Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso - Seguendo Le Tracce CD (album) cover


Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso

Rock Progressivo Italiano

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Bookmark and Share
erik neuteboom
4 stars This live-CD from 1975 by the Italian progrock legend BANCO showcases the band at their artistic pinnacle. Their sound is based upon the magnificent, omnipresent duo- keyboardplay (organ, synthesizers, acoustic - and electric piano, strings) by the Nocenzi brothers and the powerful voice from Francesco Di Giacomo, loaded with pathos. The tracking-list is great featuring "R.I.P." (beautiful interlude delivering moving piano, vocals and acoustic guitar), "L'Alberto Del Pane" (splendid varied keyboards), "La danza dei gandi Rettilli" (a swinging blend of symphonic, blues and jazz), "Passagio", "Non mi rompete" (pleasant acoustic guitarplay), "Dopo . niente e piu lo stesso (wonderful sumptuous keyboards and great vocals), "Traccia II" (fine acoustic pianoplay along trumpet and synthesizer) and an extended version (at about 26 minutes) of "Metamorfosi" (including a long and virtuosic piano solo and lots of exciting keyboards and shifting moods). If you do not own records from BANCO, this one is a perfect start. I have a lot of records from BANCO in my collection but this will be my favorite!
Report this review (#34528)
Posted Tuesday, April 5, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars With this recording, Banco have made what I believe is the finest live progressive recording I have ever heard! This record is just stupendous! I truly lack superlatives in my enthuseasm for the majestic performance of this recording! The recording and production are excellent; the selection of material is drawn from the first three albums ensuring the excellence of the compositions; but how a band can perform material this complex, and perform it with a higher degree of sophistication and elaboration with such inhuman synchronization,and even a more energized performance delivering the passion and crescendo; and develop and elaborate with the highest degree of sophistication the fundamentals of great music: melody, harmony, rhythm, and an overwhelming spiritual connection to our emotional and human experience. Francesco Di Giacoma should be considered as one of the finest tenor voices in rock music. Beautiful, exciting, complex, elaborate, intense, overwhelmingly melodic, dynamic, simply the most pleasureable musical experience I can imagine!
Report this review (#60574)
Posted Saturday, December 17, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars What can I say but "WOW"? After such a long expectation I thought the new Banco release would have disappointed me. But.... First, audio quality is almost perfect. Second, the tracklist shows some of my Banco's favourites (except RIP, the english version, and many italian proghead will agree, can't be compared to the italian one but it's still fascinating). Third, keyboards work by Gianni and Vittorio Nocenzi makes this live an exciting experience for all prog fans. For the first time on stage, "L'albero del pane" seems to be the best track here but this live is a surprise leading to another. "La danza dei grandi rettili" shows what Banco have been and what still are (trust me, i've seen them live): a 12 minutes gig featuring a series of keyboard solos which echoes "Canto nomade per un prigioniero politico". After the classic "Non mi rompete" there's a monstrous version of "Dopo...niente č pů lo stesso": on this track those who never heard Banco before will find out how they became one of the best international prog group ever. The lyric shows the political thought of the band: pure poetry that stands above all thanks to the monumental voice of Francesco Di Giacomo. A long, frenetic version of "Metamorfosi" ends one of the best recording i've ever heard. I give 4 stars and an half because nothing's like the full five star album "Darwin" but, believe me, after that "nothing is the same".
Report this review (#75015)
Posted Saturday, April 15, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars The RPI (and related) live reviews series vol.4

This album from 1975 (and unpublished for 30 years) is a document. A document of Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso at his summit of celebrity. The Classic Music in Rock (because this is the music of Banco) is this in great manner. Grat the English version of "R.I.P.", "L'Albero Del Pane", La Danza Dei Grandi Rettili" and "Passaggio" but "Non Mi Rompete" is a great discover with the following "Dopo... Niente č Piů Lo Stesso". "Traccia II" is also good but the long version of "Metamorfosi" is, if possible, a great conclusion. Unluckly Di Giacomo is a great voice... But it puts sadness when it thanks the public and announces the songs. But for me is only a note in margin of a perfect live. In fact the keyboards duo is the winning element. Also is Di Giacomo remains with his voice over category. Great album for a great band.

Report this review (#133348)
Posted Thursday, August 16, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars What an incredible live album. I bought this a Nearfest 2008, which a somewhat different Banco performed at. To tell the truth, I'm amazed at how much Banco haven't changed since this 1975 recording. Still filled with power, emotion, and great musical skill and dexterity. I'm not sure it will do me much good to do a song by song review, as every track is pretty much a highlight. I'd rather hear R.I.P. in the original Italian, but that is a small complaint and the song still works just as well (I don't speak or read Italian, but find myself drawn in to the natural beauty and emotional quality of the language and it's native speakers.....or in this case, singer). The La Danza Dei Grandi Rettili - Passaggio - Non Mi Rompete trio is absolutely sublime, with the last being probably the most beautiful rendition of that song I have yet heard from Banco. And, of course, the final track Metamorfosi being expanded to 26 + minutes is a wonder to behold. The extra length is not simply extending the song, but includes very interesting additional material like a section of ambient keyboards very much in the vein of Tangerine Dream, something I've never heard from Banco before.

Basically, this album is completely essential to anyone that likes Banco. It cost me 24 USD to buy this, and it was well worth every penny. I bought 8 other CD's at Nearfest, but it took a week to listen to any of the others as this CD would not leave my player. Unlike my fellow reviewers, I don't like to give live albums 5 stars, but this is as close as you can possibly get. A solid 4.5 stars for me, rounded down. But if you like Italian prog, Banco are the masters, the elder statesmen of RPI. Absolutely essential.

Report this review (#177192)
Posted Friday, July 18, 2008 | Review Permalink
4 stars Any country shaped like a boot is capable of kicking some serious butt

It's a constant source of both delight and bewilderment to me that for a country where turmoil would represent some sort of stability, it's Italy that has produced some of the finest Progressive Rock on the planet. Perhaps some eminently qualified sociologist might eventually come up with a plausible explanation as to why other similarly volatile Mediterranean nations have to date bequeathed only Julio Iglesias, Nana Mouskouri and Demis Roussos by way of recompense. (The latter trio I'm sure we might agree, represent a crippling 1st world debt sufficient to have cultural attaches seeking the protection afforded by filing for bankruptcy)

With three highly lauded studio albums behind them Banco were at or very near their creative peak when this concert performance was captured in Salerno, Italy in 1975. First of all the recording quality is pristine and you could be forgiven for doing a double take at the sleeve just to check it wasn't recorded 10 years later. Every single nuance of the playing and dynamics is captured faithfully here right down to the drummer's individual hi-hat strokes and apart from Cook by PFM there are precious few other documents attesting to the potency of the RPI heavyweights in the live realm.(I swear you can hear Pierluigi Calderoni's bum squeaking on his drum stool between tracks)

Prog bands with two keyboard players are rarer than penniless lawyers and apart from Greenslade and Ange I can't think of any other instances that spring readily to mind. The Nocenzi brothers clearly state their specialities from the outset with Vittorio covering organ, synths and string pads while Gianni's contribution is that of acoustic and electric pianos. If that were not sufficient enticement for y'all, Banco also provide at various junctures some alternately jazzy and ambient clarinet, flute and trumpet to add yet more textural diversity to an already heady mix. These reed passages conjure up the aura of an intimate baroque chamber music which sits quite appropriately as effective contrast to the surrounding electronic mayhem this group are more than capable of delivering. The band also exploit the medieval flavour of the harpsichord to authentic and quaint effect. I cannot help but envisage a stately procession in some provincial outpost of the Mezzogiorno replete with grimed pageantry when I hear Traccia II (all that's missing to complete this indolent day-dream is flag waving peasants at the roadside cheering the assembly along)

Had Placido Domingo strayed out of youthful curiosity into a groovy Rome watering hole circa 1969 and had his neat orange cordial spiked by some unscrupulous roadies, the night might have ended either in a Carabinieri baton charge or a glimpse of the future Francesco Di Giacomo. This critter has the voice of an angel trapped in the unprepossessing physique of a derelict tubby leprechaun. These are tonsils that make even rivet eating welders, tax accountants and rugby players weep unashamedly. Our Francesco is tantamount to the living embodiment of the 'Italian melodic tradition' that Banco preserve jealously in their otherwise healthy disavowal of the yoke of the past. Although he is clearly a trained diaphragm singer, the oft quoted 'operatic' tag is rather wide of the mark hereabouts as the classical flavour is but textural only i.e. he phrases and enunciates like a Mediterranean folk singer at heart. If you listen to the slowly building climax to RIP circa 5 minutes in you are witness to nothing less than white European soul music every bit as emotive, heartfelt and legitimate as that emanating from Smokey Robinson, Marvin Gaye, Al Green et al. I seem to have spent a large part of my formative years reading the gutless passive racism of white music journalists who would sully such comparisons as part of a lazy agenda to demarcate soulfulness as a tourist attraction. Framed within Gianni Nocenzi's exquisitely beautiful piano accompaniment it's the sound of this voice that stirs the human heart, not the lyrics whether they be in halting English or the fluent nurturing mother tongue of the singer. That's what soul music is and it's here in spades.

I suspect that of the two Nocenzi brothers, it's Gianni that pushes Banco to their avant oriented limits the most as his playing betrays the influence of Bartok, Gulda, Ginastera, 'astringent' Emerson, Stravinsky, Loussier and even some of the ideas of John Cage. This dude is a phenomenon Prog lovers and whether it's bluesy jazz licks, tonal clusters, understated harmonic support or plain vanilla ivory GBH yer wanting, Gianni delivers every time. Check out his lengthy solo on Metamorfosi which undergoes a punning transitional mutation from eastern European folk modes via a splendid imitation of what the instrument would resemble if filled with ping pong balls via a delay effect until its terrifying violent climax where he strips the piano's percussion family tree with an Oedipal fury that must represent a landmark in 'sphincter tightening' moments in Prog. Prepared piano is one thing but woe betide the unprepared listener who is in for a very unnerving and bumpy ride full of spooks, shocks, spills and chills sufficient to require the healing and redemptive power available from so much of the stirring music on this album.

La Danza dei Grandi Retilli is probably my favourite Banco instrumental and encapsulates pretty much everything endearing about the whole RPI genre. From the Jaques Loussier jazz injected Bach intro to an indelible synth theme and ever onwards to pulsing hypnotic rock that somehow still leaves sufficient room to allow for some angular chromatic detours and swinging jazz improvisation that would put many 'full timers' in the fusion genre to shame.

On more than one occasion on this record Banco manage to coax a timbre out of the humble clarinet that comes to resemble an alien (but very musical) foghorn. Take heed of this seductive baritone siren during the intro to Dopo Niente a Piu Lo Stasso and marvel at such invention.

I also much prefer the subtle guitar work of the 'new boy' Rodolfo Maltese compared to his predecessor Marcello Todaro whose rather strident and fizzy tone wedded to a lack of dynamic nous spoiled parts of the excellent trio of studio albums he appears on. Rodolfo is much more in the 'team player' mould with his electric solos being well paced and economic while he reveals a particular flair for understated but telling acoustic contributions be they intricate finger picking during the quieter passages or deft chordal strumming behind massed vocals. Perhaps the only blot on Roberto D'Angelo's copybook is that he does occasionally betray himself as an inveterate rawker imitating a walking bass-line on the up-tempo jazzy excursions.

What flaws there are on this fine album are mercifully small and forgiveable e.g. Metamorfosi has now bulged to a stamina sapping 27 minutes from its original modest 11 minute span as heard on the début album. Gianni Nocenzi's aforementioned piano extravaganza and a short and brilliantly 'catchy' drum solo are clearly the main additions but there are also some rather flaky bald patches where the lads do appear to be a bit too fond of 'weird' arresting textures as if they were an end in themselves. Similarly the strum-along folksy bonhomie of Non Mi Rompete although pretty appears a tad incongruous when sandwiched between the other more challenging material on offer. Perhaps this traditional number is an example where Banco for once fail to assimilate their indigenous roots into their habitual prog vocabulary?

For those unsure where to start with RPI they could do a lot worse than begin here with quite possibly the best example we have to date of one of the Italian giants 'caught in the act' of creating, enhancing and disseminating an entire musical legacy.

Report this review (#350196)
Posted Saturday, December 11, 2010 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
4 stars 4.5 stars. Man talk about digging up a treasure with this 1975 concert in Italy from one of RPI's greats.This wasn't released until 2005 if you can believe that. I wish there were more live concerts available from Italy's golden age of Prog but they seem to be few and far between. I would rank this one right up there with AREA's "Are(A)zione". All of the songs here are from the first four studio albums and spread out fairly evenly. At almost 75 minutes this is a real treat.

"R.I.P." is from the debut but is the English version. Gotta love the keyboards and bass early on this one. Guitar comes in just before 2 minutes and starts to solo. Piano follows.Vocals are back after 4 1/2 minutes. A calm follows as we get this gorgeous section. It kicks back in after 7 1/2 minutes with synths to end it. The guys speak to the audience between songs a few times and honestly they sound like they are half asleep. And they speak in Italian of course.

"L'albero Del Pane" is from "Banco(1975)" which I assume this was the tour for. This is uptempo with vocals. "La Danza Del Grandi Retii" is the only track from "Darwin !" and it's incredible. My first top three song. It's laid back with the piano, bass and drums standing out early. It turns fuller as we get some outstanding instrumental work here.The tempo picks up before 3 minutes and the trumpet joins in after 5 minutes. It's the keyboard's turn before 6 1/2 minutes then the synths solo. A percussion solo follows then drums and strummed guitar join in. It's experimental late.

"Passaggio" is from the debut and it's a short harpsichord piece. "Non Mi Rompete" is from the third album "Io Sono Nato Libero".This is a top three. How beautiful is this as vocals and guitar lead the way.Vocal melodies after 1 1/2 minutes as the tempo picks up. It settles back again as contrasts continue. Great track.

"Dopo...Niento E Piu Lo Stresso" is also from "Io Sono Nato Libero". A spacey intro then it kicks in with keys after a minute.Vocals 2 minutes in.Yeah he can sing. It settles back then we get these theatrical spoken words before 6 minutes. Intense section.Then it kicks back in. Great instrumental section before 20 1/2 minutes to the end.

"Traccia II" is from "Banco(1975)" and is led by piano to start then we get horns a minute in as it gets fuller. Harpsichord too. "Metamorfosi" ends it in fine fashion from the debut with an over 26 minute version. A top three for me. It kicks in right away then settles before 2 minutes. Some beautiful piano here. Drums then take over around 7 minutes then it turns spacey before 9 minutes.The piano is back after 15 minutes. Great sound.The synths sound amazing. Bass 19 minutes in then the guitar joins in. Nice. A calm 21 1/2 minutes in then the vocals arrive before 24 minutes. Gulp.

I'm not sure what's keeping me from pulling the trigger on a five star rating but give me time. A must for RPI fans.

Report this review (#517821)
Posted Thursday, September 8, 2011 | Review Permalink
3 stars A solid live album from Banco del Mutuo Soccorso at the height of their powers - with their international album of English-language renditions emerging on Manticore records the same year. The immediate difference I can pick up between this and the studio renditions of the material in question is in the keyboards, which sound somewhat tinnier and thinner to my ears - perhaps not surprising, given that this was an era when synths and keyboards didn't travel nearly as well as they do these days, and so rearranging songs to suit a more reliable keyboard rig might be a sensible move. I tend to prefer the studio versions, but this release is worth getting if you dig them.
Report this review (#2279211)
Posted Friday, November 8, 2019 | Review Permalink
4 stars Banco was one of the first Classic Italian Prog bands I discovered, along with PFM, because in the late 70s their LP's were available in the Dutch record stores. Although I am very pleased with the studio-albums I consider Banco at their best on stage, especially this live CD (recorded in 1975) showcases the band in its full splendor. Their sound is based upon the magnificent, omnipresent dual-keyboardplay (organ, synthesizers, acoustic and electric piano, strings) by the Nocenzi brothers and the powerful voice from the late and great Francesco Di Giacomo, loaded with pathos.

R.I.P. : Beautiful interlude delivering moving piano, very compelling vocals and delicate acoustic guitar.

L'Alberto Del Pane : Splendid varied keyboards.

La Danza Dei Gandi Rettilli : A swinging blend of symphonic, blues and jazz, trademark Banco, eclectic, dynamic and varied.

Passagio : A very short interlude with the distinctive harpsichord.

Non Mi Rompete : Pleasant acoustic guitarplay.

Dopo ? Niente E Piu Lo Stesso : Wonderful sumptuous keyboards and great vocals, this is Banco and no other Italian band!

Traccia II : Fine acoustic pianoplay along trumpet and synthesizer.

Metamorfosi (an extended version, around 26 minutes) : Cascades of changing amtospheres, including a long and virtuosic piano solo, and lots of exciting keyboards.

If you want to discover the amazing Classic Italian Prog I highly recommend this one!

Report this review (#3029500)
Posted Tuesday, March 12, 2024 | Review Permalink

BANCO DEL MUTUO SOCCORSO Seguendo Le Tracce ratings only

chronological order | showing rating only

Post a review of BANCO DEL MUTUO SOCCORSO Seguendo Le Tracce

You must be a forum member to post a review, please register here if you are not.


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.