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Arti E Mestieri

Jazz Rock/Fusion

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Arti E Mestieri Tilt - Immagini Per Un Orecchio album cover
4.28 | 258 ratings | 24 reviews | 42% 5 stars

Essential: a masterpiece of
progressive rock music

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Studio Album, released in 1974

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. GravitÓ 9,81 (4:05)
2. Strips (4:39)
3. Corrosione (1:37)
4. Positivo / Negativo (3:29)
5. In Cammino (5:36)
6. Farenheit (1:15)
7. Articolazioni (13:24)
8. Tilt (2:29)

Total Time 36:34

Bonus track on 1989 CD:
6. Scacco Matto (0:52)

Line-up / Musicians

- Luigi "Gigi" Venegoni / electric & acoustic guitars, ARP 2600 synthesizer (8), co-producer
- Beppe Crovella / acoustic & electric pianos, ARP 2600 & Eminent synths, Mellotron, Hammond organ
- Giovanni Vigliar / violin, vocals, percussion
- Arturo Vitale / soprano & baritone saxophones, clarinet & bass clarinet, vibraphone
- Marco Gallesi / bass
- Furio Chirico / drums & percussion

Releases information

Artwork: Rita Visdomini

LP Cramps Records - CRSLP 5501 (1974, Italy)

CD Vinyl Magic ‎- VM 004 (1989, Italy) Remastered by Beppe Crovella with a bonus track as #6
CD Cramps Records ‎- 88985365631 (2017, Europe) Remastered 192 KHZ

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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ARTI E MESTIERI Tilt - Immagini Per Un Orecchio ratings distribution

(258 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(42%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(41%)
Good, but non-essential (12%)
Collectors/fans only (3%)
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)

ARTI E MESTIERI Tilt - Immagini Per Un Orecchio reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by lor68
4 stars Excellent debut album, whose re-mastered version earns a lot, in comparison to the original issue. It's a fusion progressive, with some music elements already included within a few albums by some jazz progressive bands such as PERIGEO and AREA, but these latter are often more experimental or harsh,sometimes less pleasant too, in a lot of circumstances... The use of the violin is very clever as well as balanced, in the whole production of ARTI & MESTIERI!! The new re-mastered version is highly recommended!!
Review by Sean Trane
3 stars 3.5 stars really!!!

One of the most emblematic Italian prog albums with that simple but stunning album, which could probably the progressive spirit: indeed that wide funnel could be where the progressive movement engulf all of their individual or collective influences and transfer them into a tank for the mix, thus producing an incredibly varied and complex end product. This suggestive imagery belongs to yours truly, but I doubt I will be the only one who thought about it. It is further reinforced by the subtitle of the album's name: imagination for the ear. Often classified as JR/F, this band doesn't make pigeonholing that easy, especially when the violinist induces a bunch of symphonic or classical shades into the overall mix. A sextet from Rome (despite the majority being from Turin), the group is lead by three or even four frontmen, including a wind player (Vitale) and a string (violin mainly) player (Vigliar) as well as the more standard keyboards (Crovella) and guitar (Venegoni), thus allowing a very varied (in principle) sound. Let's not forget to mention drummer extraordinaire Furio Chirico and the no-less awesome bassist Gallesi.

What you will find on the slice of wax or vinyl is a fairly-typical Italian-sounding group, stuck between the more symphonic (early PFM or BMS) and the jazzier penchant (Perigeo or later PFM) of the Italian scope of prog, but not venturing in its more-experimental side like Area or Stormy Six (if you except the short closing title track) or its prog folk slant (Saint Just).

A mostly instrumental album, despite two sung tracks, A&M plays a very demonstrative melodic prog oscillating between symphonic and jazz styles, which give them a good but not unique quality to stand out from the mass of their compatriots. Indeed, while the sax gives the blue-notes sonorities, the violin and mellotrons counter with more European influences, despite the compositions being mostly that of guitarist Venegoni. Opening on the slightly Mahavishnu-esque and instrumental piece of Gravitation 9.81, you find yourself slipping without warning into the Crimson-like layers of Trons of the following piece of Strips, whose vocals are quite PFM-sounding. The short Corrosione is more of a transition piece that will polarize us into the +/- track (again Mahavishnu, but with added vibes) in order to prepare to the Cammino, a slow-evolving and gradually incandescent, in great part due to Vitale's winds and Venegoni's fiery guitar solo, before the short Scacco piece ends the side rather abruptly.

The flipside is mostly hogged by the album's highlight, the 13-mins+ Articolazione, the other track featuring vocals, but it is sandwiched by two short track, the first of which Farenheit is Maha-inspired, while the closing Tilt piece is definitely more abstract and totally musically out of context of the rest of the album: interesting but artificial. Let's go back to the epic, truly the more complex and energetic piece of the album in the "Crimson meets PFM" mode, but featuring some IMHO expandable texts, but clearly the centrepiece of Tilt. I'm not sure if the album's production was perfect or is it that the music could've used a tad more energy and dynamics, but maybe a remastering would be helpful.

While there are some undeniable Mahavishnu influences that make this album interesting to fusionheads, it's likely to interest more progheads, especially if you've heard the previous The Trip formation, you will impressed by the progress they made.. I often wonder how the group might have sounded and fared without the violin, out of pure speculation (he's not a composer anyway), but it's quite pointless since imagining A&M without Vigliar is unthinkable, because his sound is somewhere between Goodman, Lockwood or Ponty. Not essential (IMHO) to either jazz or prog fans, but Tilt is definitely worthy of some attention from both sides.

Review by Cesar Inca
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars "Tilt" is the amazing debut album by a band whose members were not newbies at all. The six musicians' combined former experiences had led them to the roads of jazz and prog rock (even the very young, masterful drummer Furio Chirico had played in The Trip's last two albums) for some time, so their expertise was quite obvious and quite impressive as well by the time "Tilt" introduced Arti + Mestieri to the eyes of the world. The jazz-rock oriented sound delivered by the band serves as an appropriate field for the expression of every individual's skill, while the compositions and arrangements are cleverly ordained in order to create an "orchestral" feel that keeps all individuals united in a fluid rapport with each other. It is precisely that "orchestral" feel which allows their sound not to be restricted by the habitual standards of regular jazz rock, but makes the band draw a bit closer to that special sensibility, that typical mix of baroque and Mediterranean folk so frequent in Italian symphonic prog. Some of this magic is expressed by the mellotron layers, the classically oriented lines that the violin and wind instruments indulge in at times, and the "suite-like" sequence of the linked tracks (1-4, 7-8). Given the immense diversity of the instrumentation (saxes, clarinets, violin and vibes join the usual ensemble of guitar-bass-keys-drums), it can be easy to rely on some extremely free stuff and go with a chaotic flow, but these guys prefer to act similarly as a small orchestra, giving every part for each instrument a proper place in the sonic landscape exhibited on each number. But again, Chirico's superb (which some may consider over-played, but I simply label as genius) drumming, Venegoni's cadence on his guitar leads and picks, and Crovella's subtle use of his piano/electric piano parts (a times complemented by the vibes, occasional courtesy of saxophonist/clarinetist Vitale), keep the listener well reminded of the jazzy essence of Arti + Mestieri's overall sound. That's where Vitale and Vigliar get some space to expand themselves on - in both the prog and jazz sides of the band's sound, the violinist and the wind player play almost all leading roles. As for drummer Chirico, he clearly relies on Gallesi's precise bass playing so he can beat and roll endlessly and become the other leading man. The weird title track closes down the album with a disturbing touch of dissonant layers of mellotron and ARP synth, occasionally accompanied by a few ad-libitum parts on bass clarinet and violin: this is AM emulating Area, which should not come as such a big surprise, since Area's guitarist Paolo Tofani (together with Venegoni) produces the album. I actually like this Cage/Stockhausen-inspired stuff, but I feel that it would have found a more suitable place in the middle, as a curious rarity, instead of the closure, which eventually kills the captivating splendour displayed in the final section of 'Articolazioni'. Apart from that, let me tell you that it's hard for me to pick a particular fave in a mostly homogeneously great repertoire; anyway, I will mention tracks 1-4 and the 13-minute long 'Articolazioni' as the most impressive and significant examples of what this band is all about. All in all, I regard "Tilt" as a masterpiece of 70s Italian prog.
Review by soundsweird
4 stars A great album, to be sure. I just wish that someone would have given the drummer some downers before each recording session. And that's coming from someone who played LOUD drums in several rock bands before I took up electronic music. He's a wonderful, gifted drummer, but his "fill every nook and cranny with a loud sound" philosophy distracts the listener away from what the other musicians are doing, and from the music itself. Furio obviously doesn't know the meaning of the words "nuance, subtlety and delicacy". And the other musicians DO, which is what makes it an issue. I bought the LP when it came out, and boy, what a crappy press!! I went through two or three copies, and they were all scratchy, though obviously new. So, although I don't have a remastered copy of the CD, I'm "contented".
Review by Muzikman
4 stars Compared to their Italian progressive rock contemporaries PFM and American based groups like MAHAVISHNU ORCHESTRA, ARTI & MESTIERI were an excellent but overlooked band. These Italian purveyors of prog-rock deserve further consideration as Tilt proves to be an archetypal interpretation of a sound that was still in the developmental stages at the time.

In very small-italicized print underneath the album's bold title are the words "Immagini Per Un Orecchio", translated it means "Images For An Ear." I find that very insightful as I am always saying how good instrumental music has the ability to create images inside my head, thus eliminating the need for vocals.

This was the group's first release in 1974. For a maiden voyage into the world of recorded music, they faired quite well. Although they use vocals sparingly, they really did not need them at all. Their music was very visually stimulating. By using all of their talents to their fullest capacity, a pleasing mixture of keyboards, guitars, bass, percussion, violins, saxophone, clarinet, and vibraphone became part of their final creation. Because they used so many different instruments, their music gradually pushed itself to another level of complexity, in so doing it transformed their compositions into progressive quests that were a captivating treat for your ears and mind.

As per usual, the 180-Gram vinyl LP format never lacks for sound and quality.

Review by Andrea Cortese
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars "It seems there's no time to wait for science and for losing doubts. It needs too much patience..." (excerpt from "Articolazioni").

I'm not really a jazz-rock sub-genre's great amateur. Probably I've never been and I'll never be that! Despite this, I enjoy to listen to Arti & Mestieri's 1974 musical debut in its fresh (and always excellent) Akarma re-issue!

I have to admit Tilt is a strong release wisely builded up by jazz, classic symphonic prog and mixed with a folkish delicate taste. Musicianship offers enough pleasure to the exigent ears of any prog-lovers! Violin, clarinet, guitar, mellotron and hammond organ are the most relevant instruments. All the band's members are talented musicians and played live supporting other historic bands as Premiata Forneria Marconi and Gentle Giant.

Vocals are very sparse and feature in only two songs: "Strips" and the memorable long track "Articolazioni" (13,41 mns), the best of the album in my opinion. Close second is the instrumental opener "GravitÓ 9,81" (only 4,06 mns).

Another excellent album from the vast and deep ocean of the seventies' impressive italian prog scene!

Review by loserboy
4 stars Arti+Mestieri's debut album titled "Tilt" was Italy's answer to the Mahavishnu Orchestra. Layer on top of an album full of high energy and high creative explosions the masterful drumming of Furio Chirico and you have a recipe for great success. With varing styles and major tempo and mood swing this band unleash a truely wonderful album that will light the ital-prog veins in you! I should also mention that there is a good dose of Mellotron work here too. The addition of Saxes, piano, and vibraphone also give this album a stong polarity into the jazz genre. The violin wok of this album (Giovanni Vigliar) reminds me very much of Jean Luc Ponty and when combined with the band in full sounds truely majestic. Strongly recommend this album to all fans of Fusion and Ital-prog genres.
Review by tszirmay
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars The Italian jazz-rock scene is a solid subsection of the famed Prog tradition, with numerous bands of extraordinary virtuosity, none more so than the undisputed leader of the pack, Arti+Mestieri. Unquestioningly led by the dazzling (an appropriately named) Furio Chirico, one of the greatest stick "n skins men ever and revered by many prog drummers, the band kicks some serious butt, a fast-paced, intense prog-fusion that rivals anything by anyone in the same genre. At times quite symphonic due to Beppe Crovella's sweeping keyboards, shouldered by some frenetic fretting provided by Gigi Venegoni and the wild sax ramblings of Arturo Vitale , doubling on violin and flute, the main focus remains on the overpowering and hyperactive Furio, leaving one to wonder about his propulsion pack (first nuclear drummer?) . Neil Peart is not unique, dear Rush fans! This is not just all technique, the material is original, distinctive and highly infectious.. No wonder this album retains a hallowed place in many a Prog collection and deservedly so. 4 furious drumsticks
Review by Mellotron Storm
5 stars This is the best album that i've heard in a while. They remind me of MAHAVISHNU ORCHESTRA at times, but during the mellow sections I think of PFM. Lots of mellotron too, and a drummer who reminds me of Peart and Cobham the way he is so fluid and powerful. Lots of sax and violin as well. This was apparently co-produced by AREA's guitarist Paolo Tofani.

"Gravita 9,81" opens with a blast of horns before it settles with mellotron, clarinet and violin. Amazing sound when the keys and drums come in. Gorgeous. I like the violin that follows.The bass and drums sound fantastic after 2 minutes as mellotron then sax comes in. The violin returns late. What a song ! My favourite off the album. "Strips" opens with keys as a brief guitar melody comes in. Check out the drumming and mellotron that follows. Violin, sax then vocals 1 1/2 minutes in. This reminds me of PFM, the gentle vocals and acoustic guitar. Beautiful. Mellotron before 3 minutes and violin follows.

"Corrosione" opens with mellotron as keys, drums and sax follow. A short but good instrumental. "Positivo / Negativo" opens with strummed guitar as violin comes in. Drums, bass, piano and vibes join in. It kicks into gear before 2 minutes with drums and violin leading the way. Guitar then comes in ripping it up. Nice. "In Cammino" opens with mellow sax lines. Electric piano, drums and violin 2 minutes in as the tempo picks up.The violin starts to rip it up. Mellotron before 3 minutes. Love the drumming and piano after 4 minutes. Guitar 4 1/2 minutes in is killer as the bass throbs. "Farenheit" is the only track without mellotron but then it's only 1:15 long. Piano opens before clarinet, drums and a fuller sound follows.

"Articolazioni" is almost 13 1/2 minutes long and it's a ride. It's led early by piano before violin and drums become prominant. Fantastic drumming here ! Nice bass too. Sax starts to lead. It settles before 3 minutes as sax and mellotron take over. Vocals follow. The drumming is so impressive before 5 minutes then it settles with mellotron. The tempo picks up as vocals return. Violin follows then a powerful section after 6 1/2 minutes comes in. It settles briefly with mellotron then kicks back in. Guitar, vocals and mellotron 8 1/2 minutes. Tempo picks up again. A great flood of mellotron 10 minutes in then it turns jazzy. Love the vocals 11 minutes in as it turns mellow. Mellotron is back. "Tilt" is the 2 1/2 minute closer. It's experimental with some dissonance but check out the mellotron !

Nothing less than 5 stars will do for this fantastic recording.

Review by andrea
5 stars Arti & Mestieri are one of the best known Italian prog bands and have been active since 1973. They come from Turin and were formed on the initiative of Furio Chirico (former drummer of The Trip) who met with keyboardist Beppe Crovella (former member of a band called The Mystics) and four musicians coming out from a jazz rock band called Il Sogno di Archimede, Gigi Venegoni (guitar), Giovanni Vigliar (violin, vocals), Marco Gallesi (bass) and Arturo Vitale (sax, vibraphone). In 1974 they released their debut album for the independent label Cramps, "Tilt ? Immagini per un orecchio" (Tilt ? Imagines for an ear), a brilliant mix of rock, jazz, classical, Mediterranean influences and melodic passages. The art cover by Gianni Sassi, featuring a flying funnel in a blue sky among white clouds, in some way describes the overall sound of this work where many influences floating in the air are caught and channelled through this conical utensil having a narrow tube at the apex to be blended and conveyed on the tracks of the album.

The title of instrumental opener "GravitÓ 9,81" (Gravity 9,81) is inspired by the law of gravity formula. Ignoring air resistance, an object falling freely near the Earth's surface increases its velocity with 9.81 m/s (32.2 ft/s or 22 mph) for each second of its descent. As gravitation causes dispersed matter to coalesce, on this track the creativity of the band perfectly blends the Mediterranean touches of colour evoked by the violin with a pulsing rhythm section and a jazzy sax solo. This piece is an authentic trademark of the band by now.

Next comes "Strips", where the dreamy and romantic mood of the music contrasts with the bitter disenchantment of lyrics condemning a reality of empty conventions, of absurdities filling your head, of languid songs and artists whispering useless words, of faded stories about planets, wizards and gods...

"Corrosione" (Corrosion) is a kind of short bridge leading to the beautiful instrumental "Positivo / Negativo" (Positive/Negative) where a first solar and dreamy part, featuring acoustic guitar and violin, gives way to a second part full of energy, featuring a great rhythm section and a good electric guitar work.

"In cammino" (On walk) is another excellent instrumental that opens with a melancholic sax introduction, then rhythm takes off and melancholy melts in joyful passages where the members of the band showcase their musicianship. On the original LP it was the last track of side A.

Next comes the short instrumental "Farenheit", where the rhythm goes slowly up like the temperature of a thermometer introducing "le plat de resistance" of the album, the long and complex suite "Articolazione" (Articulation), a piece about the necessity to live the present facing the reality. There's no time you can waste waiting dreaming for better days while the Death is leading into the grave all her dear lovers... "It's not because you think to have understood / That your future is going to change / In the mirror you must see / What is harder seeing...".

The experimental "Tilt", almost an example of concrete music, concludes an excellent album where music flows away without weak moments. A must for every Italianprog lover!

Review by Warthur
5 stars Like their Cramps label-mates Area, Arti e Mestieri are a Zappa-influenced Italian fusion group, but they distinguish themselves from the other band by having less influence from avant-garde rock and chamber music and more influence from sources such as the early Mahavishnu Orchestra albums. Tilt is an electrifying fusion masterpiece played at breakneck pace by the band, with exceptional musicianship displayed throughout - Giovanni Vigliar's violin playing being, to my mind, a particular highlight. Composed and performed with amazing confidence for a debut album, Tilt is a fusion classic which sets the band apart from the rest of the Italian progressive rock scene of the era.
Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars A lost classic of the 70s golden era

Arti E Mestieri are an obscure band from Italy who focus on jazz rock fusion unlike many other Italian prog artists. Their debut primarily is an instrumental with moments of Italian singing. The title of the album is "Tilt: Immagini Per Un Orecchio", and this is translated as "Images For An Ear" which seems profoundly appropriate. The tracks blend together beautifully in places, such as the stunning 'Strips', 'Corrosione' and 'Positivo / Negativo', and jump wildly about with odd time sigs and virtuoso musicianship. At other times, on tracks like 'In Cammino' the sound becomes rather subdued and tranquil.

The band are consummate professionals at their craft consisting of Furio Chirico on drums, Beppe Crovella on acoustic and electric pianos, synths, mellotron, Hammond organ, Marco Gallesi on bass, Gigi Venegoni on guitar, synthetizers, Giovanni Vigliar on violin and Arturo Vitale on soprano and baritone saxes, clarinets, and vibraphone. Vitale's sax work on 'In Cammino' is an incredible tour de force and of note also is the guitar lead break of Venegoni. This track is a definitive highlight along with the spine tingling opener 'GravitÓ 9,81'.

'Articolazioni', the mini epic that takes up most of side 2, features vocals along with 'Strips', the only occasions, and these are rather a nice break from all the musicality. This track features stunning clarinet and some very heavy passages mixed with moments of peaceful serenity. These dark and light sections are balanced perfectly with the amazing drumming skills of Chirico. The time sigs are everchanging and it even locks into a 6/8 rhythm and beautiful vibraphones are heard from Vitale. Vigliar's violin is absolutely gorgeous and sings sweetly in the melancholy soundscape. This really is a masterpiece track with some of the finest musical structures in the 70s golden era of prog.

Overall, Arti E Mestieri's debut is a lost classic in Italian prog and really deserves more recognition. The music is similar to Mahavishnu Orchestra and at times just as astonishing in terms of virtuosity. There is never a dull moment and it is packed solid with inventive musicianship and creativity.

Review by BrufordFreak
COLLABORATOR Heavy Prog & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
5 stars How is this album, this band not as famous and talked about as other Italian prog from the mid-70s? The instrumental prowess, mature songwriting, broad dynamics, and great production here is to my mind on par with PFM, Banco, and Cervello and even AREA! Prog of ANY era does not get better than this--especially in the fact that acoustic and folk elements are worked in and there were no computers! Where are people finding the deficiencies or inadequacies! Not in melody. Not in sophistication. Not in sound quality. Is it in the seeming lack of originality? (I read all the comparisons to Mahvishnu and Jean-Luc Ponty.) Break out albums happen. The fact that they emulated--that they inspire other musicians to create in a similar style--should be rewarded not penalized! To strive to be the best--to go through doors that other geniuses have opened--should be lauded and encouraged, not denigrated and discouraged! They may even end up refining something to make it even better! But it could never happen if they are discouraged from trying. I have no hesitation calling this album a masterpiece of progressive rock music--composition and performances of the absolute highest caliber---and, best of all, very accessible/engaging and enjoyable (as opposed to some of the obtuse and jarring music made by Mahvishnu, Miles, and even Yes. Check this album out everybody! It's a work of genius, passion, and inspiration from start to finish. It should be heralded as one of the shining pieces of 1970s progressive rock music--not just RPI or jazz-rock fusion.

1. "GravitÓ 9,81" (4:05) opens the album with an energetic burst before backing off to allow for an almost chamber strings intro. At the one minute mark everybody in the band jumps into a fully formed JEAN-LUC PONTY-sounding song of high speed, tight sequencing of high complexity, and very catchy melodic presentation with violin in the lead. At the two minute mark things break and shift to a slightly slower tempo a different structure as the bass and saxophone become more prominent. Amazing drumming throughout and nice presence of Mellotron in the background. At 3:40 we return to the violin theme of the second minute for the finale. Tight song of melodic and instrumental perfection. (9.5/10)

2. Strips (4:39) drum kit and piano and synth bass line open this before the 'tron and violin enter and the drums kick into full gear. Saxes enter later with a second melody introduced into the weave. After 90 seconds things stop and restart with vocals! Multi-voiced, gentle, even sappy--as acoustic guitars, xylophone, and Mellotron accompany in a gentler fashion than the previous section. At the three minute mark the vocals end and piano, violin, xylophone and acoustic guitar take turns with the melody in between singing sections while drums and bass support in a kind of staccato way for the final two minutes of the song. Unexpected and nice! (9/10)

3. Corrosione (1:37) opens with Mellotron strings before bass, keys, and cymbals crash in with two-stroke pattern over which roto-toms and sax. It turns out that this song is merely a bridge between "Strips" and "Positivo / Negativo" as both songs bleed into each other. A kind of three-chord experiment over which drummer gets to play and sax and keys hold down the melody and chordal structure before going into: (4.5/5)

4. "Positivo / Negativo" (3:29) opens with slow, forceful single-stroke strums of a 12-string guitar accompanied by congas. Violin, synths, cymbal play and vibraphone join in. The tempo shifts a couple of times as vibraphone takes a brief turn at lead until at 1:40 things stop, new keyboard instrument takes over the "strum" of the guitar as rest of band jumps it at breakneck speed to allow shapeshifting extravaganza of solo-turn-taking--saxes, violin, electric guitar, vibes, and then all in unison!--and this while the bass and drums are terrorizing the rhythm tracks beneath. Wow! Impressive! (9.5/10)

5. "In Cammino" (5:36) opens with some beautiful slow sax and, later, vocalise melody-making with piano and brushes providing some support. At 1:45 there is a stop as piano and electric piano provide a pretty bridge into a new section in which full band supports violin and sax dual lead melody establishment. Frequent stops, breaks, tempo and stylistic shifts follow though the busy bass, drums, and keys remain at the foundation of it all throughout. Nice electric piano and electric guitar soloing in the fifth minute. Man, this band is tight! J-RF doesn't get much better than this! (9.5/10)

6. "Farenheit" (1:15) opens as if a little piano interlude ditty, but after the first run through the piece, seconded by sax, and then full rhythm section for the third, and sax and violin for the fourth and fifth. (4.25/5)

7. "Articolazioni (13:24) opens a bit like something from PFM's Per un amico, slow and exploratory, not ready to commit to full song but willing to play around with a theme. At the one minute mark there is a pause before the band kicks into a mid-tempo, full band jazz-rock exposition with violin, sax and electric guitar providing the melody in triplicate. Music shifts behind speeded up, frenetic drums yet slowed down bass and keys while violin, sax, and guitar take turns teaming up or independently carrying the melody forward. At 2:46 there is another break before soprano saxophone restores the melody while drums and bass provide a slow, sparse, stoccato accompaniment. At 3:17 a cool drum roll across the toms signals a new full-on dynamic commitment, but this is short-lived as a lot of shifts and transition/transformations occur before a slightly more straightforward (Brian Auger-like) singing section begins by the end of the fourth minute. Cool tension in the transition at the 5:00 mark and thereafter--a kind of preview of BRUFORD/UK-ishness. Speaking of which, man is this drummer amazing! soft and loud, subtle and intricate, fills and cymbal work that have blinding speed, and always in command as the staunch time-keeper. Very cool instrumental sections broken up by brief vocal sections play out with lots of vibes, 'tron, violin and sax in the lead. One neat thing about this band seems to be that the lead instrument is always propelling the songs' melodies with very detailed, intricate, and often-doubled up melody lines and that the actual "solos" are actually very few and brief. At 10:30 there is a big downshift in both tempo, delicacy, and mood with vibes and violin establishing the melody while drums do all kinds of wildly impressive subtleties before sensitive singing enters. At l1:45 band amps up for the full exposition of the current melody before 'tron and flanged strummed electric guitar guide us into a kind of GENESIS "As Sure as Eggs Is Eggs" finale. Great song with dazzling but never over-the-top or overwhelming complexity, constant beauty in the melodies. (24/25)

8. "Tilt" (2:29) an exercise/Útude in synthesizer weirdness--including special effects being applied to saxophones and violin. Not exactly melodic or very memorable, it is a fitting representative of the infatuations that new technologies must have been causing adventurous musicians in the early 1970s. (4/5)

Total Time 36:34

Five stars; a true masterpiece of jazz-rock fusion from the classic era of Rock Progressivo Italiano.

Review by zeuhl1
5 stars Is it RPI? Is it jazz fusion? Sitting somewhere halfway in between is Arti E Mestieri's masterpiece debut album, Tilt. Labelmates with Cramps stars Area, they produced two classics of RPI before disbanding after three more middling fusion albums starting in 1979 -- a four year gap from their second release. (They did reform like many of their contemporaries in the 21st century)

This album is definitely one that RPI fans should seek out quickly after getting a few of the big Italian prog classics under their belts. Featuring some stellar keyboard work from Beppe Crovella but more importantly the brain expanding drumming of Furio Chirico, one of the busiest drummers in all of prog rock. (he'd give Bruford a run for his money). He can quietly drum solo throughout a whole song without ever losing the pulse of the beat, not an easy trick. This album ticks the boxes for most RPI needs: mellotron, violin and complex instrumentals in abundance.

The album opens Mahavishnu style with a burst of energy that instantly subsides into an oboe and mellotron intro to one of their classic songs: Gravita 9.81 (metric version of gravitational acceleration on Earth). Aptly titled, we tumble free falling as Chirico gives us his first introduction to his drum clinic on this one. Soprano sax from Arturo Vitale is first a calming then consonant force in tandem with the drums. Synthesizer (ARP this time, not Moog) is powerful here and takes the song into another mellotron prog direction as the violin dances on top. Picture Jean Luc Ponty growing up in Italy and composing with an Italian background for this section. Vocals show up on song 2, Strips. Gentle acoustic guitars, mellotron and vibraphone drive this midtempo song. Corrosione, Positivo/Negativo and In Cammino blend together as one suite to end side one, a furious blast of jamming with some impressive guitar work from Venegoni and violin from Giovanni Vigliar.

Side two starts with a gentle piano and synthesizer duet in Farenheit, a short one minute song that bleeds straight into the second real masterpiece: Articolazione, a 13.5 minute tour through all of the strengths the band has. Violins create tension and calm simultaneously. Synths trigger lightning-like bursts from the drums (Chrico never saw a drum fill he didn't like). Bass creates a stable riff for the players to ground themselves as soprano sax draws the momentum further onward. Sections come effortlessly until our next encounter with vocals. This time they sound a bit more on the slick side than RPI stylings on side one, and some have noticed this as a flaw. The second pass through on vocals here reverts to a more traditional RPI style, and this song will be the best place to start for Italian prog fans wondering what this band is about, with its symphonic edges and some early Fripp style guitar work. Some uncredited flute makes its first and only appearance here. This song is a stone cold RPI masterwork. The title track, Tilt, finishes the album with a short piece of ARP 2600 synths burbling away randomly like R2D2 while mellotron plays a frightening Watcher of the Skies styled outro. Amazing.

This band often opened for Area back in the day. Now that would be a dizzying one two punch I'd like to have seen.

Just found an original first pressing vinyl on Cramps which is far superior to the Akarma vinyl reissue, which I thought was a little tinny in sound reproduction. The original lp sounds better than the 80's and 90's CD versions as well.

Impeccable musicianship, complex arrangements, and one of the more gifted bands in the whole Italian prog scene. Fans of Ponty and Mahavishnu for non RPI followers would love this. RPI fans though? Go get this immediately. Terry Bozzio or Bill Bruford fans will ideally already have this one just for Chirico.

4.75 stars

(I'd advocate this album is more a classic in the RPI canon than fusion as their full on jazz fusion era came in 1979.)

Review by siLLy puPPy
COLLABORATOR PSIKE, JRF/Canterbury, P Metal, Eclectic
4 stars One of the latecomers to the Italian prog scene, the Turin based ARTI E MESTIERI (Arts & Trades) didn't even get started until 1974 when the entire RPI scene was starting to wind down but entered the crowded prog world with a bang when it unleashed its competent debut TILT ( IMMAGINI PER ORECCHIO ) "Pictures For The Ear." Founded by drummer Furio Chirico formerly of The Trip and I Ragazzi del Sole along with Arturo Vitale (saxophone, vibraphone), Gigi Venegoni (guitars), Giovanni Vigliar (violin, vocals) and Marco Gallesi (bass), this band stepped outside of the usual symphonic prog stylistic approach of the mainstream Italian prog acts and married the style with heavy doses of jazz-fusion.

Considered one of the most important of the jazz-rock prog bands that emerged from Italy, ARTI E MESTIERI rightfully landed on the legendary Cramps label with fellow countrymen Area and the lesser known Electric Frankenstein. What perhaps made ARTI E MESTIERI stand out from the burgeoning crowded house of Italian prog even in the late year of 1974 was the fact that the band intricately bridged the gap between the Premiata Forneria Marconi symphonic prog style and the Mahavishnu Orchestra derived version of jazz-fusion courtesy of the similar approach of incorporating a violin. The band got its big break right away when it performed at the Lambro Park festival which was is considered Italy's version of Woodstock.

It didn't hurt that the band toured with PFM in front of an audience of 45,000 and received excellent reviews from both critics and fans alike. Despite making a big splash in its homeland, ARTI E MESTIERI needed a few more decades to catch on with the rest of the world. TILT, the debut album is notorious for being a wild ride filled to the brim with diverse dynamics alternating between sizzling jazz-rock virtuosity to slower passionate displays of vocal oriented symphonic prog. The team of six musicians on board provided some of the most competent workouts in Italian prog in addition to the clever craftsmanship that went into the compositional process.

"GravitÓ 9,81" starts off with a bang instantly reminding of early Mahavishnu Orchestra with knotty instrumental gymnastics that find the violin and guitar in a violent uproar but just as quickly as Mt Vesuvius erupts, it calms down to a dark almost Univers Zero-like form of chamber prog. The shifts continue and the tracks flow together quite well as long bouts of jazz-fusion cede to tender moments of vocal oriented symphonic prog. While mostly instrumental, the vocals do emerge when least expected and are every bit as competent as one would expect from a high class Italian prog band of the era.

While the majority of tracks are on the shorter side, the album's highlight is the outstanding near 14-minute "Articolazioni" which displays a huge range of tricks and trinkets that straddles many aspects of the Italian prog scene with uncanny instrumental interplay, excellent transitions and fine-tuned finesse. TILT doesn't let up even with the final short 2 1/2 minute title track which closes the album with a series of progressive electronic sounds adding a whole other dimension to the album's breadth. While many bands existed for a fleeting moment in time during the big bang of Italian prog in the early 70s, ARTI E MESTIERI has intermittently reformed over the years and remains one of those early acts still active however for my money this debut was their finest moment with one brilliant track after another despite sporting one of the ugliest and uninspiring album covers of the entire Italian prog world. Oh well, it's the music that counts!

Latest members reviews

4 stars Listening diary 28th March, 2022: Arti & Mestieri - Tilt (progressive jazz rock, 1974) My relationship with this one comes and goes. There are days where it absolutely hits the spot, as arguably my favourite thing to come out of Italian progressive rock, but I'll admit that sometimes it has pas ... (read more)

Report this review (#2713843) | Posted by Gallifrey | Tuesday, March 29, 2022 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Just beautiful. In the opening track "GravitÓ 9,81" everything happens! You can tell it's a sextet already from here. The song starts with an interesting degree of madness, with a fluttering saxophone that then quiets down and is accompanied by the violins, which soon takes over along with th ... (read more)

Report this review (#2607727) | Posted by Argentinfonico | Monday, October 25, 2021 | Review Permanlink

5 stars One of the best fusion albums from Italy of the 70's. Musicianship is excellent and inspired, players do not try showing off all the time. The most dominant player, in my opinion, is the drummer, who is very profilic and provides also some unnecessary fill-ins. Violin and synths + ARP2600 are al ... (read more)

Report this review (#2271285) | Posted by sgtpepper | Saturday, October 19, 2019 | Review Permanlink

5 stars 109 ratings and 17 reviews don't serve this Italian Jazz/Symphonic band justice. If classified as a Jazz/Fusion album, then it's my favorite album in the whole extensive genre. I'll explain why... Aggressive at times, but never out of control. Peaceful at times, only to build to an opus of Giovan ... (read more)

Report this review (#1117410) | Posted by Raccoon | Tuesday, January 21, 2014 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Like Area and Perigeo, Arti e Mestieri blended jazz rock and fusion elements with traditional symphonic flair. Tilt may be the best representation of this movement, and along with the debut albums by Etna and Il Volo, one of my favorite fusion albums of all time. Anyone familiar with Mahavishu Orc ... (read more)

Report this review (#491553) | Posted by coasterzombie | Thursday, July 28, 2011 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Excellent crossover prog......... or whatever you want to call this music. Fusion/Jazz it is then. Truth to be told, it is fusion, with both feet firmly grounded on Planet Jazz. But the rest of the body is all over the place. Italian Symphonic Prog, Canterbury Scene, Folk Prog etc etc. Arti E ... (read more)

Report this review (#240314) | Posted by toroddfuglesteg | Saturday, September 19, 2009 | Review Permanlink

4 stars man this is a debut album and you can hardly believe it: the sound is already so mature and complex that looks like the result of a 10 years passion for a project by the whole group. The violin is really excellent, the drum work is incredibly powerful, but maybe it's the less mature, being too ... (read more)

Report this review (#72104) | Posted by Warholizer | Friday, March 17, 2006 | Review Permanlink

5 stars The first work released in 1974 "Tilt". Album recorded by six members including violin and wind instrument. It is a present from Italy. Extraordinary masterpiece where rich music is enclosed. The sound is symphonic jazz-rock. There is a rich poetic sentiment in all melodies. It is keeps straig ... (read more)

Report this review (#72099) | Posted by braindamage | Friday, March 17, 2006 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Excellent band from Italy. Their music? Jazz rock with a progressive flavour. This is their best effort, showing a dreamy violin sound (in the same vein of Quella vecchia locanda) and the powerful drumming of Furio Chirico, who had jaust left The Trip. Definitely recommended. ... (read more)

Report this review (#1097) | Posted by | Thursday, January 8, 2004 | Review Permanlink

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