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Le Orme - La Via Della Seta CD (album) cover

LA VIA DELLA SETA

Le Orme

Rock Progressivo Italiano


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poslednijat_colobar
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Split in two

The newest album by Le Orme is released in rapid and uncertain times for the band. After founder and lead singer Aldo Tagliapietra decided to leave the band, Michi Dei Rossi and Michele Bon continue as Le Orme with famous producer and bass player Fabio Trentini. To complete the new line-up, they recruited Jimmy Spitaleri as lead singer (of Metamorfosi fame), William Dotto as guitar player and Federico Gava for additional keyboards. And this album - La Via Della Seta is already prepared for accomplishment! At the meantime Aldo Tagliapietra formed a band with the intriguing name Tagliapietra Pagliuca Marton (at the same way as ABWH) with some past Le Orme members. We shall await thier plans, too, but that's another story...

What about the album La Via Della Seta? It's a beautiful album in typical Le Orme manner, with light symphonic sound and melodic, memorable songs without weak parts. It's full of short songs, but creates very pleasant atmosphere. The musicianship is great as expected and the songwriting is innovative and fresh! Generally, it's very good album without complex and exceptional parts. A light prog oriented album with beautiful moments, recommended for fans of light prog. Surely above 3,5 stars rating for me!

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Send comments to poslednijat_colobar (BETA) | Report this review (#433620)
Posted Thursday, April 14, 2011 | Review Permalink
4 stars As their last works Le Orme has done a good and solid work.

No more Aldo s vocals but Spitaleri vocals are very good too.

This album with Spitaleri remembers me more than traditional Le Orme: Locanda Delle Fatte in some songs.

So good compositions,well played,strong,... solid ...as it is expected to a a band with the experience and quality of Le Orme.

From Il Fiume to these days Le Orme made a turn ( fortunately) to a different italian prog from the not very creative 80 ,90 decades.

This album is very different from traditional or classic Le Orme.

The only simmiliraties are in some musical traditional riffs from the keyboards or guitars,and the romantic line of the ballads .

But still this last works are not in the level of their masterpieces: Uomo Di Pezza,Felona et Sorona ,Contrapuntti and Storia o Legenda.

4 stars.

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Send comments to robbob (BETA) | Report this review (#433656)
Posted Thursday, April 14, 2011 | Review Permalink
ozzy_tom
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars After quite a long break (7 years) from recording studio material, Le Orme is back! Although this band's pinnacle took place in 1971-1974 period, last few records were quite promising so I had rather big expectations about "La Via Della Seta". And I wasn't disappointed at all! At first I have to take note of line-up changes compared with their previous album. Long time leader of Le Orme - Aldo Tagliapietra and second keyboardist/violinist Andrea Bassato left the band. Replacement for this loss is Fabio Trentini, who plays bass, acoustic guitar and sitar, while the lead vocal duties were taken over by Jimmy Spitaleri (from Metamorfosi fame). Additionally this trio + vocalist formation is supported by guitarist William Dotto and keyboardist Federico Gava. All in all drummer Michi Dei Rossi remains as the only original member of the band, but don't worry, spirit of Le Orme is still here and surprisingly it's even more evident than during last few years of this group's existence! I'm especially fond of Michele Bon's development who gradually becomes more and more prominent member and his highly symphonic organ/synthesizers/piano passages can be easily compared with Tony Pagliuca's (original keyboardist) grandiose style.

Let's proceed to description of 12 tracks included on the disk:

1. "L'alba di Eurasia" - album begins with a BOOM! Very pompous, but energetic keyboards intro which sadly lasts only 30 seconds. After that music suddenly slows down and we can listen to soft acoustic guitar melodies. Very melancholic.

2. "Il Romanzo di Alessandro " - more dynamic instrumental with floating synthesizers, organ & surprisingly hard edged electric guitar leads/solos. William Dotto is only a guest here, but his guitar playin'' is very elaborated and makes this track to sound slightly different than your usual Le Orme's staff.

3. "Verso Sud" - first song featuring Jimmy Spitaleri is a beautiful ballad very much in the band's 70s material. You can be easily confused whether it's Jimmy's or Aldo's voice here, they are both quite similar. However Spitaleri seems to have slightly stronger singing style, especially compared with Tagliapietra's last few offerings. Anyway good song with nice piano and electric guitar background.

4. "Mondi Che si Cercano" - sounds like instrumental continuation of the previous track. It's a very melodic showcase of all musicians skills, but Bon's organ and Dotto's guitar work is the most significant. While highly symphonic piano-only ending (Bon or Gava?) shows the sheer beauty of this instrument.

5. "Verso Sud (Ripresa)" - reprise of "Verso Sud" song with melancholic Jimmy Spitaleri's vocals.

6. "Una Donna" - my favorite part of the album! Up-beat song driven by rockin'' guitar, piano & organ riffs. Spitaleri's voice perfectly suits this kind of Metamorfosi-like material. The best fragment of "Una Donna" is of course flashy Hammond solo in the vain of Pagliuca's work on "Collage" album from early 70s. Fantastic!

7. "29457, L'asteroide di Marco Polo" - continuation of previous track is an instrumental filled with more energetic guitar, organ and Moog synthesizer freak-outs. Sadly it's very short and ends too abruptly.

8. "Serinde" - rather uneven instrumental dominated by too repetitive synthesizer flights. Sounds too modern and "non-leormish" for me.

9. "Incontro dei Popoli" - gorgeous ballad led by folky acoustic guitar, flute-like synthesizer & passionate Jimmy's vocal. Truly analog Moog patterns are also superb here.

10. "La Prima Melodia" - decent symphonic prog song with nice melody, floating synthesizers, organ background and good vocal sections. Enjoyable guitar and piano solos near the end. Nothing outstanding or original but still OK.

11. "Xi'an - Venezia - Roma" - marvelous instrumental which presents us sheer beauty of vintage keyboards. Tons of classical influenced Grand piano, roaring Hammond organ runs and high-pitched Moog synthesizer solos. One of my my most beloved parts of "La Via Della Seta".

12. "La via della seta" - the longest song of this album can be described as symphonic- prog power ballad driven by Spitaleri's magnificent vocal, military-style drumming and (a bit too repetitive in fact) Hammond organ theme. All in all it's a rather catchy and ear-pleasing closing number.

"La Via Della Seta" is a very solid come back record which should satisfy all new and old fans of the band. Lovers of RPI music deeply rooted in 70s are highly advised to check this out ''cause style presented on the latest Le Orme's release clearly evokes such classic formations like Metamorfosi, Murple, PFM, Il Rovescio Della Medaglia or Il Paese Dei Balocchi and at most Le Orme's own splendid past (especially such albums like "Uomo Di Pezza", "Felona E Sorona" and the most guitar oriented "Smogmagica"). It's good to know that Le Orme remains a top notch Italian prog-rock band, while other legends like Metamorfosi, Murple and Il Rovescio Della Medaglia so far where unable to pull off equally good material in XXI century.

Best tracks: "Una Donna" and "Xi'an - Venezia - Roma"

4 stars from ozzy_tom

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Send comments to ozzy_tom (BETA) | Report this review (#434271)
Posted Saturday, April 16, 2011 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars LE ORME put out four amazing albums from 1971 to 1974 that is some of the best music I have ever heard. After that though they really didn't put out an album I appreciated until 2001's "Elementi" then the next one "L'Infinite" from 2006, these were their last two studio albums they released before this year's release. I'd rate "Elementi" as a strong 4 star album while "L'Infinite" is a low 4 star record.This latest one for me is between a 3 and a 4 star album and I originally gave it 4 stars on this review, but after listening to "L'Infinite" this morning (Nov.16/11) I have to drop this to 3 stars. It's just not as good as the last two in my opnion although it's still a good record. I must admit I was very surprised to hear that Aldo the vocalist had left and I thought maybe this would be an all-instrumental album, but no. They went out and got an amazing singer in Jimmy Spitaleri who sang with METAMORFOSI back in the day. Man he can sing ! I really appreciated him on that "Inferno" album that METAMORFOSI released in the seventies and he sounds just as good.Would you belive the drummer is the only original LE ORME member left.

"L'alba Di Eurasia" starts off like a house on fire then it calms right down with piano and acoustic guitar. Emotional guitar ends it along with piano and atmosphere. "Il Romanzo Di Alessandro" opens with drums and bass as guitar joins in.This is so uplifting as the synths join in too. Guitar to the fore after 1 1/2 minutes then we get some powerful organ runs.

"Verso Sud" opens with piano as fragile vocals join in. It does get fuller. Man this guy can sing. Such emotion. A guitar solo before 3 minutes then the song blends into "Mondi Che Si Cercano". Piano, guitar and organ lead early. Great sound here. Some beautiful piano melodies after 2 minutes.

"Verso Sud (Reprisa)" is a short piano/vocal piece. My God ! "Una Dona" opens with bass and drums as vocals and heaviness kick in. Organ comes to the fore a minute in. Nice. It blends into "29457,L'asteroide Di Marco Polo" . Again an uplifting guitar led instrumental with synths and organ too.

"Serinde" opens with water sounds and synths as the drums arrive and it builds. Nice bass too.The synths start to lead with organ floating in the background. "Incontro Dei Popoli" is mellow as vocals join in. A fuller sound before 2 minutes then it settles back a minute later. "La Prima Meloda" has a guitar led intro then the synths come in after a minute. A calm after 1 1/2 minutes then the vocals come in.That guitar led section is back as contrasts continue.

"Xi'An-Venezia-Roma" opens with bass and piano as the drums arrive and it picks up. Synths and organ follow. "La Via Della Seta" opens with atmosphere and vocals as it builds to a fuller sound.Vocals stop as synths start to lead. Marching styled drums also come in.

This is a solid release.

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Send comments to Mellotron Storm (BETA) | Report this review (#470673)
Posted Monday, June 27, 2011 | Review Permalink
2 stars Now this is a difficult one to review and a labor of love... As a long time Orme fan and having literally grown up with their songs as background music in the seventies, I feel authorized to say that THIS IS NOT AN ORME RECORD ! Said that, the record is good, with wonderful melodies, great musicians, an extraordinary vocalist. If only they would have had the courage to name the band otherwise!!! I can understand why Michi dei Rossi, as a band founder, feels justified doing so, but I totally disagree. In my opinion, if a band should be called Le Orme today, well that's the band with 66% of the original members in it, besides the two guys having written ALL THE SONGS of their history, is the band with Aldo Tagliapietra and Tony Pagliuca. Why on earth some judge decided that the name of the band should stay with Michi? Back to the record: if you can listen to the songs without knowing who is playing, then you would get the impression of a new prog outfit with a singer trying to sound like Francesco di Giacomo of Banco del Mutuo Soccorso. Since Spitaleri was already around in the seventies, it's not a copy of course, but just resemblance in style and approach. Maybe it's just me, but i miss Aldo's voice on all songs, not because Spitaleri is bad, but because 50% of Le Orme magic sound of the past is tied to his voice. I can't stop thinking that with a different band name I would have loved to hear this new band effort, but in the end I would have given this record a 3 star rating. As a Le Orme record, this is a 1 star for me. Any other record of this band would tell more about the past history than this one! So just for collectors indeed. Average of the two rating: 2 stars. Time will tell, once Tagliapietra Pagliuca Marton album is out, if ever they will find the courage...

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Send comments to scandosch (BETA) | Report this review (#482177)
Posted Thursday, July 14, 2011 | Review Permalink
Nightfly
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Rock Progressivo Italiano Team
4 stars When I heard the news that Aldo Tagliapietra had left Le Orme I figured they'd be finished. After all he had been the distinctive voice of the band since the beginning and I couldn't imagine how anyone else could take his place. I must admit to having reservations when I heard the news that a new album was forthcoming and that Tagliapietra's place was to be taken by a new vocalist, even when that vocalist was to be Jimmy Spitaleri of Metamorfosi fame. Well I needn't have worried as La Via Della Seta has turned out to be the best album the band have released (okay I admit there's a couple of eighties albums I've not heard) since the seventies including the return to form we've seen from them on the last few.

La Via Della Seta is pretty much in keeping with the classic Le Orme sound of classics such as Uomo Di Pezza and Felona E Sorona, melodic symphonic prog of the highest quality though benefiting from modern production techniques. Le Orme were never the most bombastic of bands and that's still true to a large extent despite some powerful moments here, preferring to let lush arrangements and strong melodies do the talking. Generally regarded as a keyboard led band and that's still the case but the albums greatly enhanced by some excellent searing electric guitar work in the Andy Latimer (Camel) vein courtesy of William Dotto. Drummer Michi Dei Rossi is now the only original member and I'm greatly impressed as always by his tasteful and fluent playing along with a pleasingly organic drum sound. Michele Bon whilst not an original has been with the band for many years now and impresses with some fine keyboard work including the obligatory Hammond organ. He's aided by guest Federico Gava who's piano work deserves particular praise.

Jimmy Spitaleri can't go unmentioned and anyone who's familiar with Metamorfosi will recognise his rich voice. Whilst I'd always rather hear Tagliapietra on the vocals there's no denying he puts in a fine performance here - the band have chosen wisely. He appears to be listed as a guest so whether he's to be a full time member remains to be seen. Of course Tagliapietra also played bass along with some guitar and his replacement in this area is Fabio Trentini who's also known for his production work. He proves to be another inspired choice.

It has to be said I'm more pleased with this album than I could have ever hoped to be, the song writing is top notch, the instrumental sections beautifully played and generally captivating. On top of that the rich production is the icing on the cake. Whilst not as great as their classic seventies output and let's face it, what band from that era can match those golden years today, La Via Della Seta is an album every Le Orme fan will want in their collection.

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Send comments to Nightfly (BETA) | Report this review (#486427)
Posted Tuesday, July 19, 2011 | Review Permalink
andrea
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars What happened to Le Orme? At the end of 2009 founder member and vocalist Aldo Tagliapietra left the band. In 2010 former keyboardist Tony Pagliuca released an album featuring old pieces from the band's repertoire rearranged for piano solo, the excellent "Aprčs midi - Ormeggiando". Then, he teamed up again with Aldo and with another former member of the band, Tolo Marton, for some live exhibitions and new projects while the other members, Michi Dei Rossi and Michele Bon decided to go on under the name Le Orme looking for new blood to complete the line-up. In short, from the band's family tree sprouted two new branches and I think it's pointless looking for the "true and authentic" Le Orme now. People grow up and change during their life, the members of a band can leave and come back but what really matters is the music. Is it good or bad? Did the musicians lose their inspiration? Are they playing just by rote now? Did the soul of the band vanish into the dark?

In April 2011 we got a first answer when Le Orme's branch featuring historic drummer Michi Dei Rossi released a new album. Along with Michi Dei Rossi (drums, tubular bells, Glockenspiel, cymbals, Bhayan) there's still Michele Bon (Hammond C3, piano, synth, keyboards, back vocals), who has been a member of the band for more than twenty years. The new line-up features also Fabio Trentini (bass, bass pedals, acoustic guitars, dulcimer, electric sitar, back vocals), the veteran Jimmy Spitaleri (vocalist of the historic Roman band Metamorfosi) and two young, skilled musicians such as William Dotto (electric guitar) and Federico Gava (piano, synth, keyboards). Well, I had the chance to attend one of their concerts and I have to say that this "metamorphosis" of Le Orme is very good...

The new album "La via della Seta" is conceived as a long suite. All the tracks are linked together and the music flows without interruptions drawing an imaginary journey along the "Silk Road" where you can meet the ghosts of merchants, pilgrims, missionaries, soldiers, nomads and cruel barbarians exploring mysterious cities and civilizations. To be honest the lyrics written by Maurizio Monti are not completely convincing, stylistically they draw on old melodramma canons and are a little naives but the music recalls the best moments of the band. There is more room for guitars and the interaction between piano and keyboards is excellent while the powerful, brilliant rhythm section adds beautiful touches of colour.

The opener "L'alba di Eurasia" (The dawn of Eurasia) sets the atmosphere. It's a short instrumental introduction where you can hear the destiny knocking on your door and an amazing guitar work. It leads to another beautiful instrumental track, "Il romanzo di Alessandro" (The story of Alexander), inspired by the life of Alexander The Great, well portrayed in Valerio Massimo Manfredi's novels as Child of a Dream, Sands of Ammon and Ends of the Earth...

Next comes "Verso Sud" (Heading South). It's about the need to look for new ways to escape the violence of barbarians in love with war and features a delicate piano pattern and soaring melodic vocals... "We'll need one day a new road...". The dreamy instrumental "Mondi che si cercano" (Worlds that are looking one after each other) tries to evoke a new road leading to new dreams and a better future, then follows a short reprise of the previous track "Verso Sud (Ripresa)". "Now a man makes up his mind / He comes to understand / Then a woman awakes and proudly comes forward...". The next track "Una donna" (A woman) was inspired by the work of the archaeologist Jeannine Davis-Kimball... "The warrior women known to ancient Greek authors as Amazons were long thought to be creatures of myth. Now 50 ancient burial mounds near the town of Pokrovka, Russia, near the Kazakhstan border, have yielded skeletons of women buried with weapons, suggesting the Greek tales may have had some basis in fact. Nomads known as the Sauromatians buried their dead here beginning ca. 600 B.C.; according to Herodotus the Sauromatians were descendants of the Amazons and the Scythians, who lived north of the Sea of Azov" (Quote from J. DAVIS-KIMBALL, Warrior Women of Eurasia, on the site www.archaeology.org). The lyrics evoke a strange meeting between a warrior woman coming out from her grave and a traveling man... "I see a woman who is waiting for me / She comes out from her space to sing...". Who is the mysterious man? Maybe Marco Polo, to whom is dedicated the following track, the short instrumental "29457, l'asteroide di Marco Polo" (29457 the asteroid of Marco Polo). The title refers to an asteroid that was discovered in 1997 by Italian astronomer Vittorio Goretti who gave it the name of the Venetian adventurer.

Next comes "Serinde", a beautiful instrumental track that starts softly introducing exotic atmospheres, then the rhythm rises and you can dream of routes leading towards the far East... By the way, the term Serindia combines Seres (China) and India to refer to the part of Asia also known as Sinkiang, Chinese Turkestan or High Asia... It leads to "Incontro dei popoli" (Meeting of people), an intense and melodic ballad featuring heartfelt vocals and acoustic guitar... "I ask for a meeting / People joining together / Maybe a new dream for this world will begin...New stories of peace / New communities / Another universe...". This track is closely linked to the following "La prima melodia" (The first melody), where the lyrics tell about a melody which can brighten the routes of the travelers inviting people of every age to join and celebrate their friendship and their land... "Once upon a time there was a sound passing by / Along our old route...".

The instrumental "Xi'an ? Venezia ? Roma" is another excellent track where the musicians try to blend classical influences and exotic flavours. It leads to the conclusive title track, where Jimmy Spitaleri's operatic vocals soar powerful drawing beautiful melodic lines (every now and again this track reminds me of Andrea Bocelli's "Con te partirň"). A bright, joyful marching beat leads to the "finale" of an album that is really worth listening to... "On the Silk Road / We can live again that past... I feel a new strong energy that will push me forward...".

All in all, in my opinion this is a very good starting point for the band after the metamorphosis...

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Send comments to andrea (BETA) | Report this review (#488303)
Posted Friday, July 22, 2011 | Review Permalink
Tarcisio Moura
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars I had written a much longer review on this one but somehow I must have psuhed the wrong button and lost all the text: F#****!!!!! So I'll be brief. Like so many other fans of the band, I was a bit skeptical about this work since foudner member (and voice of the band) Aldo Tagliapietra left the band. Thus leaving drummer Michi Dei Rossi as the sole original member. But somehow they pulled it together with producer Fabio Trentini handling bass and acoustic guitar duties. Vocals would be another story entirely since Tagliapietra has a very beautiful and unique voice that was one of Le Orme's trademarks. But again the remaining members did a nice job of asking the services of Jimmy Spitaleri (of Metamorfosi fame) to fill the void

The results were quite stunning: the music is pretty much Le Orme at its best, meaning a fine symphonic keyboard driven rock, with beautiful melodies and a strong link with both italian classical and popular music. In fact I found it to be one of their most satisfying albums in a long time and on par with their classic stuff of the 70's. In fact, La Via Della Seta is a very inspired and well performed album that reeks of their 70's sound all the time, but this time with a much better, crystal clear, production. Spitaleri has a beautiful voice and a very emotional delivering that fits very well the music here. Different voice from Tagliapietra, but equally powerful and convincing.

The instrumental parts are brilliant as ever, with very nice use of piano, moog and Hammong organ, plus a few electric guitar solos (courtesy of guest member William Dotto) for good measure. Everything fits in like a glove and nothing here is overplayed. I should mention that Dei rossi is still one fo Italy's best and most versatille drummers. Another excellent musician, Federico Gava, also helps on the keyboards.

If you're into Italian symphonic prog, then you simply cannot miss this CD. With all the problems they had, they still can surprise us delivering an excellent album after all these years. Le Orme is truly special.

Rating: 4,5 stars. Highly recommended!

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Send comments to Tarcisio Moura (BETA) | Report this review (#509735)
Posted Friday, August 26, 2011 | Review Permalink

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