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D.F.A. Work in Progress Live album cover
4.26 | 37 ratings | 14 reviews | 30% 5 stars

Essential: a masterpiece of
progressive rock music

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Live, released in 2001

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Escher (10:08)
2. Caleidoscopio (9:16)
3. Trip on Metró (6:36)
4. La Via (15:25)
5. Pantera (8:10)
6. Ragno (11:12)

Total Time: 60:47

Line-up / Musicians

- Luca Baldassari / bass
- Alberto Bonomi / keyboards, vocals
- Alberto DeGrandis / drums, vocals
- Silvio Minella / guitars

Releases information

Re-released in 2009 CD Moonjune Records 003

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to snobb for the last updates
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D.F.A. Work in Progress Live ratings distribution

(37 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(30%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(51%)
Good, but non-essential (16%)
Collectors/fans only (0%)
Poor. Only for completionists (3%)

D.F.A. Work in Progress Live reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Greger
5 stars The Italian progressive band DFA did their first-ever live performance in USA on June 17, 2000 at Lehigh University's Zoellner Arts Center, during NEARFest 2000, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, USA. The event was taped and it's available on CD under the title "Work In Progress Live". I have never heard the band before, but here they are in full bloom and it's clear that the four musicians are really virtuosos on their instruments. The mostly instrumental compositions are technically complex with odd-time signatures, tempo changes and brilliant soloing. Especially the guitarist Silvio Minella and the keyboard player Alberto Bonomi come through very fine here. The keyboard sound is typical 70's, which is a compliment in my book. This is how progressive rock should be defined, although DFA has some jazz-fusion in their music too. The sound quality is very good, making the experience even better. I can't point out any influences, but there are some reminiscences to BANCO DEL MUTUO SOCCORSO, EMERSON LAKE & PALMER, GENTLE GIANT, ALAN HOLDSWORTH and YES. A live CD can't be much better than this one.
Review by loserboy
4 stars Recorded live at NEARFEST 2000 Prog rock festival, "Work In Progress Live" represents DFA's first live performance in North America. This young quartet based out of Verona Italy play a delicious blend of fusion and space progressive rock. I must tell you that this album did totally take me by surprise with their big complex sound and detailed instrumentation. Their music is ever changing and there is something special here with their wonderfully constructed compositions and arrangements. Hard to directly compare but I would say DFA blend elements of DJAM KARET, KING CRIMSON, WEATHER REPORT and GENTLE GIANT, while holding on to their own unique character. As the album progresses through you can actaully hear the audience applause get louder and more appreciative of this bands talents. Althought there are some vocals (sung in Italian) the real strength lies in their instrumental work. Highly captivating and an excellent album all the way through...
Review by Steve Hegede
5 stars Chances are, you have probably heard about this new live release from DFA. Well, I'm glad to report that the positive reviews are not just hype. This is one of the best live CDs that I've heard from a prog group. Although I was aware of DFA's first album, "Lavori in Corso", I thought that it was a bit overrated. Sure, the compositions were quite good and the playing was sometimes jaw-dropping, but the production sounded a bit cold which ruined it for me. Anyway, DFA live is a different monster. For those of you completely unaware of the band, I would say that their music combines complex symphonic progressive rock with jazz-fusion. The compositions are busy (jump from one idea to the next in a matter of seconds), frantic, and syncopated in a GENTLE GIANT sort of way. The band consists of a guitarist, bassist, drummer, and keyboardist. Their guitarist really reminds me of the guy from DEUS EX MACHINA. He likes his jazz-chords, and plays schizo-guitar runs that add to the composition without taking the spot-light. Their keyboardist plays an assortment of new and old keyboards. I hear Hammond, and a Moog-like synth, but some sequences also feature modern ambient sounds and atmospheres. The band is really defined by the crazy interplay between the guitarist and the keyboardist. Many themes and melodies are based on one guy stating a melody, and the other guy finishing the idea. When you combine that with time-signatures galore, and fast tempos you're in for some seriously complex music. I must mention that a few compositions feature mellow sections, so there's a decent amount of variety. This CD was flawlessly recorded during the Nearfest 2000 progressive rock festival. In all, this is one of the top releases for 2001.
Review by erik neuteboom
4 stars This live CD is a registration from the concert at the annual Nearfest festival in the USA (this year with Le Orme and PFM!) in June 17th, 2000. From the very first moment DFA manage to impress me: the music is build upon varied keyboards (electronic, Hammond, Fender Rhodes, several synthesizer sounds) and fiery electric guitar with lots of captivating interplay, strong soli and a tight and powerful rhythm-section. Every song has its dynamic and variety: an Ozric Tentacles climate (but less exotic) with a swinging synth solo in "Escher", splendid keyboards in the jazzy-inspired : "Caleidoscopio", some Gentle Giant echoes with moving electric guitar and flashy synths in "Trip on the metro", strong jazzrock in the long and very alternating "La via" (15 minutes), great soli and organ/guitar interplay, compelling build-up parts and again splendid keyboards in "Pantera" and tasteful jazzrock in the swinging "Ragno". This review sounds a bit euphoric but in my opinion this is one of the best new Italian progrock releases. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, ESPECIALLY IF YOU LIKE JAZZROCK!!
Review by Mellotron Storm
4 stars Now this is how a live album should sound. Credit Mike Potter and the sound crew at NEARfest 2000 who did an amazing job. DFA are from Italy and this was their first ever show in the USA, and they certainly pulled out all the stops thrilling the crowd. The crowd was so enthusiastic that at one point the singer humbly says "I don't know what to say, i'm surprised". This is by far mostly instrumental but what vocals we get are very well done. What a talented band DFA is though. I highly recommend all of their studio albums.

"Escher" is 10 minutes of spacey synths, keyboard and guitar interplay and intricate drumming. I laughed when I heard the spontaneous burst of applause when this song ended. The crowd was so into it. "Caleidoscopio" is laid back with reserved vocals. I like the melancholic synths before 2 minutes.The song kicks into gear at 3 minutes and vocals return a minute later as it settles again. The tempo continues to shift. Great song ! "Trip On Metro" is the jazziest yet, especially the intro. This one has some KING CRIMSON-like complexity and intricacy. Bombast comes and goes too. Love the guitar before 2 minutes and later before 4 1/2 minutes.

"La Via" is a 15 1/2 minute ride, and my favourite. Bass to start as spacey synths come in. Vocals 1 1/2 minutes in. Outstanding guitar after 4 minutes. Keys come and go. This is all so impressive. A calm before 5 1/2 minutes and it sounds beautiful 6 minutes in. It kicks back in before 7 1/2 minutes. Vocals are back after 8 minutes. Nice. Organ a minute later. It settles again 11 minutes in, vocals before 12 minutes. Spacey synths are back and the guitar grinds it out before 14 minutes. Big finish. Bigger applause ! "Pantera" opens with outbursts of instrumental before settling into an uptempo jazzy mood. Organ and drums impress too. It settles after 3 minutes and piano comes in. The tempo picks back up and the organ returns before 7 minutes. Spacey synths end it. "Ragno" is just another platform for these four guys to amaze us all. The guitar is prominant along with the drumming and keyboards. Some excellent synth work as well. The tempo and mood changes at will throughout. Check out the drumming after 7 1/2 minutes and then the guitar comes in ripping it up. This song is a great way to end this fantastic album.

This is one of those recordings where the joy is in really listening to the way these 4 guys play.

Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars

I can not tolerate you to miss this live album! (if you are my true prog mate) ...!

I knew Duty Free Area (D.F.A.) for the first time through couple of songs aired at a progressive rock program in Jakarta's classic rock radio sometime in 2000. And I initially only had 'Lavori in Corso' CD, which I accidentally found in used CD market for a relatively cheap price (US$ 7). What a great deal! Well, actually I don't know why people sold this excellent album to a secondary market. So, my knowledge about the band is very limited. But from my experience with this 'Lavori in Corso' I was impressed the first time I spun the CD. The music of the band gave me an impression of a blend of music from Gryphon, Ozric Tentacles, Island, PFM, Gentle Giant and King Crimson with some early Genesis style in some symphonic transition pieces. What truly amazed me is actually the musicianship demonstrated by each member of the band. Heavily dominated with the sound of keyboard, synthesizer and mellotron in most of rhythm section, however, the composition allows sufficient time for each instrument to perform the solo. From this standpoint, I can see clearly the virtuosity of each member of this four-piece band.

Onle later last year I got another two CDs from DFA when they performed their gig ini Jakarta, Indonesia: 4th album and 'Work In Progress'. These two CDs is nothing than excellent music, I love both of them, really! 'Work In Progress' is a live CD from the concert at the annual Nearfest festival in the USA in June 17th, 2000. Overall, the performance is really excellent which demonstrates marriages of sounds (and effects) produced by each instrument used, great interlude using keyboards, Fender Rhodes, guitar and dynamic drumming. In some compositions there avocal, but most of them are instrumental.

Right after a warm introduction by an MC, DFA enters with an ambient style with an opening track 'Escher' (10:08) followed by a dynamic music using keyboard and jaw-dropping drumwork. Even though the keyboard work is inventive and quite complex, multi-layered but the most entertaining part of this track is the drumming. The music reminds me to Ozric Tentacles. I really like it. The band then introduces themselves after the end of opening track followed with a vocal-based composition 'Caleidoscopio (9:16) in the vein of Italian Prog like PFM. At first the vocal is mellow but as it grows the music is very dynamic and again the drum work is excellent backed with dynamic bass-line, stunning guitar solo and multi-layered keyboards.

'Trip on Metró '(6:36) is completely Gentle Giant in instrumental with some flavor of King Crimson. The composition is quite complex with keyboard takes a leading role to bring the music upward. It's quite unique composition. Guitar solo takes its opportunity to perform at approx minute 2:00 with Fripp style. There are frequent abrupt changes in tempo throughout the song with keyboard provides inventive work at background.

Like previous track, 'La Via' (15:25) is taken from 'Lavori in Corso' album. Written by Bonomi and De Grandis, it serves like an epic as duration-wise it's relatively long. It starts off with bass guitar notes and moves slowly with soft entrance of long sustain keyboard work; it gives an ambient style. Vocal enters in mellow style. Guitar gives its shot in between vocal and gradually moves the music in crescendo with upbeat and complex arrangements, combined with keyboard solo. Overall style of this last track is mellow with symphonic rock elements and some spacey nuance.

The remaining tracks Pantera (8:10) with inventive keyboard and stunning guitar work plus great piano solo ; and Ragno (11:12) are both excellent compositions. The characteristics of DFA music are basically dynamic and relatively fast tempo with great solo work of guitars as well as keyboard.

Overall, this live album is an excellent addition to any prog music collection. I urge you to have this CD as the music is really entertaining from start to end. In fact, it has excellent arrangements in every segments of the CD. Very highly recommended! No doubt at all! Keep on proggin' ..!

Peace on earth and mercy mild ? GW

Review by snobb
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Live recordings from NEARFest 2000, Bethlehem,USA. First live shows in US of this excellent Italian fusion band. Sound quality is great, album contains songs from two first band's studio albums.

It is a real pleasure to listen this album. One of the great band of new jazz fusion generation. Based on classic prog from early 70-s ( Gentle Giant, King Crimson,etc), early RPI (Banco...), with some psychedelic moments (Ozric Tentacles), musicians play modern but very classic progressive fusion. With strong Italian roots - rounded, well balanced, very melodic, warm, with strong harmonies and even with occasional Italian vocals ( almost operatic).

Band's early works were more space/psychedelic prog influenced, but with time their music became more complex and jazzy. So this later recording of early songs gives a rare possibility to hear old songs sounding in new, live and more jazzy key.

All in all - extremely good recording from early 00's. Highly recommended for all jazz fusion,RPI fans.

Really 4+

Review by memowakeman
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Wonderful concert!

"Work in Progress" is the title of this live album that Italian band D.F.A. released, after having it performed and recorded back in 2000, in their NEARFest invitation. This also marked their first concert ever in the USA. What this band offers is an exquisite exhibition of musical skills, challenging compositions, instrumental tracks made by four people who play the "basic" instruments: guitars, bass, drums and keyboards; the music that you will find here can be described as symphonic, or even fusion, but let's say it is progressive rock, and that's it.

Six are the songs performed here, three of them ("Escher", "Caleidoscopio" and "Ragno") taken from their "D.F.A" album, while the other three ("Trip on metro", "La via" and "Pantera") from their magnificent "Lavori in Corso" disc. The total time of this live album is one hour, so as you can imagine here you will find long songs, ranging from 7 to 15 minutes. I am sure that the people who saw them left the place with a big smile.

A cool mixture of symphonic-like keyboards, some jazzy bass, rockier guitars and drums, and some even spacey moments can be appreciated here. Worth mentioning that vocals can be also heard in some moments, which is not usual in this band, however, when they appear they do not harm at all, on the other hand, they help. My two favorite songs are "Pantera" and the long 15-minute epic "La Via", I love the dynamic and diversity of this band.

I would have loves one or two more songs, no matter the length, you can't feel tired or bored when you listen to this. My final grade will be four strong stars (4.5 would be more accurate), highly recommendable.

Enjoy it!

Review by kev rowland
4 stars DFA were formed in Verona in 1991, and released their debut album in 1997. 1999 saw their second album, this time on one of the most important Italian prog labels, Mellow, and this secured them an invitation to play at NEARfest in 2000. That show was recorded and has now been made available by American label MoonJune.

Opening track "Escher" lays down the rules, namely that there aren't any! That this four- piece know their way around their respective instruments is never in doubt, and while there is a large element of jazz it is much more in the fusion area as they mix together sounds and styles. They bring together Ozrics and Hawkwind, but are as happy to also bring in influences as diverse as Gentle Giant and ELP. But even after the first song I wasn't ready for the next, "Caleidoscopio", which is far more gentle and reflective while there are vocals. It certainly changes style throughout, from almost Georgian to intricate interplay.

Vocals are used sparingly, but there is so much going on during the instrumentals that they are not missed at all. The crowd are deathly silent during the peaceful moments but they certainly react when each song finishes. Only six songs, but with a length ranging from 6 minutes to 15 it gives DFA the opportunity to branch out. I have been sent a few MoonJune albums this issue and have been told by Leonardo that there will be many more in 2002. If they are all of the standard of this then that will be something to look forward to indeed.

Originally appeared in Feedback #65, Dec 01

Latest members reviews

4 stars This is exactly what a live album should be !! I am fed up with live albums where track 1 is taken from Wembley Arena in London, track 2 is from a gig in Los Angeles and track 3 is from a gig in Cape Town. A live album should be a recording of one gig and that's it. I can accept Made In Japan ... (read more)

Report this review (#381764) | Posted by toroddfuglesteg | Monday, January 17, 2011 | Review Permanlink

5 stars This music of DFA is not of this earth or, better, is a music describing the Earth when it was still a primordial planet ruled by passions and feelings and its needs were not exactly human. Mile Davis' Tutu gave me same impression on first listening, but slightly different. Tutu is some kind of m ... (read more)

Report this review (#212138) | Posted by CorSard58 | Wednesday, April 22, 2009 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Intricate, jazzy, psychedelic, symphonic prog from Italy. I mean whadja expect, right? ;-) The Italians continue to amaze me with their consistent virtuosity in the areas of symphonic prog and jazz fusion. (Are they all descendants of Paganini?!) D.F.A. has been around for a while, and ... (read more)

Report this review (#183320) | Posted by Squire Jaco | Tuesday, September 23, 2008 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Work In Progress Live captures DFA´s first performance in the US at NEARFest 2000 and let me tell you it is some performance. I only wish had been there to see and hear it first hand. Luckily this cd is so well produced, and the sound is so great that if you close your eyes you can almost swea ... (read more)

Report this review (#1676) | Posted by | Tuesday, August 24, 2004 | Review Permanlink

5 stars These guys play an adventurous mix between Deus ex Machina (without singer), Area & Ozric Tentacles, with a terrific keyboardist, accompanied by top-notch musicians, in a memorable live recording. The quality of the performances is even better than in the studio takes. ... (read more)

Report this review (#1672) | Posted by | Friday, February 27, 2004 | Review Permanlink

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