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Latte E Miele - Papillon CD (album) cover


Latte E Miele

Rock Progressivo Italiano

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4 stars Papillon is a very unique combination of jazz and progressive rock, it also combines classical music and narrates the history of Papillon. You can hear the history not only in italian but also in english.
Report this review (#4381)
Posted Sunday, November 21, 2004 | Review Permalink
4 stars This album is a ver good combination of jazz,rock and classical music( that Vivaldi interlude in Parte Seconda sounds great). Not my favourite italian prog band but still they have some things of their own. What caught most of my attention was the sound of the bass guitar which reminds me a lot of Geezer Butler's playing. So trying to imagine Geezer Butler playing in an italian prog band sounds bizarre but cool at the same time! Anyway, the jazz passages are excelent. Im talking about those on Parte Prima and Parte Seconda. It is worth a listen alright if you run into it cause you're never gonna find it!
Report this review (#4382)
Posted Friday, December 24, 2004 | Review Permalink
2 stars The line-up of this Italian band and their strong classical influences is reminiscent of ELP, but the quality of their music obviously is much inferior to them. The suite "Pavillon" consists of alternating orchestral and quiet acoustic parts with vocals that sound quite mawkish. The rest of the album is rather light-Prog-ish sounding mostly more like jazz played in a piano bar, maybe apart of track 11 containing a quite good drum solo. Overall a rather nice but really not exciting album and I think there are many much more interesting bands to check in the 70's Italian Prog scene. Maybe one could give 1/2 star extra!
Report this review (#4384)
Posted Tuesday, February 8, 2005 | Review Permalink
3 stars This starts off with a powerful intro that reminds automatically the best stuff made by Emerson Lake & Palmer and Gentle Giant. And then, oddly, a curious story is introduced on a melody that reminds nursery rhymes from a old Walt Disney record. The Disney theme is introducing every track from 1-7. I'd say it's not a bad concept, but the kiddy theme could get on your nerves after seven reprises.

These guys are ripping off ELP with no shame, Tarkus appears to be the main influence. They radiate a good amount of energy but expect a different approach than Triumvirat or Le Orme. This is more romantic, theatrical and the songs are shorter. But the talent is there, no doubt about it. The emphasis is more on keys and guitar/bass, and less on drums unlike ELP's drum bashing. An orchestration can even be heard on some tracks, giving a sweeter, poppish sound and giving you the confirmation that these guys were aiming high in terms of studio work. Vivaldi's 4 seasons is even covered by the band, and the orchestral result is enjoyable.

After the puppet's story, we get many short numbers of relative jazzy creativity. And this is where I jump in: a jazz lover will find Latte E Miele interesting because of their mellotron/piano-bass-drum interplay. The grooves are nice and so is the piano work. While Keith Emerson is showing off like a teenager strutting out the gym, Lacagnina is aiming more on clever melodies. Good, we don't need another Emerson...

Jazz and classical amateurs shouldn't have a problem popping this in their cd player often. A great proof that an influence (ELP) can be mutated in something better.

This is what I call excellent, successful work.

Report this review (#4385)
Posted Sunday, February 27, 2005 | Review Permalink
3 stars They get a little too cutesy with their second album. The conceptual title suite of PAPILLON, based on a children's story, is definitely the weak spot. Some of the playing is fine, particularly the keyboards, in the instrumental sections. But the vocal passages, incorporating saccharine woodwind orchestrations and even a children's choir at one point, are just sappy beyond belief. The concept (about a marionette) certainly does little to help.

The rest of the album is a good deal better, though, comprised of a surprisingly enjoyable take on Beethoven's "Pathétique" sonata bookended by a brace of jazzy bagatelles. So it rather acquits itself in the end, but this is far from essential Italian prog. Mainly for collectors.

Report this review (#46466)
Posted Monday, September 12, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars Their second album, Pappilion, is rather little than the great first album, but this will be an indispensable piece for whom loves pure singing voice and a poetic turn of mind. I have been captivating by thier pure singing voices for many years and never lost color. Fantastico! On the release from Japan polydor, there is a bonus track, Tanto Amore, which is from their EP released at 1974. This is also great!
Report this review (#62330)
Posted Friday, December 30, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars The second work released in 1973 "Papillon". Album that makes suite of which motif is prison breaking play famous for movie the main. It has artistry and interest to surpass the former work as keyboard rock. Masterpiece. Good work only in Italy of 1970's.Five stars. Essential: a masterpiece of progressive music.
Report this review (#69118)
Posted Sunday, February 12, 2006 | Review Permalink
3 stars Latte e Miele's second album is another attempt to blend classical influences with rock. pop and jazz. The result is not completely convincing and this work, in my opinion, marks one step back for the band.

The title-track has nothing to do with the character of the famous Henri Charrière's novel. It's a long suite that tells the story of a puppet of wood called Papillon. The puppet runs away from the showmen's booths to explore the world of men ("La fuga"). After the "break-through", Papillon arrives in the market place of a village ("Il mercato") where he meets a little girl who "stirs" his feelings ("L'incontro"). The people of the village think that he wants to harm the girl and they arrest him ("L'arresto"). Then they put him on trial and Papillon is sentenced to death ("Il verdetto"). Just before the execution he begins to cry and becomes a little boy ("La trasformazione"). Then he runs away ("Corri nel mondo")... The singing parts and the lyrics are a kind of nursery rhyme intertwined with good instrumental breaks, but in the whole this track is absolutely nothing special. In my opinion it's too long and it risks to be boring.

More interesting are the other tracks. Good the short instrumental "Divertimento" and the final track "Strutture", where the classical influences are blended with jazz. The complex "Patetica" is a kind of "fantasia" trying to mix classical music with rock and jazz. It's divided into three parts: excellent the first and the second one (where you can easily recognize an excerpt from Vivaldi's "Four Seasons" melting into jazz rock), while the third part is an effort to mix classical influences with melodic pop (and uninspired lyrics).

In the whole "Papillon" is not a bad album, but it's very far from essential indeed!

Report this review (#89877)
Posted Sunday, September 17, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars Papillon is the second and in my opinion the better album by Latte E Miele. The whole album is full of wonderful melodies and good musicianship. The 1st side is based on one good theme which is repeated many times but it doesn't give eny irritation because each time the group finds a new way to develop it. The Side B is not so homogenic and has a lot of classical influences. It's a little bit weaker than Side A but it's very good nevertheless. A perfect album for admireres of Italprog.
Report this review (#95627)
Posted Wednesday, October 25, 2006 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars A controversial sophomore effort...

It's interesting that we rate Latte Miele's first album much higher than Papillon on average, to this date I found no less than four different sources exclaiming that this one is superior to the first. Well, I'm with our PA reviewers in that I prefer the debut album with its youthful exuberance to this more laid back album. This isn't a bad album by any means but it lacks the bite of the first. The 8-part 20 minute Papillion suite is first up and largely gone are the hard-edged choir vocals and hard rock electric guitar. This time around the music is much more keyboard oriented, with an overall more delicate sound from softer vocals and acoustic guitars. There are still some nice classical embellishments happening to make things grandiose and colorful. "Quarto Quadro" would be a good example of that. "Sesto Quadro" features some lovely piano. In the second track "Divertimento" the band takes to a jazzy approach . Another epic track is next in the 3-part "Patetica" which aims to experiment with jazz and classical influences in rock. It certainly is an interesting adaptation but it never quite moves me. Part 2 features a marvelous violin solo that is noteworthy as well as drum solo. Part 3 is very mellow and reminds me of The Moody Blues in its gentleness. There are some flutes and horns in the second half over tasteful rhythm section. "Struttere" is last and the jazz rhythm reminds of the background music from Charlie Brown, which is not a slam because I love Peanuts tv specials and their music. Some lovely piano and guitar flourishes are also present-great stuff.

A good album to be certain, recommended to fans of 70s Italian, but certainly not an essential title. The lp-sleeve re-issue is worth the few extra bucks if you're going to buy this, just to have the nice booklet with band history and photos. I also love how they frequently provide a scan of the original vinyl inner labels in the booklet. Very cool "attention to detail" item.

Report this review (#148890)
Posted Sunday, November 4, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars Latte e Miele is simply one of the best italian prograssive rock band ever. Papillon is a great album, even though is not as perfect as Passio Secundum Mattheum. This album has some great moments, italian moments, we can love. Not powerfull like the previous Latte e Miele album and more delicated. If 'Passio...' is a baroque mass, Papillon is a baroque suite full of inspired passages with a few infant seconds.
Report this review (#161833)
Posted Friday, February 15, 2008 | Review Permalink
3 stars If ELP is one of your beloved bands, you might well be interested in "Latte E Miele" (milk & honey).

The first suite is "Papillon" which lasts for about twenty minutes (but spread over eight different sections) is not bad but lacks in consistency. "Overture", "Secundo Quadro" are fully influenced by the great trio. Maybe to such an extent that some might speak about plagiarism. It is true that these numbers are so close that this feeling is inevitable.

But the distinct Italian flavour of some other songs clearly indicate that the band is also capable of releasing more personal and beautiful music. Maybe not enough, but "L'Incontro" confirms this analysis brilliantly (even if it turns a bit pompous at times).

The concept of this second album is rather thin. It has nothing to do with the great storyboard that could have led to a great first album ("Passio Secundum Mattheum"). Needless to say that the children choir as well as the general jazzy mood during "La Transformazione" is not my cup of tea. And "Divertimento" is also hesitating between symphonic and jazz. Same conclusion.

"Latte E Miele" is also flirting with classical music (you know, like.). This is experienced during the second suite of the album ("Patetica"). "Parte Prima" actually being a collage of three genres : classical, symphonic prog and jazz. Difficult to follow, I'm afraid; and it goes on during "Parte Seconda" which features Vivaldi's "Four Seasons".

This album is not a gem for sure. When inspired vocals enter the scene, some useless orchestration are almost ruining the effort. Fortunately, the positive prevails upon the negative in "Parte Terza".

This album is on the edge of three stars. But the feeling is again drastically different during the boring "Strutture" and the beautiful and melodic "Tanto Amore" which is obviously an ode to love and features the best melody of the whole album. Sentimental and poignant. I would have liked a bit more of these feelings throughout this album.

Report this review (#163059)
Posted Sunday, March 2, 2008 | Review Permalink
Cesar Inca
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars I'm one of those who feel more impressed by Latte e Miele's sophomore album "Papillon" than by the debut effort "Passio Secundum Matheo", as much as I enjoy listening to the latter, every now and then in my Italian prog rediscovering personal ages. "Papillon" finds the trio stating a more polished handling of the various sections comprised in the album's longest opuses: the namesake suite and 'Patetica'. The 'Ouverture' is a sort of Emersonesque show-off of powerful organ-driven cadences efficiently framed by the rhythm duo, leading to a 'Primo Quadro' that alternates soft Baroque and ELP-style jazz. The 'Secondo Quatro' has a more epic feel to it, while the 'Terzo Quadro' states a romantic mood with a somewhat powerful orchestral backup. While the firs two 'Quadros' were introduced by pastoral friendly sung portions, 'Terzo Quadro' bears a more expanded vocal intervention. 'Quarto Quadro' alternates between eerie symphonic keyboard layers and Mahavishnu-like jams: both sources are short, so the resulting alternation is only 2'50" long. 'Quinto Quadro' has a surreal tranquility that may remind us of Il Pase dei Ballocchi, while 'Sesto Quadro' bears a cinematographic ambience through a compact linkage of sung and instrumental portions, eventually leading to the enthusiastic albeit too brief coda entitled 'Settimo Quadro'. 'Divertimento' is an exersice on symphonic prog cleverly alternated with jazz cadences. The album's second half starts with the 3-part 'Patetica'. 'Prima Parte' starts with a delicious set of piano motifs, and then the whole trio settles in to deliver an agile medley of classical music sections (Mozart, Tchaikovsky, Bach, all of them quoted in true prog rock fashion). 'Seconda Parte' kicks off with a wicked elaboration of the first third from Vivaldi's "Spring", one of Italy's most celebrated chamber pieces. Once the guest violin soloist indulges in some dissonant flows, the stage is set for the eventual irruption of the Latte e Miele guys, headlong for a solid exercise on keyboard- based power trio sort of sound The organ progressions, clavinet chords and synth lines lead the way for the track's melodic development, with bassist Dellacasa and drummer Vitanza serving as effective providers of the framework. The latter plays a very vibrant drum solo somewhere in the middle, after which the band feels more inspired to pursue an enhancement of the jazz factor. The third part ('Terza Parte') turns to pastoral moods, with soft chanting, warm acoustic guitar strumming and eerie synth layers filling the air: some Tchaikovsky quotations already used before reappear in the middle of the synth ornaments, and later on, in the input by the guest bassoonist. This is where the climax starts to build up all the way until the closing phrases, with the orchestral back-up managing to increase the colorfulness gradually for good effect. The album's last track 'Strutture' is yet another exploration on jazzy grounds, taken to a further level than ever before on the album. Perhaps compensating for the overall symphonic drive of Patetica's 'Terza Parte'? I don't know, but 'Strutture' is a very nice tune, which gives Dellacasa room to show his guitar skills besides his more usual role on bass. The bonus track 'Tanto Amore' is an exhibition of love as a pop music motto: San Remo material with a touch of mid 70s Eurovision. Well, the composition is quite nice and well constructed, but the overall scheme is mostly a pop venture that isn't really proof of the sort of creativity that had been revealed in the album's official tracklist. "Papillon" is my favorite Latte e Miele release.
Report this review (#185283)
Posted Saturday, October 11, 2008 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
4 stars Like the first album this too has a concept to it but apparently only on the opening side long suite this time. ELP's debut came to mind quite often especially with those powerful, upfront vintage keyboards. A strong Classical and Jazz flavour is mixed in with the Prog Rock. I like the fact that their first two albums have split the fan base as to which one is better. I'm not going to say yet which I prefer because it's so close for me but both are definte 4 star albums in my book.

"Papillon" is the almost 20 minute side long suite and it's divided into eight sections. Love the intro with those powerful ELP-like keyboards then it turns mellow on part two as the fragile vocals come in. It kicks back in with drums then turns mellow again with reserved vocals to start part three. It kicks in again as these themes continue with the laid back vocals usually opening a new section then it turns heavier. Check out the slicing violin on part five. An excellent suite and i'm glad I have the italian version as i've heard the English version isn't that great because of the strong accent.

"Divertimenzo" is orchestral-like then it turns jazzy with piano, bass and drums.These contrasts continue.

"Patetica" is divided into three parts and is over 16 1/2 minutes long. Piano only until the drums and organ kick in at 1 1/2 minutes. Piano follows then the organ returns. Part two begins with violin and is quite orchestral sounding.Then the drums and keyboards kick in after 1 1/2 minutes. Nice.The tempo picks up a minute later. Love the drum work before 3 1/2 minutes then it settles into a jazzy mode before 5 minutes. Part three is mellow and the vocals arrive 1 1/2 minutes in then drums.

"Strutture" has such a great sound to it. Jazzy stuff.

Certainly anyone who is seeking to know about RPI needs to check this band out, and you can't go wrong with either of their first two albums.

Report this review (#531264)
Posted Saturday, September 24, 2011 | Review Permalink

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