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ETNA

Etna

Jazz Rock/Fusion


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Steve Hegede
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Here is another underrated Italian prog band that will interest collectors of Italian progressive rock. ETNA's music falls somewhere between mid-70s prog-fusion and Italian soundtrack music(ala jazz-funk Ennio Morricone). I bought this CD many years ago around the same time that I was discovering major Italian jazz-fusion bands like AREA and ARTI E MISTIERI. At the time, I thought that ETNA were okay and good enough to keep, basically. Well, recently I gave them a few spins and absolutely loved what I heard. ETNA differs a bit from other fusion bands in that they weren't into playing at hyper-speeds. They were all gifted musicians, but they only used faster tempos as a release (building tension and releasing) rather than a basis for their careers. Many sections remind me of 70s Italian soundtrack music, yet the music is slightly more complicated. GOBLIN's "Roller" would be a perfect comparison. But ETNA's sound fits well with music that came out between 1973-74 (there is no year-of-release on the CD label). Overall, I really recommend this CD to fans of AREA, ARTI E MISTIERI, GOBLIN, and mid-seventies Ennio MORRICONE. Don't expect anything mind-blowing, but ETNA are well-worth discovering.

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Send comments to Steve Hegede (BETA) | Report this review (#19005)
Posted Sunday, March 21, 2004 | Review Permalink
Sean Trane
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Prog Folk
4 stars As the psych-derived Flea On The Honey became Flea for their second excellent guitary album, the group changed again their name while keeping their line-up intact, and became the great jazz-rock Etna, whose sole album was released almost three years after Topi O Uomi and again on a different label, this time Catoca, who wrote their logo so big on the front & back cover artwork that one could think it would be the album's name.

The resulting jazz-rock is more in the line of the first Nova album than in the more Canterbury- ian/Nucleus-ian styles of Area or Perigeo to remain the Italian realm. But it's not to say that Etna doesn't get experimental or descriptive about their music as Across The Indian Ocean takes ac while to get on board, but the "dawn" part (intro) is very much early Vitous-era Weather Report, while the funkier middle section reminds of the Johnson-era WR. Overall the standard prog quartet tasks are better shared, even if the guitars still dominates the music, but not quite as authoritarian as when the group was still called Flea, as McL or Coryell would dominate their respective MO anf EH groups. Indeed Marangolo's electric piano is very present and he even pushes a bit of a clarinet in the second part of French picadors, once guitarist Pennisi went acoustic. The 9-mins Golden Idol is a highlight, constrasting with the smoother Lewdness or the closing Barbarian Serenade (both played on the acoustic piano), the latter sporting some Tarantella guitars.

Overall a pretty good (at times excellent) jazz-rock album that comes from the peninsula and it's a bit of shame that they never managed a second album as either Flea or Etna. Anyway, if their debut was a bit nave and rough, Topi and this last shot are both much worth owning.

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Send comments to Sean Trane (BETA) | Report this review (#170586)
Posted Sunday, May 11, 2008 | Review Permalink
4 stars SHADOW ON THE WALL... ETNA IS NOT ONLY A VOLCANO!

Etna is not proper a 3rd album of Flea On The Honey or 2nd album of Flea... But the first album of Etna... I.e.... The 3rd album of this band... Of this Sicilian band... And Etna is a Sicilian volcano... The house of Efesto, god on fire and metals...

The music is a simply Jazz Rock, not technical but with a good taste of feeling. In my opinion not so distant from Goblin (next band of Pennisi and Marangolo bros) but even similar to Uovo Di Colombo (Volpini band) so that if you love moderate RPI Etna is a great band (OK, Flea On The Honey... excuse me).

What else to add? I don't know. It seems to me that I have already said everything.

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Send comments to 1967/ 1976 (BETA) | Report this review (#241875)
Posted Monday, September 28, 2009 | Review Permalink
Finnforest
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Warm, vibrant '70s instrumental jazz-rock

Etna were a band from Sicily who began with the name Flea In The Honey before shortening to Flea, then finally changing to Etna. They released an album under each moniker and each is a very different animal. The first was influenced by British hard rock and not very original nor beloved by progressive music fans. The second album as the band Flea was a huge jump in quality and moved firmly into RPI territory while still paying homage to hard guitar rock. Its long jamming suite is quite a monster treat for guitar lovers. Their third release as Etna was a complete change in style and prove the musicians capable artistic chameleons able to go in two different yet believable directions.

"This time they recorded a powerful instrumental fusion album fronted by guitar and electric piano, resembling Mahavishnu Orchestra or the Spanish group Iceberg." [Scented Garden]

In many ways Etna is similar to other 70s stock jazz-rock and one can draw comparisons to Bella Band, Arti Mestieri, or Esagono. But just like many of these other groups, continued listening reveals depth and personality not obvious on the initial plays. All of the basics are top notch: fantastic drumming and bass guitar interplay, with occasionally fiery electric guitar solos in rock and jazz veins. There is great control and tightness but in this case it is not a dry, soulless ride. Moving away from jazz rock autopilot which many prog listeners become bored with, there is great warmth brought to Etna via interesting songs, acoustic piano, electric piano, clarinet, and even mandolin. There seems to be a conscious attempt to keep things interesting, to keep the sound from falling into predictable patterns and repetitions. "Across the Indian Ocean" is a great example with some seriously daring, spirited twists and turns in the groove. "French Picadores" is another great example of turning "jazz rock" on its head---it's a slow, dreamy wisp of clarinet melody over a finger-picked acoustic guitar. A bit of the old Flea guitar sound breaks through on "Sentimental Lewdness" but the growl is tempered here with uplifting piano runs. Beautiful piano and mandolin are meshed together in the closer "Barbarian Serenade," which sums up the album's attempt to present jazz rock in a more emotionally appealing package. Its lovely textures build into a hypnotic listening experience. While not a masterpiece and while there are some sections that lag a bit, Etna by and large have delivered an excellent set. It's really too bad they didn't didn't stay together, this was a good band.

Fans of instrumental jazz-rock need to make the effort to find this little-known gem of the genre---it is my feeling many of you will be pleasantly surprised by the quality and the fun level of Etna. The delivered on the 2nd Flea album and they do so again here in a completely different style.

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Send comments to Finnforest (BETA) | Report this review (#249063)
Posted Sunday, November 08, 2009 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Very unusual to see a band with the exact same lineup not only change their band name 3 times but also change the style of music with each album. This album is very much in the Jazz / Rock / Fusion style. I did think of ARTI E MISTIERI a lot mostly because of the drummer who is definitely the star of the show here in my opinion.This band (and drummer) aren't as dynamic though as ARTI E MISTIERI or MAHAVISHNU ORCHESTRA. My kind of music though with the electric piano, guitar, drums and bass all standing out.

"Beneath The Geyser" sounds so good when it kicks in around a minute after a mellow intro. The drumming is fantastic. This is an uptempo but intricate track. "South East Wind" opens with keys, drums and atmosphere then a rhythm kicks in with guitar. A relaxed and catchy song. It turns more intense after 4 1/2 minutes. "Across The Indian Ocean" has some great drum work once it kicks in as the guitar plays over top.

"French Picadores" is cool with the acoustic guitar and clarinet. Again the drums, bass and piano all sound really good. "Golden Idol" builds then settles back. The drumming is tasteful yet relentless. "Sentimental Lewdness" opens with a drum solo as the guitar joins in followed by piano and bass. It settles some. The guitar and piano sound great before 5 1/2 minutes. The drums are amazing as usual. "Barbarian Serenade" is led by piano early then acoustic guitar joins in followed by drums and bass 2 1/2 minutes in.

A really good album that fans of Jazz / Fusion will enjoy.

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Send comments to Mellotron Storm (BETA) | Report this review (#287698)
Posted Monday, June 21, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars A Italian Band of seventies that play Jazz Fusion with high quality. Beautifull fusion music with some good guitar improvisations and a very balanced keiboards made this special albun one of most nice made in Italy in this decade. Some calm parts (not psichedelic), with a Zen music context in Soft Machine vein, very sober, very well played with a intricate music concept very successful. We can listen a calm piano, a calm organ, a fast guitar, a very good played drums and a bass integrated in music. One album to listen at night, when we whant a calm jazz atmosphere with high quality music. Mandatory for those who like Jazz Fusion because it's a great album. I give 4 stars but really 4,5

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Send comments to Joo Paulo (BETA) | Report this review (#625771)
Posted Friday, February 03, 2012 | Review Permalink

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