Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography


Gruppo D'alternativa


From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Gruppo D'alternativa Ipotesi album cover
3.50 | 36 ratings | 7 reviews | 8% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

Write a review

from partners
Studio Album, released in 1972

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Quando Le Parole (02:09)
2. Incidente (04:39)
3. Infanzia (03:23)
4. Voglia Di Essere (03:28)
5. Solitudine (04:29)
6. Appare La Forma (02:29)
7. La Tua Lotta (08:20)
8. Messaggio Libero (4:37)
9. Ipotesi (01:06)

Total Time: 34:40

Line-up / Musicians

- Tino Guasconi / Vocals
- Gianfranco Fumagalli / Flute
- Leonardo Dosso / Bassoon, acoustic guitar
- Rodolfo Pace / Guitar
- Roberto Romano / Keyboards
- Paolo Rizzi / Bass
- Nino Flenda / Drums, percussion

Releases information

LP Harvest 3C064-17837 (1972)
CD AMS/Vinyl Magic AMS 114 (2007)

Thanks to Bj-1 for the addition
Edit this entry


More places to buy GRUPPO D'ALTERNATIVA music online

GRUPPO D'ALTERNATIVA Ipotesi ratings distribution

(36 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(8%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(36%)
Good, but non-essential (53%)
Collectors/fans only (3%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)


Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Bj-1
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars This band is an interesting one, releasing just one album during their fairly short-lived career with very little success. Gruppo D'alternativa's sound could easily associate them with the IPR (Italian Progressive Rock) movement in the early 70's due to their similar styles with band such as Il Balleto Di Bronzo or Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso, but they also had a very experimental and odd style to them which can also compare them to the RIO movement active during the end of the 70's. Bands such as Stormy Six and "Desperate Straights" era Slapp Happy comes to mind while listening to this album, but whenever it was influential to those bands remains unknown to me. You could call most RIO dissonant and inaccessible, but Gruppo D'alternativa was a different story. This album, while still heavily reminiscent of typical RIO stylistics, is also quite melodic and structured at the same time, therefore they are a bit difficult to categorise properly. I would still consider it as a "Proto-RIO" album of sorts, but also a part of the IPR movement at the same time.

The song writing is quite dynamic and varied, with a neat somewhat Canterbury reminiscent touch to spice the music up a bit in places. The songs on each side of the LP seems to flow together to form two suites and the arrangements works well even though the material is very varied and even quite different from each other sometimes. The album is nicely put together to say it with other words. The musicianship is solid, although no particular instrument really stands out, and while the songs are a bit odd put together the technical competence from this band is very promising throughout. For such an obscure cult release as this, the production is quite good and all instruments are very clearly heard throughout. This album was reissued on CD a few years ago, although Im not sure about it's availability, but it should definitely be picked up if you are interested in bands such as Etron Fou Leloublan, Stromy Six, Mamma Non Piangere or Desperate Straights-era Slapp Happy, although these guys are far more accessible I would say. Recommended to any RIO/IPR enthusiast 3.5/5

Review by Finnforest
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Proto-RIO indeed

BJ-1 makes a great observation that this band may well have been a pioneer to the RIO sound although they have other sides to their musical personality. GdA is another odd band on the early side of the classic Italian period. Hailing from Milan the band evolved from two 60s Italian groups called I Tipi and Gli Asceti. Once the line-up was ready the band prepared material for their one-shot on Harvest Records. The plan was to openly reject the popular Symphonic prog of the day and instead experiment with rock, jazz, classical, and the avant-garde. Semi-conceptual in form, the album features two long suites with good lyrics about the difficult life of a close friend of the band, his search for Utopian possibilities, and his tragic demise. The result is an album that is in the esoteric, experimental music camp and could be compared in spirit to bands like Saint Just, Stormy Six, Pholas Dactylus, Paese dei Balocchi, and Area though of course they don't sound exactly like anyone else.

"Ipotesi" has something of an "all over the map" structure, loose, free-in-spirit approach. On the one hand you have the stock rock elements of bass/drums/electric guitar. A second part of the sound is a free-jazz which some claim is Canterbury influenced. There is an acoustic element of guitar, piano, bassoon, and flute that cross pollinate the rock and jazz mix. There is organ and Italian vocals which give the album just a little bit of the traditional ISP feel but not much. The various styles and sections change often enough to interest the adventurous listeners while remaining accessible enough for those turned off by the very difficult or dissonant. The sound is not unfriendly at all even sporting the occasional groove or moment of pastoral beauty. The sound quality is a bit dank to be sure and the musicians themselves suffer a bit from the production, my hunch is that they are not bad players but that they probably had less studio time available than the Floyd clocked for bathroom breaks in a given session. notes that "musically the band is competent and the album reveals some jazz-rock influences in the Canterbury vein (listen to some jazzy guitar parts or the use of bassoon). Acoustic parts are prevalent but there are sudden rhythm changes and complex arrangements and the album can be a nice surprise." I love how rather than following the typical linear song structures and seeing them through to the end of the track, the band will simply try something.stop.starting another idea right in the middle of something else. "Infanzia" is a good example moving from an organ/flute opening to frantic piano runs and finally to a melodic pastoral section of acoustic guitar, flute, and vocal. There is a streak of creative anarchy and irreverence running throughout Ipotesi that should be your clearest indication as to whether you should buy this. If you enjoy the odd and the irreverent you should own this one eventually. If you prefer your prog more polished and concerned about appealing to the many then you can probably skip this.

While the band got some good reviews and were offered a chance at a second album (with more label oversight) and even a supporting gig for Deep Purple, they chose instead to split. My feeling is that this band was probably not interested in artistic compromise at all. One member, Leonardo Dosso, would later record two albums with RIO legends Stormy Six. While "Ipotesi" is admittedly not an album that will have wide mainstream prog appeal it is one that should interest RIO fans, Italian Prog fans, and experimental band fans. The album is one of those growers than I appreciate far more after many listens than I did after my first few plays. The Italian mini re-issue is the usual delicious gatefold with rare photos and nice Bio in both Italian and English. They know how to treat their customers. There's no way I'd trade these delightful re-issues for some lame download-record companies take note-there are still a few of us left when you offer products like these. 7/10

Review by Todd
4 stars Wow!!

I'm shocked. I wasn't expecting the album to be this good! Like most of us here, before taking the plunge into the deep waters of "Ipotesi" I read as many reviews as I could, including the excellent (as usual . . . ) reviews above by BJ-1 and Finnforest. I admit I didn't put the album too high on my priority list, being perhaps put off a bit by some of the descriptions about the band's experimental side. But to my ears this album falls squarely in with the better experimental RPI bands, like Area, Pholas Dactylus, Planetarium and Stormy Six. In fact, when I think of the year this was done (1972), I'm amazed at how adventurous these guys were, and at the same time how absolutely enjoyable their adventure is! For example, they go from a fabulous RPI groove in "La Tua Lotta" to great jazz rock in "Messaggio Libero." There are some moments of experimentation that don't work quite as well for me--are there any RIO/Avant type bands that hit it every time?--but when they do get it, it is absolutely amazing.

As Jim mentions above, the BTF mini lp is gorgeous. You really should pick this up while you can! Four stars for this shockingly good, overlooked piece of RPI/Proto-RIO/avant/jazz rock from 1972. Wow!!

Review by Mellotron Storm
4 stars Some consider this album to be the first Rio recording. Released in 1972 "Ipotesi" was a concept album (Rock Opera) about the singers friend who died in a car crash. This album represented just a part of the Rock Opera that was presented on stage. The band was very influenced by Miles Davis and loved to improvise which was an important part of their live show. The bassoon player would go on to play for STORMY SIX. I've noticed a few people aren't into the vocals but I love them. Powerful and unique yet you know they're Italian.

"Quando Le Parole" opens with spoken words, soon another person is speaking at the same time. The music kicks in after a minute then settles quickly. It builds to the end. "Incidente" opens with vocals and a pastoral soundscape. Guitar and drums join in before a minute as the tempo picks up. The vocals are outstanding here. Organ only after 1 1/2 minutes. "Infanzia" is organ and flute lead early. The tempo picks up after a minute as piano and a fuller sound joins in. It settles 2 minutes in with strummed guitar and flute. The vocals after 3 minutes are reserved. "Voglia Di Essere" kicks in right away with drums and organ standing out. It settles with guitar and vocals. Flute 1 1/2 minutes in. Organ follows as vocals continue. The tempo picks up then we get this jazzy section before 2 1/2 minutes. It's brief though as it settles again with vocals before picking back up one more time.

"Solitudine" opens with faint sounds before the vocals arrive before a minute. The tempo picks up a minute later before settling again. It kicks back in at 3 1/2 minutes,electric guitar too. Organ takes over late. "Appare La Forma" is an instrumental that sounds pretty incredible with the guitar, piano, drums and bass standing out. Organ joins in as well. It ends as it began. "La Tua Lotta" opens with flute, light drums and piano as vocals join in. This is laid back. The tempo then picks up. Love his vocals (did I mention that ?). It settles as contrasts continue. Organ after 3 1/2 minutes followed by a calm. The tempo picks up 5 minutes in before settling again with some nasty organ before 6 minutes. And yes it picks up one more time. "Messaggio Libero" opens with acoustic guitar and reserved vocals. The instrumental work here gets twisted, maybe avant is the word. It builds with electric guitar. Great section. "Ipotesi" ends the album with acoustic guitar melodies.

I appreciate Todd's enthusiasm for this album and thank him for the recommendation.

Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Gruppo d'Alternativa originated from Milano and competed for a short time with a seven-piece line-up, which consisted of Tino Guasconi on vocals, Gianfranco Fumagalli on flute, Leonardo Dosso on bassoon/acoustic guitar, Rodolfo Pace on electric guitar, Roberto Romano on keyboards, Paolo Rizzi on bass and Nino Flenda on drums/percussion.They wrote their only album in 1972, dedicated to a friend of singer Tino Guasconi, who died in a road accident.Their work was even performed for some time at Teatro Uomo with a good response by the public.The original vinyl, which features the band's name simply as GdA, came out in 1972 on Harvest.

Very much Classical-influenced, ''Ipotesi'' is an album, which recalls the folky side of BLOCCO MENTALE or CELESTE and the intense moments of BANCO DEL MUTUO SOCCORSO, having an amazing balance all the way with clever and interesting arrangements, while the pieces often flow as a long story.Narration was delivered by keyboardist Roberto Romano.Romantic acoustic textures with pastoral flute parts break often into complex Italian Sympho Rock with dramatic vocals, deep organ showering and scratching electric guitars.What sets this group a bit apart from the rest of Italian symphonic bands is the presence of bassoon along with the flutes in many moments, adding eventually a kind of R.I.O flavor to the album.The instrumental parts are full of power and intensity with chaotic interplays and frequent changes between acoustic and electric variations.The keyboard work is particularly great, either offered through atmospheric and mellow waves or delivered with passion and depth, revealing both Classical and psychedelic inspirations.Some jazzy interludes are also present in sporadic parts and the battles between flute, organ and guitars are the absolute highlight of the release.

After the demise of the group Leonardo Dosso spent some brief time with Stormy Six between 1976 and 1977, participated in Luciano Basso's second album ''Cogli il giorno'' and later he established The Arnold Woodwind Quintet, a Chamber Music ensemble, with which he spent over twenty years.Paolo Rizzi appeared as a guest on double-bass on the thrilling self-titled album of Italian Prog legends Maxophone.

Under-the-radar release, which has plenty to offer to the demanding proghead.A variety of melodramatic and romantic atmospheres, wrapped up in short but always fascinating structures.Strongly recommended...3.5 stars.

Latest members reviews

4 stars An unlikely Italian band on the Harvest EMI imprint, Gruppo d'Alternativa manage to fly under the radar for many RPI collectors. Often described as "proto-RIO," Ipotesi is the musical equivalent of performance art; in fact, the album was originally conceived as a theatrical production based o ... (read more)

Report this review (#914590) | Posted by coasterzombie | Saturday, February 16, 2013 | Review Permanlink

4 stars I really like this album, the only release from Gruppo D'Alternativa. They're clearly influenced by a lot of my favorite prog bands, especially Gentle Giant, Genesis, ELP, King Crimson and probably some of the Canterbury bands. The compositions are very interesting, complex and ambitious, with l ... (read more)

Report this review (#174422) | Posted by peskypesky | Thursday, June 19, 2008 | Review Permanlink

Post a review of GRUPPO D'ALTERNATIVA "Ipotesi"

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.