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Cavalli Cocchi.Lanzetti.Roversi - Cavalli Cocchi Lanzetti Roversi CD (album) cover

CAVALLI COCCHI LANZETTI ROVERSI

Cavalli Cocchi.Lanzetti.Roversi

Rock Progressivo Italiano


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Nightfly
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars An album that is likely to be of interest to fans of Italian progressive rock is this debut from newly formed trio Cavalli Cocchi Lanzetti Roversi. A band with considerable pedigree with the three musicians between them having played with the likes of PFM, Acqua Fragile, Moongarden and Mangala Vallis to name a few. The band features Gigi Cavalli Cocchi on drums, Bernardo Lanzetti on vocals and Cristiano Roversi on mellotron, piano and chapman stick.

Despite such strong prog credentials anyone approaching this album expecting some serious prog workouts is likely to be disappointed. The band has gone for a much mellower vibe with the emphasis on songs over musical muscle. Nevertheless the songs are beautifully and tastefully played with excellent musicianship, each playing precisely what's required of the song rather than flexing their obvious skills. Lanzetti's vocals have always been an acquired taste and is often compared to Roger Chapman of Family with that warble in his voice. I've always enjoyed his style and while his voice has clearly aged since those golden years with PFM he's still in fine form here.

Mellotron lovers will instantly recognise that distinctive sound which not surprisingly with the sparse line up of instruments plays a key role along with piano. Despite there being no guitar player in the band a succession of guest players add acoustic guitar which also plays a prominent role in the sound, played by the likes of Aldo Tagliapietra of Le Orme and Steve Hackett no less to a name a couple. The first couple of plays may leave a certain amount of indifference to the songs, I was that way myself, but after repeated plays their charms begin to shine through and I found myself really warming to them. Stick with it then, this debut has turned out to be a rewarding experience.

Report this review (#507436)
Posted Monday, August 22, 2011 | Review Permalink
Finnforest
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Refined (nearly) to death but it sure is pretty

Their press release claims CCLR "continue the tradition of Italian Progressive Rock groups, singing in English and bringing the genre up to date", the latter part which is worthy of some moderate scorn in my opinion. First off, the RPI genre is already up to date and has been well before this trio arrived on the scene. There are plenty of exciting and "up to date" bands on the current scene. Second, despite their claim of continuing the tradition, CCLR's English vocals are instead a footnote to that tradition. RPI bands are more than welcome to use them of course and a few did/do, but the fact remains that the vast majority of classic/modern RPI bands use the beautiful and romantic Italian language thankfully, and the majority of RPI fans I've known prefer it that way. The Italian language is one of the great thrills of listening to this unique and amazing sub genre.

CCLR is short for Cavalli-Cocchi, Lanzetti & Roversi, a new "supergroup" featuring former PFM and Acqua Fragile vocalist Bernardo Lanzetti, Mangala Vallis' Gigi Cavalli Cocchi on drums, and Moongarden's Cristiano Roversi on keyboards and bass. Guitar duties are handled by a cavalry of special guests, including none other than Mr. Steve Hackett. The new album is a highly professional production from hugely talented musicians, but the great degree of refinement zaps some of the thrills from the project for me. I almost thought of this as "lounge-RPI" mixed with crossover and sometimes too much vocal melodrama, during one track I thought I was listening to Meatloaf.

Yet despite my light hearted ribbing, the majority of the album can be described as mature, laid-back, elegant rock music with an affluent sophistication and carefully considered, earnest arrangements. Lanzetti, who sounds amazingly like Roger Chapman of Family fame, is a gifted vocalist who brings new life to several songs, one of which includes a reworking of the Acqua Fragile classic "Morning Comes." It's a very beautiful, pastoral moment. Roversi employs enough mellotron to excite the old school fans, while instrumental sections can occasionally get jazzy or bluesy in the smoothest sense of the words. There is a good deal of piano, bass, and acoustic guitar interplay that is quite clean and given plenty of space. They sometimes brought to mind Procol Harum for their pace and warmth, as well as classic Supertramp for their blend of accessible styles, and even Peter Gabriel for the unique art-rock flavor.

The roster of musicians alone makes this debut of interest to fans of RPI even if the sound is only occasionally genre typical. I personally was somewhat indifferent to what I was hearing and repeated listening overcame only some of that. I appreciated the quality and seriousness of the project but found myself wanting much more. More mischief, more release, and more sweat. I was a bit like a Clapton fan watching the master give a deep and "mature" modern day live acoustic performance while secretly dying to get back to the car so I could crank some Cream. I guess that means I'm still stuck in middle-aged adolescence but I have to be honest. In any case, this is a good album which delivers a wealth of truly beautiful moments despite my reservations, and is recommended to those who love a refined and relaxing approach.

Report this review (#508458)
Posted Wednesday, August 24, 2011 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars I really think the vocals of Bernardo Lanzetti will be the key as to whether you will like this or not. The music is pleasant and enjoyable, in fact the mellotron work of Cristiano Roversi (MOONGARDEN) is to die for. He has in the past always used sampled mellotron, but he finally has his own real one and man does he impress with it here. If this was an instrumental album it would easily be 4 stars. It's funny that I liked Lanzetti's vocals early on in his career with ACQUA FRAGILE and PFM, but his voice on that MANGALA VALLIS record in the 00's and here on this record are not appealing in any possible way.

Gotta love the passion before 1 1/2 minutes in on the opener "New Life On Mars". The mellotron in the background sounds great. "JPJ Card" has lots of prominant drums and vocals but it's the mellotron that moves me. "Morning Comes" is ballad-like with fragile vocals and piano. Strummed guitar and mellotron join in. The mellotron sounds amazing. A change before 4 1/2 minutes as it picks up. "Words Got The Power" is another laid back tune with vocals and mellotron.

"Why Should I ?" is more uptempo with vocals, piano and drums standing out. Lots of mellotron later on. "By This River" is a relaxed tune with a beat and vocals. "Great Love Does Burn Fast" is the only song that I really enjoy. And it's not because Steve Hackett guests on guitar either because I found this out after the fact. It's just a cool tune. Love the mellotron and heavy bass. Reserved vocals come in. It settles back but contrasts continue. "The Late Hour" is another laid back vocal track but the mellotron is the highlight. "Blue Boy Under An Ethnic Sky" haha. Sorry but that title amuses me. It's ballad-like to start and we get some vocal melodies as it picks up.

It's funny that Lanzetti really promotes in interviews that young Italian bands sing in English. I think he's missing one of the most important things about RPI and that's how beautiful the Italian language sounds.

Report this review (#753487)
Posted Tuesday, May 15, 2012 | Review Permalink

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