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Indaco - Terra Maris  CD (album) cover



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3 stars I owe the discovery of 'Terra Maris' to the list of unreviewed albums in the ProgArchives forum. It's the fourth studio album by Indaco, a band that has received only scant attention on the site despite its line-up including Banco cohorts Rodolfo Maltese and Pierluigi Calderoni. 'Terra Maris' is also fortified by guest appearances from the likes of PFM's Mauro Pagani and vocalist Andrea Parodi of Tazenda.

Although Indaco's music is grounded in Italian folk the band isn't restricted by the native Italian sound; their music has a truly cosmopolitan spirit and is presented in the wider context of World Music. What we have therefore is a fruitful collection of ethno-prog that blends Mediterranean, Celtic and Eastern influences. The generally laid back, airy feeling on the album is arrived at through its stylistic variations. Some tracks follow different forking paths into jazz, folk or rock, but as often as not these influences all branch into one another.

There's a strong North African or Andalusian influence on the early part of the album that contrasts sharply with the rather interesting cover of 'Norwegian Wood', which is pretty much unrecognisable until the final few bars. 'Aran' is one of the main highlights and features a beautiful interaction between classical guitar and trumpet, the latter courtesy of Paulo Fresu.

The album is enriched with ethnic instruments although the two-part 'Terza Qualita', which comes complete with Irish bouzouki and fiddle, verges on what is disparagingly referred to by some people in my neck of the woods as 'diddly-dee' music. As a song it's actually fine, it just seems a bit out of place here. That minor aberration aside the album successfully manages to express the mood of the Mediterranean.

The band members employ a tight, economical style and turn mostly to short track lengths. The obvious exception is the 8-minute 'Puja', a mellow workout for upright bass, violin, horn and piano. This is lovely stuff, like walking along the beach in the still of a moonless night. Fans of the more folk-oriented RPI should definitely check out this album.

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Posted Monday, April 18, 2011 | Review Permalink

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