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JET LAG

Premiata Forneria Marconi (PFM)

Rock Progressivo Italiano


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Premiata Forneria Marconi (PFM) Jet Lag album cover
3.18 | 204 ratings | 33 reviews | 13% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential


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Studio Album, released in 1977

Songs / Tracks Listing

Side 1
1. Peninsula (2:35)
2. Jet Lag (9:10)
3. Storia in "LA" (6:26)
4. Breakin In (4:10)
Side 2
5. Cerco la lingua (5:33)
6. Meridiani (5:57)
7. Left-Handed Theory (4:13)
8. Traveler (5:46)

Total Time: 42:50

Bonus track on 2010 remaster:
9. La carrozza di Hans (Live 1976) (14:15)

Lyrics

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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians

- Franz Di Cioccio / drums, wood percussions
- Franco Mussida / electric & ovation, classical guitars
- Patrick Djivas / bass, Moog B12
- Bernardo Lanzetti / lead vocals, percussion
- Flavio Premoli / electric piano, organ, Moog
- Gregory Bloch / electric & acoustic violin

Releases information

LP Asylum-7ES 1101-Can (1977)
LP Manticore-K 53511-UK (1977)

CD RCA Italiana/BMG Ricordi S.p.A.-74321 922862-Italy (2002)
CD Cherry Red Records Ltd. MANTCD 1007 (2010, UK, remastered, 1 bonus track, different cover)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Tarcisio Moura for the last updates
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PREMIATA FORNERIA MARCONI (PFM) Jet Lag ratings distribution


3.18
(204 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(13%)
13%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(34%)
34%
Good, but non-essential (36%)
36%
Collectors/fans only (14%)
14%
Poor. Only for completionists (3%)
3%

PREMIATA FORNERIA MARCONI (PFM) Jet Lag reviews


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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Peter
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This excellent album saw PFM breaking new ground, with the inclusion of fretless bass (the first time I heard that instrument), and a jazzier feel overall. Four of the five tracks with vocals are sung in English, but the Pete Sinfield (ex Crimson) lyrics of earlier English language releases (like "The World Became the World") are missing this time out. If the words don't soar to Sinfield's poetic heights, however, they still do a serviceable job.

Poetry aside, the music is center-stage here, and it is superb music indeed! The opening track, "Peninsula," is a beautiful piece of classical guitar work (sort of like Genesis - "Horizons") that serves as a lovely prelude to the title track. At over 9 minutes, "Jet Lag" is the longest track on the album, and it's also the finest: in the best traditions of classic Prog it changes musical direction more than once, offering both power and beauty. Alone worth the cost of the disc (then some!), this masterful and highly original 'suite' is one of the best blends of jazz and rock that I've ever had the pleasure to hear. The rest of the album doesn't quite measure up to "Jet Lag," but is still very good, and diverse in flavour. There are soaring violins, great guitars and keyboards (lots of electric piano) and solid bass and drums. The final cut, "Traveller," is particularly good, and brings the set to a memorable close.

Though it represents a departure from the band's earlier sound, I liked this disc in '77, and I love it now!

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Posted Saturday, January 03, 2004

Review by greenback
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Mostly this is purely fast and complex "hard to play" progressive rock without the earlier mellow & delicate moments, like on "Photos of ghost" and "World became the world". WOW! This record is very loaded: the drums and bass and very fast and complex. There are some very fast and hard rock/bluesy electric guitar parts. Mauro Pagani left the band here, so there are no more woodwind instruments; he is replaced by Gregory Bloch, a very good violinist who does a very good job. The long eponymous song "Jet lag" amazingly sounds like Ozric Tentacles! "Story in la" is a monumental Zappa-esque (circa "One size fits all") chef d'oeuvre. It is impressive to notice all the good synchronization involved here to produce dense tracks! Bernardo Lanzetti still sings here with his annoying voice. The keyboardist can easily be compared to George Duke's in the 70's; many song styles can be associated with the Zappa's work of the mid 70's. The side 2 is less spectacular. There is nothing bad to say about the technical performance, but of course I prefer the earlier stuff.

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Send comments to greenback (BETA) | Report this review (#16984) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, April 14, 2004

Review by Proghead
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars Here's where PFM really loses it. By this point, they were residing in Los Angeles (but no longer after this album). This was their second album with ex-ACQUA FRAGILE vocalist Bernardo Lanzetti, bassist Jan Patrick Djivas had been with the band since "L'Isola di Niente", and for this album they brought in Gregory Bloch, apparently a violinist for some latter-day version of IT'S A BEAUTIFUL DAY (which is a bit strange, since everyone knows that David LaFlamme was quite a capable violinist himself in that BAY AREA band). "Jet Leg" was their final Los Angeles album, with PFM returning to Italy (and Bloch staying in California), and concentrating on the Italian pop market. There is no getting around the fact that Patrick Djivas was quite a talented bassist, showing his abilities off his fretless bass. Not to mention Bernardo Lanzetti with his Peter GABRIEL/Roger Chapman-like voice.

But unfortunately this album, for the most part is very non-memorable. I can understand that the band couldn't run the style they explored on "Storia di un Minuto" and "Per Un Amico" in the dirt, realizing they wouldn't be able to top off those two albums even if they tried, but to go for an album that consists little else than a lot of noodling around that goes nowhere is pretty inexcusible. Supposedly "Chocolate Kings" is the better album, but I hadn't heard this. "Jet Leg" is far from a classic in my book, and for PFM completists only.

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Posted Thursday, May 06, 2004

Review by belz
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Strangely enough, this is probably my favorite PFM album beside « Chocolate kings ». Sure it's their last very good album, but this one has some magic in it. The voice is awesome, and what about a song like « Traveler ». Everything on this album has some magic in it. You can feel they are at the end of their path and that they achieved something. A difficult album to understand, but I can't stop listening to it again and again.

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Posted Monday, May 10, 2004

Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
1 stars Boeing, Boeing, bong!

Without wishing to appear harsh, it would appear "Jet lag" is exactly what the band were suffering when they recorded this. All the excitement of "Photos of ghosts" and "The world become the world" etc. have evaporated, to be replaced by dull jazz noodlings, and off key vocals.

It all starts promisingly with the brief acoustic guitar intro "Peninsula", but the title track soon looms large (literally), and everything goes pear shaped. The vocalist sounds almost identical to Roger Chapman on this track, but unfortunately the rest of the band prefer to align themselves with King Crimson on a bad day.

There are some occasional reprieves such as the flute on "Storia in LA", and the violin on "Cerco La Lingua", but such interludes are all too brief and sparse.

With the album being recorded in Burbank USA, and London UK, and released on ELP's Manticore label, expectations were understandably high. Too bad then that the band failed to deliver, and the impetus for finding a wider audience was lost.

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Posted Friday, June 04, 2004

Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars It's a classic album. The first time I got this album was in the form of tape at the time of release. Am fortunate that at the end, after having been chasing many years, I got the re-mastered edition CD in a digipak format with an excellent sonic quality, last year. This album is one of the finest that the band has ever produced. The music is a blend of jazz, rock and some classical music touch. It opens with an instrumental track, acoustic guitar based, with a stunning style. It reminds me to Genesis' "Horizon" before "Supper's Ready". This track is longer - it consumes 2:35 minutes. Very nice opening.

The title track "Jet Lag" is opened with a powerful vocal line backed with keyboard sound. The music flows excellently with a heavy influence of jazz. The instruments that contribute to the music are blend nicely to form an excellent composition. The instruments that are noticeable are combination of guitar fills, keyboard and violins. Also important to notice is the changing beat of drumming, it's cool. This track offers shifting tempos as well. I think, this track is masterpiece. The way keyboard /organ is played reminds me to GENTLE GIANT style even though I'm not claiming that PFM is heavily influenced by GG. The interlude with keyboard solo is wonderful.

"Storia in "la" " is opened with a solo keyboard and some cymbal's sound. The melody and nuance of this intro remind me to GONG music (Shamal album), especially the woodwind instrument used in this opening. It's an instrumental track with relatively slow tempo, stunning violin and guitar. Next track, "Breakin in" continues with similar vein of melody, but this time with a vocal line. The tempo is slightly much more upbeat than its predecessor. You will find interesting blend of violin and percussion in this track. The tempo is relatively stable with minimum high-low range.

"Cerco la lingua" has a relatively long violin intro. I find the intro is too long as it is almost played as solo. But when the music flows, I find the bass guitar is played wonderfully. The other interesting part is the "banjo"-like guitar play and violin. "Left-handed Theory" is a track that has a long intro part as instrumental; guitar sound dominate the track. The lead guitar work is excellent. There are some violin work as well to accentuate the composition in early part and solo during interlude.

I consider this album is good. Even though musicianship is excellent and relatively complex composition in some segments, however there are some monotonous part especially in its tagline music background. A good example is at last track "traveler"; the first part is too long and little variations of melody. Yes, at later part the tempo is changing but it does not help the overall track. To enjoy this album, you need to be in the right mood. I think. Rating 3.5 / 5. - Gatot Widayanto, Indonesia.

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Posted Friday, August 27, 2004

Review by slipperman
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars A wayward, unfocused album follows up the great 'Chocolate Kings'. Who knows why? It's only one year later and 5/6 of the members return for another excursion. No doubt the album has its moments, "Jet Lag", "Meridiani" and "Cerco La Lingua" exemplifying prime PFM. The quirky "Left-Handed Theory" is the best indication of the band's increasing infatuation with jazz/fusion, and though they're quite good at it, it's unfortunate that this would dominate over their epic/symphonic element. "Storia In 'LA'" is a good song, but it seems neutered by a production soft-lens focus: the cleaner tone that would exemplify so many late '70s prog albums. (It almost sounds like one of Brand X's safer compositions). With a reach toward the middle ground on several tracks, like "Breakin' In" and "Traveler", 'Jet Lag' constitutes a textbook-definition "transitional album". Unfortunately they transitioned to less exciting material, like much of their prog brethren in the late '70s.

The recording of the instruments seems dampened compared to previous efforts, and curiously, Bernardo Lanzetti doesn't exert himself as forcefully as on 'Chocolate Kings'. There's plenty to like here, but very little to love (or hate). Far more important than just a "completists-only" album, but any prog fan would be advised to get ALL the albums that came before it before venturing into this part of the band's evolution.

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Posted Thursday, June 09, 2005

Review by daveconn
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars This is the first PFM album I've ever heard, and I'm 39 years old, which means I've wasted 38 years looking for something that was there all along. Jet Lag is mid-period PFM, not the best stuff in the barrel, and yet it immediately vaunted the band ahead in my mind. Imagine the better parts of Brand X and Gentle Giant combined, sung with a slight Peter Gabriel affectation, and you'll see why PFM is AOK with most prog fans. I'd still recommend starting with Genesis and Gentle Giant, but you shouldn't be wasting your money on GG's later albums (The Missing Piece, Giant For A Day) until you've delved into PFM. English isn't their strength, so you wouldn't mistake the lyrics for poetry, but on a track like "Traveler" you might mistake the band for vintage Genesis, and that's a mirage worth following. In defining the band's sound, it's really a sum of their parts: vocalist Bernardo Lanzetti sounds most like a less-convincing Peter Gabriel (think of a small Fish), fretless bassist Patrick Djivas invites comparison to Brand X's Percy Jones, keyboardist Flavio Premoli could be a cross between Tony Banks and Soft Machine's Mike Ratledge, and so on. In other words, PFM stays within the soft fusion/prog field for the bulk of Jet Lag. Drummer Franz Di Ciccio and guitarist Franco Mussida are outstanding, and it's tempting to think how good they could have been in a band like Gentle Giant. Part of the purpose of Progrography is to turn listeners on to new artists, and if I've pushed at least one person in the direction of PFM, I've done my job. I wouldn't suggest starting your PFM collection with Jet Lag, but no harm done if you do. There are a handful of tracks like "Jet Lag," "Cerco La Lingua" and "Traveler" that will tickle the tastebuds of prog connoisseurs and keep them hungry for more. In that spirit, onward and backward to Chocolate Kings!

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Posted Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Review by mystic fred
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars The title track "Jet Lag" is one of those elusive pieces of music i have been looking out for since i heard it on a Prog radio show back in 1977. This amazing piece had always stuck in my mind, though i had forgotten what it was called, i waited all this time until i managed to get an idea from PA listings of what it actually was, i bought a copy of the LP some weeks ago - and there it was just as i remembered it, the vocals very similar to Roger Chapman in places, the jazz-rock style playing, the catchy hook in the main theme all came back to me.

Side one begins with the instrumental track "Peninsular", delightful acoustic guitar piece though rather short, an unusual start to an album. The aforementioned "Jet Lag" is the longest track on the album at nine minutes, and is followed by "Storia in LA", a relaxing instrumental piece featuring what sounds like some beautiful flute playing (could be that mysterious "Pari" organ?) , followed by an electric violin solo, backed by fretless bass. "Breakin' In" ups the tempo, with electric violin, guitar and keyboards with the aforementioned gravelly vocals from Bernardo Lanzetti.

"Cerco la Lingua" starts off Side two with a beautiful violin solo, reminiscent of an Irish gypsy folk tune, accompanied by tambourine before the drums and electric guitar and keyboards kick in, that fretless bass is very prominent here, the singer is singing in Italian on this lively track which has an interesting mix of styles and intruments! "Meridani" drifts in with an interesting guitar solo backed by drums and bass, almost a blues-style jam in places, a very enjoyable piece! I would have liked to see them play this live.The next track "Left-handed Theory" is a very Jazzy-style piece featuring keyboards, a violin solo and again Chapman-style vocals, which is followed by the last track "Traveller", which has a very catchy theme and bass line running through it, interspersed by vocals and a winding guitar solo, and acoustic guitar. The "Family" comparison is really startling on this track, that is not to say the music is detracted by this, quite the opposite - i have hardly heard any other albums by "PFM" but i am extremely impressed by the sophisticated musicianship on this album - i gather this album is something of a departure from their usual style, but i shall be investigating their others with interest - an excellent addition to any Prog collection!

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Posted Saturday, October 14, 2006

Review by ZowieZiggy
PROG REVIEWER
1 stars FROM GREAT SYMPONIC TO DULL JAZZ-ROCK

This work is what I call the first post classic « PFM » album. In two years time, the "evolution" is dreadful.

The opening track isl still a sweet piece of acoustic music which is pleasant to hear in expectation of something great. But the problem is that we won't get anything great here.

The jazz-orientation is fully present which in my case is not a favourable move. It's a hard job to find any similarity with the great "PFM" I used to know. The emotional one. The symphonic one. The great one.

What we get here is a jazz-rock uninspired album. In this respect, "Jet Lag" (the track) is extremely hard to digest (except the final great guitar solo). Vocals are painful, but it was already one comment I made in the "Chocolate Kings" review. It is unfortunately just a confirmation.

The only good thing with "Storia I La" is that it is an all instrumental track. We won't have to bear very average vocals during these 6'30". But this is a poor compensation to these 570 seconds of wasted time anyway.

I really got a hard time with this album. Some short violin passages will be the only substance I will retain from this "great" musical experience. It's impossible for me to talk about a highlight on this album. The global feeling is too close from total boredom.

This band procured me some great moments in my life. I was only fifteen when it occurred. Some pleasant moments during "Cerco la Lingua" maybe. Very good bass work, indeed. Violin adds some folkish flavours, but jazz has still the lead.

I would have liked to artificially swell my rating for all the great works this band has produced. But when I listen to the unbearable "Meridiani" and "Left-Handed Theory" it is not possible. And the quavering vocals during "Traveler" won't be an adjuvant to do so either.

One very little star. To listen ONLY if you are into jazz. Which is absolutely not my case.

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Posted Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Review by Finnforest
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars A contentious title, but thumbs-up from here. Give it time...

....to grow on you. When I first heard "Jet Lag" I thought "Yikes.this ain't PFM!" Well it may not be the PFM of 1972 but it is still a great piece of music on its own. The album garners reviews ranging from "1-star crap" all the way to "the finest album PFM made." You'll have to decide that on your own, but please pretend the album came from some new band instead and hear it with fresh ears. It's really quite a concoction of musical talents pushing their own buttons, likely the product of a band wanting to try something new while subconsciously having been influenced by everything from their Italian roots, the English prog bands, American jazz and rock, and the more esoteric flavors of Area, Gentle Giant, etc. I don't like English vocals in my Italian prog and most of them are on this album. The vocal qualities of Lanzetti will always be a pebble in the shoe of many PFM fans but again, those who take to the music of Jet Lag will quickly tune him out as they listen to the playing of the musicians.

"Peninsula" is an amazing piece of acoustic guitar soloing by Mussida that just flows, it could easily have shown up on their more pastoral early albums. It reminds of something Steve Howe would do with a solo acoustic number, lots of color. "Jet Lag" changes course completely to something resembling a jazzy Gentle Giant. There is amazing bass guitar playing here and violins dropping in and out providing a cool texture. Obviously the guitar work is great. There is a sparse interlude in the middle for some laid back noodling (sometimes a bad word, sometimes not...here it works.) "Storia in LA" opens with fantastic keyboard moods and fretless bass that evoke warm, blue sky feelings. The pace is quite slow but things pick up as the song progresses, adding acoustic guitars and then violins to the amazing keyboard exploration.marvelous! "Breakin In" is the shortest (besides the introduction) and most forgettable track here with some feisty violin playing drowned out by too many vocals. "Cerco La Lingua" begins with a violin solo and becomes a mid-paced track with Italian vocals (yeah!) The violin/guitar workouts get pleasantly feisty between the verses and the drumming cooks yet again. "Meridiani" is another tasty instrumental of medium speed serving up some awesome guitar playing. Halfway through it kicks into overdrive with fast fusion interplay that is thrilling, burning electric guitar, ferocious rhythm section and some keys in the background. The closing section shifts again to a more introspective space-rock vibe quite flawlessly and this builds to a big finish. Great stuff! "Left-handed Theory" starts with brisk keyboard runs and then some excellent e-piano soloing. Here the vocals work great off the bass and guitar flourishes. Then some lilting violins and interesting percussions add much icing to the cake. Sounds a bit like the 1978 Area album. "Traveler" is a bit tepid in the first half but the second recovers nicely into a decent, more basic prog-rock track.

To help describe this complex album a bit more I like these excerpts of a review by one C.F. Kemp: ".. this album is neither failed nor a fusion experiment. Although certain songs are jazzier than anything the group had done before, it is a highly original album with few equals in the progressive rock pantheon. Sure it's a departure from the group's classical roots, coinciding with the exit of seminal violinist and flautist Mauro Pagani. And his loss was undoubtedly difficult for many fans to handle. But as time passes, Jet Lag has come to stand up as one of PFM's strongest efforts.. ..this is one of the group's most diverse efforts. It includes a solo classical guitar piece (Peninsula), a mini-epic with distinct movements (the title cut), a dreamy keyboard-dominated piece with a hint of New Aginess (Storia in `LA'), a folk/progressive blend complete with Mellotron (Circo la Lingua) and a Genesis-flavored anthem (Traveler). Even the more fusion-dominated cuts (Jet Lag, Left Handed Theory) are distinctive and a little strange - something I've valued in progressive rock since Genesis' Nursery Cryme days." [these sentences from CF Kemp's online review]

Despite a few shaky moments, my view is that the rich playing of Jet Lag combined with its sense of fun and adventure makes it a fine moment for PFM. 3 ¾ stars. Not perfect by any means but enough to eke its way to 4 stars on the required rounding. A must for fans of great rock with the emphasis on adventurous interplay of instruments. I really think that if you dig Gentle Giant, Area, Crimson, or the most adventurous Gabriel moments, you may well end up enjoying Jet Lag very much.

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Posted Thursday, December 27, 2007

Review by LinusW
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Italian Prog Specialist
3 stars A mixed bag indeed.

I am the first to admit that this isn't the same PFM that created such celebrated masterpieces as Per Un Amico and Storia Di Un Minuto, but the lingering feeling of confidence and competence those albums left me with is still very much present.

Some symphonic remnants remain, often taking the shape of organ/Moog passages with or without violin. But even then it's more in the vein 'of Americana prog' like Kansas. Warmer, and in some ways more laid-back and relaxed. And there's room enough for the occasional dab in the more baroque territory of the classic records, adding a faint flavour of the bands' trademark RPI sound. Above all the above though, this is in fact a jazzy, guitar- and bass driven piece of art. Complex classical and rhythmic arrangements for the guitar and full of great bass from Patrick Djivas. It's a unique sound, rounded but still twangy, that he produces, be it with his fingers or a pick. Often very fast and complex, with shorter solo runs reminding me of Geddy Lee and sometimes just fattening up the sound by solid, powerful booming lines. By stretching it a little, I find some traces of Tony Levin in the sound. Very fast, almost taplike (think Chapman Stick) with weird but enjoyable slide/bend effects. Even the interplay between all the instruments on some songs makes me think of 80's King Crimson. It's fresh and daring in a New Age kind of way, something I find very enjoyable when used in moderation.

On top of this is a very integrated violin, often rising from the mix to add either melody or texture. Just like the keys do. Altogether they form an adventurous, feisty whole which is both frantic and relaxed at the same time and, at least for me, very refreshing. A compact and lively soundscape keeps you interested all the time, but yes, for shorter periods it might turn almost nauseant, when the denseness instead overwhelms you. Mixing many influences at once, almost as with a fusion band, Jet Lag defies description. Both a pro and a con, say I. There's a searching element here, counterbalanced with complexity and experimentalism, but it still only gets the job half done.

I'm not a big fan of Bernardo Lanzetti. With that said, he doesn't bog down the album that much. It's quite a nuisance every time he delivers some terribly overdone vibrato, that he still can't pull off, and he is a singer of sub-par quality. But as so often is the case, the music overshadows that incapability.

Don't make this your first PFM experience, but most certainly don't make it your last.

3 stars

//LinusW

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Posted Thursday, April 17, 2008

Review by ExittheLemming
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars A recent study in hamsters showed that Viagra aided in a 50% faster recovery from jet-lag comparable to that experienced by humans and was effective starting at low doses. However, this use has not been tested in humans and is considered an off-label use by the drug's manufacturers.

How do you measure fatigue, lethargy, digestive upsets, impaired judgement, memory lapses and irritability in a rodent? (Asleep at the wheel?)

I would imagine that the jazz/fusion tangent that the band went off on here would have polarised their fans at the time. However, it seems self-evident that those listeners who anticipated more symphonic prog and were served with this, would have a negative view of the album. This is a shame as Jet lag has much to offer from a purely musical perspective irrespective of the genre.

As the band were domiciled in the USA at the time, this exposure to a very different world would have had a commensurate influence on their music. (Both good and bad) When I first heard this album I was initially very disappointed and left it abandoned in the rack for a long while afterwards. However, for some unknown reason I decided to persevere with it and after a LOT of listens, something just started to click for me.

Yes, it is rather noodley and rambling in places but the compositions do eventually worm their way under your skin, so stick with it. You will not get any of the more familiar bombastic delights that adorn PFM's earlier output, but instead are invited to enter a jazzier and more improvisatory realm where often the texture is just as important as the structure.

The dialogue between the bass and drums is to be marveled at and the remaining instruments weave their way exploratively in and out of the mix over the top. The production throughout is excellent and really serves to enhance the very detailed and intricate interplay between the brilliant instrumentalists. (You already knew they had killer chops anyway)

There is alas, one area of the recording that is beyond redemption and that is Bernardo Lanzetti and his wildly oscillating tonsils. Within the broader rock stylings of Chocolate Kings his rich vibrato was acceptable, although still slightly irritating after lengthy exposure. In the context of the new fusion style here, it just sounds faintly incongruous, like an Italian attempting to sing the blues. Mercifully, the tracks are mostly instrumental and Bernie's warblings are kept to a minimum.

If nothing else, the record shows both the creative wanderlust and bravery of a band prepared to release material that they must have known would alienate many of their fans. (and that's why they get the extra half star folks)

SUMMARY: If you want eggs, ask for eggs and if they don't serve them: don't complain that the chicken don't taste like eggs.

(Three and a half stars really, and leave those little hamsters alone)

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Posted Friday, May 02, 2008

Review by Sean Trane
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog Folk
3 stars By the time of this album's release in 77, PFM had become a fairly different group than they had started out as and their influences had changed dramatically: gone are the Crimson ELP Genesis traits, and incoming are the GG and much jazzier inflections. Plastered with a boring artwork, and an English title, this album sees its line-up almost comparable to Chocolate Kings

After a (not-that) short guitar arpeggio intro Peninsula, the album plunges into GG realm with the 9-mins title track, where the vocals are particularly striking, a cross of Shulman meeting Family's Roger Chapman, with the violin doing nothing to dispel this either, since it (the violin) was part of both GG and Family. Halfway through the tracks quiets down to more civilized territories. Storia In "La" is more in the pure late-70's fusion ala Ponty, while Breaking In is definitely in Family realm. The flipside starts again a strange mix GG and Family, and although the execution is excellent, it's obvious that they're no Giant themselves, they sound Familiar enough to be very welcome to our ears. So Cerco La Lingua is rather similar to the title track, while the follow-up Meridiani goes back to late 70's fusion as Storia had, this one finishing in a full dramatic shebam. Left-Handed Theory is similarly entrenched in the same type of fusion, this time slightly Return To Forever-ish , until the vocals intervene anyway. The closing Traveller is again in GG territory.

JL confirms the musical directions taken with the preceding CK (relatively and even radically different than their first three albums; and it's just as well its neither better, nor worse in terms of worthiness for the progheads. They lust appeal to different prog taste, this one we shall call Gentle Ponty

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Posted Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Review by progrules
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars This is going to be my debut for this famous Italian symfo band so that means I have no comparative material where they are concerned. And after listening to this release which is obviously not representative for the peak of their career (early seventies) I think I will leave it at this one even though they probably made better albums. But somehow I stayed away from the band all these years and also to other Italian symfo bands and that was because I always knew this subgenre has never been there for me. I listened to several stream songs quite a few times but heard never really something that quite lived up to my taste.

Now about this album. It is characterized by a mix of compositions and styles but besides the fact I have no problem with that the whole thing is diminished for me by an annoying vocal performance. Every time I hear a vocal contribution the song is ruined for me. But besides that I can't say the compositions or the instrumental contribution are compensating it all. They are both sufficient for my taste but nothing brilliant there either.

I could do a song by song rating to see where it ends up with but I concluded they are all somewhere between 1,5 and 3 stars for me and actually on average right in the middle of those numbers but also if I rate it in 3 categories: compositions (2,75 *), vocals (1,5*) and instrumental performance (3*) it will not change anything to the final score I had in mind for this album and this is 2 stars (2,3). Like I said: I will procure no more of this band or style, I think that is fair to both myself and the subgenre (and PFM).

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Posted Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Review by Tarcisio Moura
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars The times were a-changing! (oh, the year of ´77!)

When I first heard PFM´s Jet Lag I thought I bought the wrong album. The first track is allright: a short classical guitar intro that shows the excellent talents of Franco Mussida. But then what you hear is anything but PFM. Or what this great italian group used to be. Without warning they changed their marvelous symphonic sound (with strong early King Crimson influences) into a jazz rock/fusion combo. I wonder if these changes had something to do with the leaving of founder member Mauro Pagani an year before. Probably it did.

There was no transition at all. Several tracks are instrumental and if someone told me at the time they were Premiata Forneria Marconi without showing me the cover, I´d laugh at that remark. It´s not that the record is bad. No. Actually I find the music pleasant and very well perfomed, as usual. Certainly PFM wouldn´t have the title of Italy´s premiere prog band without its merits. They were extremely gifted musicians and fine songwriters. Photos Of Ghosts and The World Became The World are among my favorite prog albums of the 70´s. But Jet Lag has nothing to do with them. Even the weaker Chocolate Kings gave no hint their sound wold make such turn. The music in Jet Lag may be good but it is completely uncharacteristic.

Conclusion: it´s a matter of taste, I guess. I didn´t like it at all at the time. I was not very fond of jazz rock and I completely lost interest in PFM after that. I think this style of music did not exactly suited PFM´s audience either. A pity. They were great, really. Even though nowadays I do think it is better than I first thought, I can´t give this album more than 2,5 stars. Even for jazz rock fusion fans there are better works than this one.

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Posted Thursday, October 23, 2008

Review by Cesar Inca
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Following in teh steps of "Chocolate Kings" in its pursuit of jazzier depths, and even enhancing the fusion element while driving it into a more accessible direction which grows farther from the realms of symphonic prog, "Jet Lag" happens to be a genuine manifesto of the sonic explorations that PFM was embarking on at this point of their career. One thing is clear, the departure of Pagani was no small deal: his signature sensibility and adventurous eclecticism on flute and violin were more than just ornaments to the input provided by his fellow members - they were essential assets to the core PFM sound. Now tha twe have a quintaessentially North American musician such as Gregory Bloch operating as the missing piece, the gear is complete in order to fulfill the American flavors that might as well be very helpful in this transitional era of PFM. So, things are as they are supposed to be, and PFM is still capable of cooking good musical ideas although it is increasingly evident that the band has left behind a phase of golden progressive rock. The album's opener is a solo classical guitar piece that happens to be teh exception to the rule - a very Mediterrenan feel for a piece entitled 'Peninsula'. Clear as the water of the clearest pond. Next is the namesake mini-opus, a three-part composition that has much to do with the sound that was being achieved by Weather Report and Return to Forever at the time. Musicianship is proficient and Bloch's role is noticeable among the rich instrumentation: PFM has officially become more related to Arti + mestieri than to BMS or Le Orme. I believe that the last two sections are the most accomplished ones, bearing a solid architecture to them and a bigger room for the synth input. In fact, Premoli's keyborads seem to be relegated to supporting and atmospheric roles in most parts of this album. The instrumental jams of 'Storia in "La"' and 'Meridiani' are basically showcases for Mussida's exhibitions of his liking for John McLaughlin - later on he would praise the work of Pat Metheny in interviews, so you can tell that the fusion thing is very close to his heart. It is in tracks 4, 5 and 7 that Bloch returns to a starring role: a special mention goes to the violin-percussion duet that sets the prologu section of 'Circo la Lingua'. Except for the closing track, 'Circo' is my fave track from this album: it encapsulates energy and invention in a robust fashion. 'Left- handed Theory' could have been as impressive had it enjoyed more room for a proper expansion. No complaints regarding thsi area for 'Traveler', which reveals how a repetitive harmonic idea can be used for good effect. A guitar solo in the middle and a violin solo flowing all the way until the fade-out build things up in strategic places, while an interlude partially based on a reprise of 'Peninsula' adds a momentary melodic variation. Tracks like this help the band to maintain its creative peak even though PFM was goign headlong toward a different artistic era. 3.33 stars for this one, at least from my part.

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Posted Thursday, September 17, 2009

Review by friso
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars PFM - Jet Lag (1977)

On this album PFM tossed most of its symphonic influences and concentrated on jazz-rock and fusion. The album has many long one chords improvisations, as well as fusion chord progressions. There also many good melodies to be found, but the atmosphere seems to be more important. The recording of the album is acceptable, but somehow the sound is a bit indifferent; some liveliness would not have hurt at all.

The fret-less bass is very strong, but the Rhodes piano and the always good guitarlines of PFM are also very rewarding. The vocals stand out as perhaps the weakest element of the music; Bernardo Lanzetti wants to sound like early-Genesis Gabriel. In reality, he sounds like a goat or a vocalist recorded under water. To bad. The song-writing (a miner aspect of the music) is relatively strong, with an other vocalist it could have been much more effective.

Conclusion. I myself like the artistic vibe of the record and the good violin and guitar solo's. The fretless bass is great. The album has many flaws, like some of the dated synth leads, the vocals and the lack of enthousiasm overall. Three stars seems to be a good rating. Recommended to fans of the jazz-rock/fusion genre and fans of PFM. Fans of sympyhonic prog should approach this album with care.

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Posted Thursday, November 26, 2009

Review by poslednijat_colobar
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars A fusion album by non-fusion band

Jet Lag is PFM's departure from their earlier pure symphonic rock phase. They enter the territory of jazz rock fusion with this album. This is the beginning of the weaker form of the band. Jet Lag is a step back from their latest album - Chocolate Kings. The vocals of Bernardo Lanzetti are not enough pleasing again. Here in Jet Lag the vocals seem like a bleating of a lamb. As it's typical for italian bands, in Jet Lag again has been included lush classical influence. The songwriting isn't of high quality. There are a lot of flaws in the first part of the album. The second part is definitely better. It contains more intensity and outlined musicianship. As whole, the album hasn't been listened by the right men, because it's jazz rock fusion album made by a symphonic band.

Highlight in Jet Lag :

Traveler - memorable and fascinating

Rating of the first half: 3 stars

Rating of the second half: 3 3/4 stars

Final rating: 3,3 stars

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Posted Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Review by Nightfly
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Rock Progressivo Italiano Team
3 stars Jet Lag was to see a change of direction for Italian's PFM, one which seems to receive a cool reception by many fans of the band. It's their second to feature Roger Chapman soundalike vocalist Bernardo Lanzetti who sings in English, part of the bands ongoing plan to make serious inroads outside their native Italy.

Whilst it doesn't match the greatness of earlier classics like Per Un Amico or even the preceding Chocolate Kings for that matter, Jet Lag nevertheless has some fine moments. Musically the band venture into a more jazz rock orientated area, though deceptively the short acoustic Peninsula, which opens the album gives the impression that it's business as usual. However, the jazzy runs of the following title track give an early indication of a change in the air. It's one of the best tracks here; naturally the playing is excellent from all involved from such a high calibre band and over its nine minutes shifts through many moods and changes. Despite the jazz leanings there are moments where the PFM of old shines through like on the violin intro to Cerco La Lingua but to be honest these are few and far between and it soon descends into more jazz fuelled territory. The instrumental Meridiani is very good, with some fine lead guitar work from Franco Mussida. Ditto Left Handed Theory, with its unison bass and keyboard runs and dominant electric piano. In fact it's an album of pretty much overall consistent quality, though it has to be said lacking the exceptional compositions to reach classic status.

If you approach Jet lag with expectations of the more bombastic symphonic and mellow pastoral moments of old then you'll no doubt be disappointed. Taken on its own terms however and you have an enjoyable collection of jazz rock flavoured prog from one of the finest Italian bands of the seventies. 3 ½ stars.

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Posted Friday, April 30, 2010

Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Neo Prog Team
3 stars After ''Chocolate kings'' and their USA tour,PFM had to deal with several important issues.Firstly came the shocking departure of Mauro Pagani,one of the band's original members.The rest of the band did not give up,they actually decided to move on as a quintet and repeat the success they had in the USA.During their stop in the States,they met violinist Greg Bloch (ex-It's A Beautiful Day,Mark Almon's Band) and his talent was great enough for PFM to call him to join the band.With him in the line-up they recorded and released their 7th studio album,''Jet lag'',in 1977.

The suspicious jazzy influences on ''Chocolate kings'' were know the basic idea of PFM's musicianship and anyone deep into the symphonic/folk side of PFM should simply forget it.But you should'nt forget about how great and talented this band is.The USA stop was actually a very useful lesson for the band,which came in touch with the jazzy side of rock.And ''Jet lag'' is exactly that.Furious and intricate Jazzy/Fusion-esque Progressive Rock with obvious MAHAVISHNU ORCHESTRA and THE DIXIE DREGS hints.The violin seems now the basic instrument of the new style (with the short exception of the opening Italian-flavored acoustic intro) and Bloch does really a fantastic job,playing both aggressivilly and smoothly.The nice interplays are also not absent.Rich sound with light battles between the rhythm section,keyboards,piano and Bloch's violin.Some Mellotron parts pop out here and there and the style then recalls something of the glorious past.Even Lanzetti's voice sounds differently and somewhat far from the previous Gabriel-esque plagiarism.Bad thing is PFM have lost some points regarding their personality and originality,they remind a lot of the afore-mentioned USA jazz rock legends.

''Jet lag'' is a rather undestimated pearl in the band's discography and I am sure that everyone would have rated this album higher,if we were not talking about PFM.Trying strongly to stay away from the band's sensational past works and the grand emotions they created to me,I find ''Jet lag'' more than a decent Jazz/Prog effort and strongly recommend this album to all fans of the fusion side of prog...3.5 stars.

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Posted Friday, August 19, 2011

Review by stefro
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars Suitably revered throughout their native homeland and across the continent in Britain whilst also boasting a strong cult following in the USA, Italian outfit PFM are the proud owners of one of the progressive rock genre's outstanding statements in the form of the gorgeous 1972 offering 'Per Un Amico', an album so characteristic of all that is so alluring about the Italian end of the genre. Nonetheless, despite forging a lengthy, decade-spanning and fairly successful career that has stretched well into the 21st century, one can't help but get the feeling that PFM have never quite fulfilled the potential shown on 'Per Un Amico'. Whilst Italian-language follow-up 'L'isola Di Niente' showed promise, the move to Manticore Records and their subsequent, internationally-directed English- language albums never quite managed to replicate the ethereal charm of their earlier material, and as a result PFM would never quite make the commercial grade despite a series of well-received American-and-British shows. The group's fifth release, 'Jet Lag' would be the final attempt to capture an international audience, the album exhibiting a Mahavishnu Orchestra-influenced jazz-rock sound that jars awkwardly with their symphonic style. Tellingly, 'Jet Lag' would be the last English-language attempt by the group, before the dissolution of Manticore and the onslaught of punk-rock saw them return both to their home and their native tongue for 1978's 'Passpartu'. With the fusion elements diluting their sound into a glutinous and unconvincing stylistic hybrid, 'Jet Lag' ultimately suffers from serving up far too rich a musical palette, and therefore we find a talented outfit exerting their energies on material ill-suited to their individual talents. The songs are either too long, too complicated or simply stifled by the overindulgence afforded by the new direction, with the choppy title-track, the oddly-textured 'Breakin' In' and album-closer 'Traveler' all stretching promising melodies into overextended jams that though technically impressive, quickly become tiresome. Only the up-tempo 'Storia In LA' seems to find the right balance between the intricate jazz rhythms and symphonic templates, though it's a brief moment of clarity in an otherwise thoroughly overcooked whole. The real crux of the matter is that when compared to the era's top fusion exponents, 'Jet Lag' comes across as trite and fussy; it's also a million miles away from the dazzling symphonic renderings of 'Per Un Amico'. Simply put: 'Jet Lag' is sonic overkill personified.

STEFAN TURNER, STOKE NEWINGTON, 2012

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Send comments to stefro (BETA) | Report this review (#743572) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Latest members reviews

4 stars Jet Lag from 1977 is Premiata Forneria Marconi's fifth full status studio record or their seventh if we count the two English versions of already existed albums. It was released two years after "Chocolate Kings" and I recognize some of the music from just the spirit of that album. In one way t ... (read more)

Report this review (#1121505) | Posted by DrömmarenAdrian | Sunday, January 26, 2014 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Why is it that this album gets so many bad reviews? It's a fabulous album. I would go as far as saying that it represents the type of sound that PFM had always wanted to achieve. It has everything from the introduction acoustic and wonderful PENINSULA through the rocky JET LAG the touching STOR ... (read more)

Report this review (#556096) | Posted by Norman Kiddie | Monday, October 24, 2011 | Review Permanlink

4 stars When `Progressive' meant that no album sounded like the previous one did ! Jet Lag (Audio CD) ESOTERIC REISSUE 2010 When this emerged in spring of 1977, the musical world at least in England had changed. Not that this bothered PFM, who had spent months holed up in a mansion in Bel Air wri ... (read more)

Report this review (#280401) | Posted by beebfader | Monday, May 03, 2010 | Review Permanlink

5 stars It's great to read all of the differing opinion on this album. It makes sense, since Jet Lag is SO different from anything else they had done- and the switch from the in-your-face hard rock (PFM style) on Chocolate Kings to the almost Jazzy Jet Lag could be disconcerting. Hard to let go of a ba ... (read more)

Report this review (#243556) | Posted by Frumious | Thursday, October 08, 2009 | Review Permanlink

4 stars 'Jet Lag'... Well... Not for PFM!!! This is the 2nd album of PFM with Bernardo Lanzetti as voicalist and present Gregory Bloch and his violin. The title, probably, is a reference to the long tour in America. This album is recorded between Burbank, California ('Kendun Recorders') and 'Scorpio ... (read more)

Report this review (#230194) | Posted by 1967/ 1976 | Thursday, August 06, 2009 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Jet Lag is a great example of a progressive rock album at the end of it initial movement. I found this album in the bargan bin at Woolworths!!! There is no justice smetimes but this was my gain. One of the things that stands out for me about Progressive Rock as a genre is how timeless this ... (read more)

Report this review (#108270) | Posted by gr8sho | Sunday, January 21, 2007 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Thanks to Easy Livin' for deleting my previous review of this album. The reason for my requesting a second go was that I realised on listening that this is a much better album than I'd originally given it credit for. I'd made some comments about it lacking the joyful feeling of their earlier stuf ... (read more)

Report this review (#105134) | Posted by zedkatz | Monday, January 01, 2007 | Review Permanlink

4 stars The seventh work released in 1977 "Jet Lag". Overall, solo is feature from the ensemble. The state of the group of the transition period is shown.The work by which the Latin jazz fusion color becomes strong is the main album. It is regrettable that the classical taste disappeared almost. Howev ... (read more)

Report this review (#63690) | Posted by braindamage | Sunday, January 08, 2006 | Review Permanlink

4 stars I think this is a fine album. Having heard many comments to the contrary, eg "this is the one where the band really lost it", "they broke with the past and went off in a jazz direction" etc, I approached it with some trepidation. I find it to be a natural evolution from Chocolate Kings. But ... (read more)

Report this review (#16991) | Posted by | Wednesday, December 01, 2004 | Review Permanlink

5 stars best record they ever made , simply doesnt sound like any other record, even after all these years, its just plain weird. I can see why some love it and some hate it theres really no middle ground here. masterpiece all the way. ... (read more)

Report this review (#16989) | Posted by | Tuesday, September 21, 2004 | Review Permanlink

2 stars pfm desopointed me, I did't like it. I am not a jazz fan and this album have to many jazz elements. I think that this guy djivas is too pretencious. the fretless bas remainds me to pedro aznar in serugiran. pmf in this record its not exploring anything. they are just playng, they are not as emotiona ... (read more)

Report this review (#16983) | Posted by | Saturday, April 10, 2004 | Review Permanlink

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