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Claudio Rocchi - Essenza CD (album) cover

ESSENZA

Claudio Rocchi

Rock Progressivo Italiano


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Finnforest
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Back from India

After "Volo Magico" Claudio Rocchi went on a long trip to India coinciding with his interests in spirituality and "mystical" music exploration. This album was made after his return and released at the end of 1973, during the height of the RPI heyday, though it is not a typical RPI release. It featured a larger group of contributors, including Elio D'Anna (of Osanna fame) and Mino De Martino (of Giganti). The songs were constructed as much more a product of improvisation than other works and in retrospect the album remains Rocchi's personal favorite of his releases. He dropped almost all of the more traditional Italian melodic songs from this one and went all out for the true "searchers" album. It does feel more uniform in vision this time, embracing and combining the psych-folk-acoustic thing, the Eastern impressions, and I believe even some Krautrock influence in one swirling, hazy trip. The ride sails on the back of acoustic guitars and bongos, sitar, and occasional organ or piano. The playing is usually laid-back, introspective, and mellow, although one of the more upbeat songs is treated to some blazing sax courtesy of Elio D'Anna, who also plays flute on the album. Sound effects/altered voices are a big part of the dreamy-soaked atmosphere, the most effective to me is title track's use of children's voices in front of this droning harmonium effect. I've seen others compare this album's quality to Sorrenti's "Aria" and Battiato's "Sulle Corde di Aries," and while those are subjective judgements this one is not nearly as interesting to me as those two works. This album and the Volo Magico albums are good stuff when I'm in the mood for this kind of haze, unfortunately I'm not in that mood often enough to fully appreciate this. I don't want to call "Essenza" aimless but sometimes it feels that way to me, and it certainly falls shy of an excellent rating in my book. Good stuff though, recommended for those who like to light up, kick back, and drift away.

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Send comments to Finnforest (BETA) | Report this review (#372319)
Posted Monday, January 03, 2011 | Review Permalink

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