garde who rules the whole. The album advances. The part of the connection is made for the album to act.

"Mederno Ballabile" crosswires the melody of the keyboard and Sax and progresses. The progress of the melody and Chord might be completely influenced by Frank Zappa. The rhythm in close relation to the complexity and the construction of the melody are splendid. The technology of the performance might be also very high.

As for "La Sgargianza Parte 3 e 4", the melody and the avant-garde of a mysterious song rule the whole. However, the sound is refined. The direction is an idea consistently for them and music.

"Strativari" starts continuously about the collage of the sound of the decoration. It has the melody that is reminiscent of the part of Frank Zappa. Intermittent construction of the rhythm and the flood of the sound will not be able to be achieved if there are neither a high technology nor an idea. Melody with charm by Sax. Refined rhythm. However, the part in good Chord and the space that appears everywhere also contributes well. And, the flood of the sound launched from a transparent feeling with the flute and the part of the tension one after another might be exactly a part by their one established ideas.

"Mettiamo L Caso Che Parte 2" starts by the melody of a perfect song. Pastoral song in close relation to acoustic melody. And, the melody of "Napier" collected to 1st album appears. The melody that the idea that reversely plays the tape twines and gentle Sax and the keyboard are good is made. The vibraphone twines very well for the tune, too. The rhythm twines gradually. Atmosphere is reminiscent of the part of Hatfields and National Health. And, the melody of "Napier" appears again. The arrangement and the restructuring of the melody might be splendid. The tune advances while keeping chaotic. The composition and the melody of a complex rhythm make a good flow. And, the melody of "La Floricultura Di Tschincinnata" of one furtherst album appears. The song and the melody are refined and the part of fine quality is maintained. The atmosphere of the chamber orchestra that rules the whole might be splendid. And, the melody of the chorus of "La Bolla" of one furtherst album appears. It is a composition that was able to be improved very much. The tune continues atmosphere as it is.

"Uccallin Del Bosco" advances with the rhythm of three rhythms. The melody has the humour very much. And, it is partial of advanced intense on the way Rock. Or, the melody that continues the humour. The melody of Sax also contributes to the tune.

The part of a good quality to which their 1st albums were involved might have been refined further with this album.

Report this review (#263078)
Posted Thursday, January 28, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars One of the records I deeply enjoy and at the same time feeling lucky for keep on discovering jewels like this on music paths around progressive, jazz and art rock. The music here is leaning more towards avant prog than canterbury's scene. The sound is similar to Zappa's Grand Wazoo or Henry Cow's Legend, but the feeling and the compositions are less "severe" and more graceful. The production is excellent leaving voices and the big number of instruments to breath and interact. I wish I could understand what the lyrics are about! I have only been advised that "Picchio dal Pozzo" can be translated as "Strike at the Well", an exrpession meaning "Strike of Fate". These signori play a complex, honest, lyrical kind of avant prog that comes out at ease. They don't show off weirdness or extreme skills. Their ideas unfold naturally in a way that you could guess that not only the were co-musicians but close friends. I would dare to say that the 16 minute long "Mettiamo Il Caso" could be concidered as a one of the "standard" songs of the canterbury genre (along with "Il Presidente" or "Pinguini" from "Camere Zimmer Rooms"). A great album for anyone who appreciates avant garde, RIO or canterbury scene. Also, recommended for progressive rockers who would like to taste something different.
Report this review (#292594)
Posted Thursday, July 29, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars Less Canterbury, more avant-garde.

This is the first thing that strikes me with this album. This, their second album, is also far less (musically) accessible than their debut album. It starts with some really good jazz tunes before the middle part goes Frank Zappa and Henry Cow with some avant-garde jazz/rock and vocal parts. This album ends with some more accessible Canterbury jazz again.

Electric guitars has got a more prominent role on this album than expected on a Picchio Dal Pozzo album. The woodwinds is still the dominant instruments here in addition to bass and drums. But the guitars gives the material more colors and that's a good thing. The vocals too is pretty strange and adds colors to this album.

I am not denying that I am rather hypnotized by Picchio Dal Pozzo's sound and music. That's a sign of excellent music in most people's mind. I am no different. I find tracks like Mettiamo Il Caso, Strativari, I Problemi Di Ferdinando P., Moderno Ballabile and Uccellin Del Bosco fascinating. The rest of the album is great too. But those tracks are brilliant.

This album is not perfect, but it is pretty close to being one. This album is captivating me and I am in awe of it and the ones who created it. I therefore highly recommend it.

4 stars

Report this review (#295692)
Posted Sunday, August 22, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars Given the influence of Frank Zappa on the early Canterbury scene (he even jammed with Caravan once!), it's not surprising to find Picchio dal Pozzo incorporating more of the style of proto-fusion he experimented in with the original Mothers of Invention into their music. Likewise, it's no surprise to hear them incorporating more avantish influences from Henry Cow, considering that the Cow started out with a very Canterbury-influenced sound. But what's really impressive is how the band bring all of these influences together in a cohesive sound which makes their second album an impressive, RIO-tinged follow-up to their debut.

Though their sound is still centred on the Canterbury style, they focus very much on its more avant offerings, with Zappa-ish instrumental workouts and sung-chanted portions not dissimilar to those used by Henry Cow on their first three albums. The result is an album which is somewhat less immediately accessible than their debut (or Camere Zimmer Rooms, the recordings produced between that album and this), but rewards repeated, attentive listens wonderfully. In its more accessible moments, the album reminds me a lot of the Muffins' Manna/Mirage - tough I don't know whether that's a matter of direct influence or parallel evolution.

Report this review (#567255)
Posted Sunday, November 13, 2011 | Review Permalink

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