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Fabrizio De André - Fabrizio De André + PFM In concerto CD (album) cover

FABRIZIO DE ANDRÉ + PFM IN CONCERTO

Fabrizio De André

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andrea
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars This album (recorded live in Florence and Bologna on January 1979) marks the meeting between one of the most influent Italian singer-songwriters and one of the most influent Italian progressive-rock bands. PFM re-arranged some of the best De Andrč's songs and gave them new life. You can hear here a perfect mix of poetry and music, with the voice of De Andrč dressed up in progressive nuances. It's very difficult to me give the sense of the lyrics in just a few lines, but I think that the comprehension of the lyrics is very important to completely enjoy this album. "Bocca di Rosa" (the original version is in "Brassens style") tells the story of a young "pretty woman" arriving in a little village and driving mad of jealousy the other women; "Andrea" is about a "peasant become soldier" loosing himself and his love in war; "Giugno '73" describes a very personal situation; "Un giudice" (One judge) is inspired by a poem of Edgar Lee Masters and tells the story of a little man (a dwarf) becoming judge; "La guerra di Piero" (The War Of Piero") is about the death of a young soldier and the stupidity of war; "Il pescatore" (The Fisherman) is about a fugitive murderer; "Zirichiltaggia" (in Sardinan's dialect) is about a fight between two shepherds because of inheritance matters; "La canzone di Marinella" was inspired by the death of a young prostitute, described in a very poetical way; "Volta la carta" (Turn up the card) is a kind of "nursery rhyme"; "Amico fragile" (Fragile Friend) has very personal lyrics (...and a wonderful guitar solo!)

Well, I think that this album is an absolute masterpiece and one "must-have" for every music lover.

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Send comments to andrea (BETA) | Report this review (#49649)
Posted Saturday, October 01, 2005 | Review Permalink
Neu!mann
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars One of the best-kept secrets among cognoscenti of classic Italian Prog is the existence of this 1979 live recording by singer-songwriter Fabrizio De André, arranged and performed by the legendary PREMIATA FORNERIA MARCONI, and to these ears maybe the unrecognized pinnacle of the entire PFM catalogue. The band was performing back-up duties for the popular acoustic folk guitarist, but make no mistake: this is a PFM album in all but name, and the fact that it was never released outside Italy is a tragedy worthy of a Giuseppe Verdi libretto.

Be careful, however: the music has little relation to the more Anglo-influenced early Prog masterpieces of "Per Un Amico" or "L'Isole di Niente". PFM was at the time in the process of rediscovering its long-dormant Italian roots (after releasing the underrated, transitional "Passpartů" album), and this collaboration offered the group an ideal vehicle for their cultural rehabilitation. De André made his reputation writing songs falling (mostly) on the sunnier side of Mediterranean pop, and even after being revamped for a band once favorably compared to the first King Crimson his music remained so typically Italian you could sprinkle on a little olive oil and serve it with red wine.

PFM also boasted a new (and improved?) line-up to mark their homecoming, minus vocalist Bernardo Lanzetti but joined for the first time by Lucio "Violino" Fabbri, and with Flavio Premoli sharing keyboard duties with Roberto Columbo (an accomplished Progger himself: I recall owning one of his solo albums once upon a time). Everyone plays with an energy and enthusiasm rarely heard on even the best of the group's studio albums, from Premoli's nimble solo spot on the concert opener "Bocca di Rosa" to an absolutely ferocious and emotional electric guitar solo by Franco Mussida on "Amico Fragile", the most obviously Progressive song here and clearly the high point of the entire album.

Elsewhere the mood is set by De André's rolling acoustic guitar and romantic baritone croon. Never mind the language barrier: his voice is music enough on its own, whether in the more intimate setting of "Guigno '73" (featuring a beautiful fretless electric bass intro by Patrick Djivas) or kicking out the jams in the Italian hoedown "Zirichiltaggia", and the equally infectious "Il Pescatore". The latter has to be one of the most cheerful sing-a-longs ever written about (I was surprised to finally learn) a fugitive killer: see Andrea's previous review for more narrative details.

Purists may complain about the lack of mellotrons. But this is an indispensable album for Italian music enthusiasts in general and PFM fans in particular, and despite my conservative rating it will always be for me a 5-star sentimental favorite. Why? Because it marked the end of a fruitful decade for an influential band before they fell (for a long time) into relative obscurity and creative torpor. And because I stupidly sold my original LP after jumping on the post-Punk bandwagon in the early 1980s, only to rediscover it (maybe the same copy) almost 15 years later and 2500 miles down the road.

A second volume (from the same shows?) followed in 1980.

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Send comments to Neu!mann (BETA) | Report this review (#50206)
Posted Wednesday, October 05, 2005 | Review Permalink
NotAProghead
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Errors & Omissions Team
4 stars First of all, it is FABRIZIO DE ANDRE' album, but PFM made their best as arrangers and performers. FABRIZIO DE ANDRE' is one of the greatest Italian poets/songwriters, and it is useful for everyone interested in Italian culture to be familiar with his works. Unfortunately he died in 1999 in the age of only 59. The fact that 10 000 people came to his funeral says how big he is in Italy.

FABRIZIO DE ANDRE' always worked with first class musicians: PFM, Mauro Pagani, Ivano Fossati (ex-DELIRIUM), Giampiero Reverberi and many others. Usually after each two albums he changed the team of musicians, therefore albums sound so different. We can find on his albums elements of rock, folk, ethnic music, French chanson, but his deep warm bariton is always instantly recognizable.

PFM members (the band then called "I Quelli") were session musicians on recording FABRIZIO DE ANDRE' album "La buona novella" in 1970. It was one one of the first concept albums in Italy and told the story of Jesus Christ and the Virgin Mary as the story of human beings with their human feelings and human pain.

Both live albums with PFM ("In concerto Vol. 1 and Vol.2") are very good bridges to the world of FABRIZIO DE ANDRE', because they present some of his best songs beautifully arranged by PFM.

I can't describe the period of collaboration between PFM and FABRIZIO DE ANDRE' better than FRANZ DI CIOCCIO (taken from the band's official web-site www.pfmpfm.it):

"FRANZ - In my opinion among the Italian song writers and singers, Fabrizio De André is the one who was able to inspire his songs with poetry. We have been known Fabrizio for a long time, because we worked together some years before. When we met him during a concert in Sardinia, I suggested him the idea to work together on a project. In the USA authors and bands are used to work together and I was sure that we could have worked very well with Fabrizio. We could offer something totally new to the Italian audience, an artistic co-operation where the author and the band would have influenced each other. We explained our project to Fabrizio, but at the beginning he was not enthusiast: "Hey, you play too loud", he said " No, we can suit each other" I answered "You come here with all your watts and you kill me" " Listen", said Franco, picking up his guitar, "In my opinion Il Pescatore (The Fisherman) should be performed in this way, more joyful, more funky" and he started to play some chords. Fabrizio listened to Franco smiling: "And drums? He (Me.) plays loudly! I don't know....". Finally we convinced him, even if it took some time. Maybe we succeeded because he could feel that we were very close to each other, he could feel our unity. Fabrizio was quite scared about the tour, because normally he is shy and he does not like facing the audience every day, travelling with other people etc. But we told him he could trust us: we would have co-operated and, above all, we would have been sympathetic. We all agreed shaking our hands. We chose about 30 songs and we shared equally our work. This strategy was invented to keep the whole style of each song. For example Patrick had to work on those songs which sounded a little bit French, because he had lived in France and he was able to arrange them properly. Franco chose those songs that would have let him show his skill and familiarity with the guitar. Flavio, who was very learned, had to work on particularly difficult songs which, needed more complex arrangements. A month later we were ready. We created something new and strange, where Fabrizio's poetic lyrics and clean melodic songs were mixed with a dreaming musicality, something full with images, inventions and coup de theatre. Everything worked perfectly, every song sounded different, new and "completed". Lyrics and arrangements were in constant communication and in perfect balance. Fabrizio's warm and sensual voice seemed to be exalted instead of being covered. The show looked (and sounded) like a watercolour picture, because voice and music were softly mixed together. Anyway, sometimes PFM's musical energy could explode. Everybody was really satisfied, even our audience seemed to like that strange co-operation; I say strange because, at that time, PFM and Fabrizio De Andrč represented two musical realities which were completely different and maybe incompatible. Anyway the project worked and showed everybody that bands and song writers could work together and improve each other's musical experience.

The experience with Fabrizio taught us the importance of lyrics. In fact, each time he started singing the audience used to sing and clap because everybody could recognise each song. Lyrics tell stories, they are about personal or poetic subjects and for this reason they live longer. Let me tell you something: in my life I have performed more than 2000 drum solos, but nobody can remember them. My fans maybe can remember my energy, my strength and vigour, but none of them can sing one of my drum solos. If someone would like to live again one of my drum solos he would have to listen to a record. On the contrary, everybody can sing a song. This experience made us think about the leading singer role in our band. We needed a front man, someone who was able to establish a direct relationship with our audience. But, above all, we needed new songs which could have been remembered."

If this site was dedicated to singing poetry, I'd gave the album 5 stars, but keeping in mind that in general it is not a prog recording, my rating is 4 stars.

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Send comments to NotAProghead (BETA) | Report this review (#52716)
Posted Friday, October 21, 2005 | Review Permalink
federico2_bar
4 stars In truth this is not a CD of the PFM, but of the mythical Faber! The songs are all its. It is are dramatic and the presence of the PFM in some moments does in manner that is breathed air of prog folk in songs that not the is. But this songs are some evergreen not only of the Italian music. A disk to possess, that itself also alone love the PFM.

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Send comments to (BETA) | Report this review (#57609)
Posted Wednesday, November 23, 2005 | Review Permalink
ZowieZiggy
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars THIS IS NOT A PFM ALBUM

I am not familiar at all with the work of Fabrizio De André and therefore can not judge the added value of this combined effort with "PFM".

All I can say is that if you are looking for some "PFM" music, this is not an album for you. Some folkish rearranged songs, that's what you will get here. All of them being Fabrizzio ones. The band was apparently impressed with his lyrics but since I have very little understanding of the Italian language it is difficult to imagine this influence.

His tone of voice is low-pitched and rather monochord IMO. This collaboration resulted in some concerts in Italy from which the Florence and Bologna ones gave birth to two live albums which should/could have been released as a one offering as well. But they would only have cashed once in this case.

We'll get the best and the worse here. The worse being "Un Giudice" and "Il Pescatore". Some sort of folkish jig totally unexpected of course if, again (like myself) you were expecting some "PFM" music. My feeling about the vocals is that it sounds more as long recitation than truly sung parts.

Another weak moment for my ears, is "Zirichiltaggia". A pure country and Western song. You can easily imagine the dancing scene while listening to this track.

The audience knows very well the repertoire presented here. I wonder how well they knew the "PFM" repertoire though. I am extremely disappointed with this recording. Since it is presented as a "PFM" release (which is not IMO), I will rate it as such. Two stars for this overrated folk album.

There is ONE outstanding song on this album : "Amico Fragile". Almost ten minutes of a poignant recitation combined with very good guitar and background keys. The first prog moment of this album (and I am talking about the closing number, you see.). The guitar work is really excellent. Emotional, passionate. Italian prog, maybe ? But ten minutes of very good music aren't sufficient IMO to make a good album. For fans of Fabrizio only.

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Send comments to ZowieZiggy (BETA) | Report this review (#153322)
Posted Saturday, December 01, 2007 | Review Permalink
clarke2001
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars This is better than any PFM album.

PFM playing with Fabro! Rejoice! We don't have an opportunity to witness the fusion between the artist geniuses very often. This one is an intelligent record, the songs are rearranged to fit PFM (and what lovely ideas we have here) and in general this is the mature statement of a band, but not lacking sincerity. The genius of Fabrizio de Andre is obvious, but over here he is underlined with PFM's playing. What a fusion... Take a listen, for example of rearranged "Andrea"; a three chord tune, but what song! The PFM proved their full maturity here: they were able to prove to the most stubborn headed non-prog fan their open attitude towards music. Pity the majority of artist are not thinking that way. This records contains a miryad of tiny details that need to be discovered after repeated listening of the album. In it's simplicity, it's more intelligent then 90% of my huge music collection. Bravo, PFM & Fabrizio!

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Send comments to clarke2001 (BETA) | Report this review (#153324)
Posted Saturday, December 01, 2007 | Review Permalink
friso
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars Fabrizio de Anre & PFM - In Concerto (1979)

It has rained stars on the page of this live album of Fabrizio with arrangements of RPI giant PFM. I was happy to find a vinyl copy on the second hand markets of our Dutch Queensday feast. Soon I found out I might have had wrong expectations.

On this record we get to listen to Italian pop/folk/world-music songs of songwriter Fabrizio that would normally have been to interest to me at all. The fact that the instrumental part of the gig is played by PFM doesn't change this at all. There isn't one progressive moment (except for the last track), there are few beautiful instrumental passages and none of PFM's true qualities are shown. Perhaps the songs sound better with PFM then the originals (I haven't listened to them), but another back-up band could have played this concert just as well as PFM.

This is by no means a bad album, but it just has nothing to do with prog or even rock. People who like accessible world-music played professional might like this very much, but others should avoid this. Even if you are a hard-core PFM fan, this isn't important to have. This is only for fans of Frabizio. Two stars then, but no hard feelings. This is enjoyable world-music.

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Send comments to friso (BETA) | Report this review (#280698)
Posted Thursday, May 06, 2010 | Review Permalink
octopus-4
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
RIO/Avant/Zeuhl Team
4 stars Reviewing this album after the remake of "La Buona Novella" released in 2010 by the PFM should help making the things clearer.

First of all, Fabrizio de Andre' was better known as lyricist and effectively many of his songs are pure poetry. It's not that he wasn't a good instrumentist or composer, too. His first release is dated 1958 and he was strongly influenced by the French "chansonniers". Later, as many other italian singer-songwriters he felt the influence of Bob Dylan. This is where he's from. A great artist, never commercial, but surely not prog. At least proto-RPI.

You all know PFM here, instead. Forget them. At the time of the tour from which this live album is taken, Fabrizio was surely most famous than PFM in the mainstream public and was alsovery acclaimed by the critics while PFM was "only" the bigger RPI band together with Banco.

So don't be surprised if all the songs are Fabrizio's hits and PFM is just supporting him. This is a Fabrizio De Andre album which features the excellent arrangement of the PFM.

Now the songs:

"Bocca di Rosa" (Rosemouth) is the true story of a whore that he knew in his city Genoa. Fabrizio was always fascinated by borderline people, also because Genoa is famous for its harbour and is full of borderlines. She died last year and a newspaper has dedicated an article to her. The song is a folky tune in French style and from a lyrical point of view is a song about hypocrisy. All the "good" guys are deprecating the whore but all the town his happy to pay her. One of the most famous songs of this artist.

"Andrea" is about homosexuality. It's a soldier who diserted for love during the first world war and manages to let everybody think that he's dead. Musically it's a sort of country-rock song based on 12 strings acoustic guitar.

"Giugno '73" (June '73) is opened by an interesting bass solo. It's another "French style" song, and one of the few that can really be of some interest for a progger. It's an important song from a lyrical point of view. This is real poetry about the end of a love that's not working between a man, likely Fabrizio himself and a woman too stuck into the conventions. "Leaving ourselves has been better than having never met".

"Un Giudice" (A Judge) is one of the most well-known song of Fabrizio. It's taken form the concept album "Non Al Denaro, Non all'Amore Ne al Cielo" inspired by the "Anthology of Spoon River" of Edgar Lee Masters. "A dwarf is surely a bad person because his heart is too close to his asshole". It's also the song on which the PFM arrangements work better.

"La Guerra di Piero" (Piero's War) is a hymn to the antimilitarism. Piero is a soldier who surprises an enemy in a field of wheat. He's about to shoot him but he stops thinking that he's killing somebody that he doesn't know. That he'll have enough time to see his dying glance...but while he's hesitating the other sees him and shoots him dead.

This was only the side A.

Another very famous song now comes: "Il Pescatore" (The fisherman). To be honest I have never really understood the meaning of the story narrated in this song, apart the fact that the fisherman helps the assassin only because he's asking for food and wine and a safe place to hide. This live version of the song is famous for the excellent violin part performed by Lucio Fabbri.

"Zirichiltaggia" is a song that has a particular story. It's written in one of the Sardinian dialects. It's a language that needs a translation also for Italians. Fabrizio worte it after having been kidnapped by Sardinian bandits (see the artist's bio). It's funny how this language fits into a country-western base. Of course there's room for Lucio Fabbri's violin.

"La Canzone di Marinella" is a classic. It was sung in the 60s by Mina, who is probably the best female vocalist of the Italian pop history. It's the bigger hit single released by Fabrizio. I think it's the story of a woman who commits suicide for love narrated in form of a fairytale. It's the song that I like less in all the Fabrizio's production and PFM doesn't add much to the original.

"Volta la Carta" (Turn the card) is a "ronde". It's a sort of nursery rhyme (literally, nothing to do with Genesis) with some more adult contents. Very folky with a touch of country, between Bob Dylan and Blackmore Nights. Fun but non essential.

Reading other reviews it seems that "Amico Fragile" (Fragile Friend) is the song more appealing for proggers. Effectively is a whispered poetry very dramatic and intensively interpreted. Full of metaphoric images it's not an easy one also in terms of lyrics. It's really dark and sometimes sarcastic: "- Do you know that I've lost two sons? Miss, you are a very inattentive woman!"

If you are looking for PFM classics this is not the right album, but if you want to understand better an album like "A.D. 2010" this is where it started.

It's an excellent addition to any "good" music collection. I have doubts about "prog", but given this advise, I think that 4 stars are not a scandal

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Send comments to octopus-4 (BETA) | Report this review (#500908)
Posted Wednesday, August 10, 2011 | Review Permalink

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