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Perigeo La Valle dei Templi album cover
3.70 | 77 ratings | 7 reviews | 18% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1975

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Tamale (4:32)
2. The valley of the temples (6:15)
3. Looping (3:06)
4. The firefly mystery (6:00)
5. Thoughts (2:15)
6. Periplus (5:05)
7. Eucalyptus / Dawn of a world (3:53)
8. Sing-song (3:57)
9. 2000 and two nights (5:36)
10. A yellow circle (4:31)

Total Time: 45:10

Line-up / Musicians

- Bruno Biriaco / drums, percussion, acoustic piano (2)
- Franco D'Andrea / acoustic & electric pianos, synthesizers
- Claudio Fasoli / alto, soprano & tenor saxophones
- Tony Sidney / acoustic & electric guitars
- Giovanni Tommaso / vocals, bass, double bass, synthesizers
+ Toni Esposito / percussion

Releases information

LP RCA Records TPL1-1175 / CD RCA Records ND 71936 (1989)

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PERIGEO La Valle dei Templi ratings distribution

(77 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(18%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(43%)
Good, but non-essential (31%)
Collectors/fans only (6%)
Poor. Only for completionists (1%)

PERIGEO La Valle dei Templi reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Cesar Inca
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Having started as a traditional jazz ensemble in the late 60s, with the turn of a new decade Perigeo tuned in for the prog rock wave and expanded their style as they began their recording career. Not that they became less jazzy, but definitely they became more sensitive and receptive towards the jazz fusion influence of Return to Forever and Weather Report, post-Wyatt Soft Machine, and even some occasional colours of "Caravanserai"-era Santana latin jazz and a bit of prog-oriented psychedelic sounds. By the time they recorded this, their album no. 4, Perigeo was a well known act in the avant- garde jazz circuits of Italy. The catchy opening track is a perfect example of the band's ability to write attractive musical ideas and technical proficiency (perhaps this is the Perigeo album to start with). Then comes the title track, which starts with a brief orchestrated intro founded on a few gong bangs, and an exotic passage based on a Latin- like piano motif accompanied by soft electric piano, humming, and wind chimes; then comes the main motif, again, a well crafted exercise of jazz fusion. Other amazing examples of Perigeo stuff are 'Mistero della Firefly' and 'Periplo'. On the softer side of things, 'Pensieri' stands out as a piece of sheer beauty in a reflective mood, despite its short duration. On the other hand, '2000 e Due Notti' exposes a dense ambience created by somber synth layers, dramatic sax lines, and floating guitar leads, all of them assembled upon a languid tempo heavily carried on by the drummer and the bassist - a mesmerizing combination of exotism and dark mystery. Overall, the clever inventiveness shown in the guitar/sax/keyboard solos, avoiding gratuitous pyrotechnics in order to keep a focus on the essential composed ideas; meanwhile, the rhythm section works with solid effectiveness and fluid precision. Definitely, a Perigeo album is not something to be recommended to any prog fan that usually feels repelled by "too much jazz", but it sure can be a satisfying experience for those who crave for something other than only symph prog from Italy. Excellent!
Review by Sean Trane
4 stars Perigeo's fourth album is probably the one that symphonic progheads should try out first to see if the group's JR/F is likely to please them or not. Whether La Vellei Dei Templi (Temple valley) is a concept album (not likely) or a thematic album (not sure of that album), there is a sense of unity between the tracks in this album, that wasn't in previous album; and this feel is reinforced with the ancient ruins photo shots on the album's covers. The still unchanged line-up remained on the Italian RCA branch (which handled PFM as well) and released this album midway through 75. This is the first album where leader/bassist Tommaso writes less than half the track, leaving the rest of the group plenty of space to contribute.

The opening Tamale has a strong melody and riff and clearly comes from RTF and MO influences and is a strong entrance to the central theme of the album. The communally-written title track must be the first highlight of the album, starting with a bowed bass and insistent piano ostinato (drummer Biriaci doubles up D'Andrea here) in the first part and allows Sidney to come-up with a real killer solo in the second movement. Another real strong track is Periplo, where Fasolli and Sidney trade lead lines while the other supports on unconventional slide and dissonant background fills. Further down the album, 2000 E Due Notti is another excellent moment where added percussionist Toni Esposito adds much tension to a eerie track. In moments like these, the early JR/F is far away, but it is still unmistakably Perigeo.

Clearly and intelligently dispersed throughout the album the more reflective slower tracks like Pensieri and Cantilena to provide a bit of rest between the more dramatic music of Of all the songwriters present in the group (that's everyone), the most puzzling is saxman Claudio Fasoli and his two tracks Eucalyptus (a short sax outburst) and Alba Di Un Mundo (a semi-dissonant music that could provide an excellent intro to a much longer track) are ending a bit enigmatically without concluding properly. The album-closing Sidney-written Cerchio Giallo starts on his acoustic guitar, but a third of the way into it, Fasoli and a bowed bass from Tommaso pick up, slowly building up a superb climate, where D'Andrea brings some McCoy Tyner-like piano, only for the track to end frustratingly in a fade-out.

Certainly as good as its predecessors, and unlikely better than them, VDT has a slight difference with its predecessor: it seems to be more prog minded than your typical JR/F album (even though it's the first to contain almost no vocals), but is that voluntary or was it induced by the light theme of the album, we'll probably never know. In either case, with four aces in its game, plus a trump with the double live album from the following year, Perigeo holds one of the best oeuvre in the peninsula.

Review by Mellotron Storm
3 stars I'm a big fan of their previous two albums but this one is a step down from those two in my opinion. It's still a good record but it seems lighter with maybe a more commercial flavour when compared to the previous two recordings.

"Tamale' is a fantastic tune. An energetic Fusion track with some outstanding electric piano and bass. One of my two favourites on here. "La Valle Dei Templi" opens dramatically before settling down with a vocal melody. A change before 3 minutes as it kicks into a higher gear. Guitar takes the lead a minute later. "Looping" is led by sax and drums then piano and bass takes over. Contrasts continue. "Mistero Della Firefly" kicks in after a minute before settling again 2 1/2 minutes in as contrasts continue. Nice guitar solo 3 1/2 minutes in. "Pensieri" features some good piano melodies. "Periplo" is catchy with lots of sax. So much going on before 4 minutes.

"Eucalyptus" is a short piece that opens with guitar then settles. "Alba Di Un Mondo" has an interesting atmosphere to it. "Cantilena" is fairly laid back with piano to open. "2000 E Due Notti" has lots of atmosphere before it kicks in after 2 1/2 minutes and becomes surprisingly heavy. It settles back after 4 minutes. "Un Cerchio Giallo" opens with gentle guitar in this mellow beginning. It picks up after 2 minutes as piano joins in. This is my other top two track.

3.5 stars. I actually listened to this right after reviewing their previous two albums but felt back then it wasn't nearly as good. So I decided to take a break and come back to it in a few months, which I did. I still feel the same though.

Review by snobb
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars One of the early Italian jazz fusion bands. Grew up from jazz band, the musicians have strong techniques and easily could play very balanced melodic jazzy tunes. With quite characteristic Italian sound (very rounded, mellow and melodic), this album is pleasant listening for fans of well balanced pleasant early jazz fusion. Even some electric guitar soloing doesn't destroy harmony of their music.

To be honest, the sound is a bit dated looking from now, but it is more question of taste - some likes this vintage feeling. Electric piano sound is everywhere , but never on the front, sax filling some spaces, as well as electric guitar, but in whole the music is more teams product, not soloists for sure.

I don't like too much this relaxed , post-bop and mellow jazz atmosphere of all recording, it gave some commercial feeling. Another thing - every listener often expects such sound from Italian bands ( Area was such perfectly different!).

Very pleasant (and very safe) release, with some symphonic elements. Good album for mellow fusion lovers, I prefer to listen something less comfortable though.

My rating is 3+.

Review by andrea
5 stars Perigeo were formed in Rome in 1971 on the initiative of Giovanni Tommaso, bass player with a solid jazz background, who gathered around him some experienced musicians like Tony Sidney (guitar), Franco D'Andrea (keyboards), Claudio Fasoli (sax) and Bruno Biriaco (drums, percussion) with the aim of blending jazz and rock. Their debut album "Azimut" was released in 1972, followed by "Abbiamo tutti un blues da piangere" (1973) and "Genealogia" (1974). "La valle dei templi", their fourth work and my favourite one, was released in 1975. On this album the line up was enriched by Tony Esposito, a brilliant Neapolitan percussionist who appears as a special guest adding a peculiar ethnic flavour to Perigeo's music.

The opener "Tamale" is solar and dynamic. Tamale is an African city, in the north of Ghana. It could be the starting point for an adventurous musical journey through the Sahara desert to the Mediterranean coast... But do not expect to ride on camel back! Indeed the rhythm section here runs fast like a cross-country vehicle, so close your eyes and let the music drive...

Well, from Africa to Sicily. The title track, "La valle dei templi" (The valley of the Temples), is dedicated to a magnificent archaeological site near the city of Agrigento, an outstanding example of Greater Greece art and architecture and one of the main attractions of Sicily (you can see one of the temples on the art cover). Actually the term "valley" is a misnomer, since the site lies on a ridge outside Agrigento... The track is divided in two parts, the first one is calm and dreamy while the second one is lively and bright as to mark the contrast between the magic atmosphere of the ancient temples and a prosaic and busy modernity.

Next comes "Looping", a beautiful track where from pulsing bass lines sax notes seem to soar in the air inviting you to fly with your fantasy in a clear Italian sky. When you're tired you can rest on the shore and look at the horizon where the sky meets the sea... "Mistero della Firefly" (Mistery of the Firefly) starts quietly, then irresistible bass lines make you move and embark on a mysterious ship defying the waves. Drums and percussion provide a strong Mediterranean flavour while guitar and sax lead to breathtaking landscapes full of colours and exotic scents.

The short "Pensieri" (Thoughts) comes then like a nocturnal and meditative pause. Don't worry anyway, the charm is not broken yet and you can keep on dreaming your imaginary cruise on the notes of the following track "Periplo" (Circumnavigation) experiencing more sensations and exploring other unknown musical sea lanes.

"Eucalyptus" is a short and intense. Another tasteful and aromatic track that makes you dream of far countries. Then comes a slow awake with "Alba di un mondo" (Dawn of a world) where nocturnal clouds let gradually filter drowsy melodies. "Cantilena" (Singsong) is another calm and dreamy track full of delicate nuances...

"2000 e due notti" (2000 and two nights) features a peculiar oriental flavour. It begins with a dark atmosphere, then obsessive bass lines doubled by sax bring a touch of anxiety... How long has lasted our journey? By now it's coming to an end...

The last track "Un cerchio giallo" (A yellow circle) begins with an evocative acoustic guitar arpeggio, the anxiety melts under a starry sky for another Mediterranean night under the yellow circle of the moon, cradled by the waves and cuddled by the notes of an excellent album...

Review by Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Perigeo were never the most innovtive band around but on each of the three preceding albums they managed to craft beautiful melodic jazz-rock, with careful interplay between all members and inspired and memorable melodies. On this album I hear a band that goes through the motions rather then one experiencing the excitement of earlier albums.

That doesn't mean there aren't any good tunes here, but the material doesn't always get of the ground. Maybe Perigeo looked too much across the Atlantic, trying to capture the easy going vibe that Return To Forever had made fame wih in the 74/75 releases. And just as on the previous album they gave up on the vocals, which were one the few things that made them special. I also miss the poetic atmosphere, the subtle melodies and functional soloing. With Tamale, The Firefly Mystery and 2002 Nights there are a couple of songs that will make this a good album for fans but I wouldn't advise this Perigeo album to newcomers.

La Valle Dei Templi is the sound of a band on auto-pilot. It is nice, smooth and professional but also predictable, safe and dull. I haven't investigated any later Perigeo albums, but given how I hear the decline setting in here, I certainly don't feel the need to do so. Just a small 3 stars.

Latest members reviews

4 stars Back to italy and back to my trusted music shop... going for an album, I got (what a surprise) a remastered version of this! Ok review now... Genealogia was the first I get and was supreme... this is a bit better, even it remind me the film with car pursuits and 20's gangsters (dunno why I've jus ... (read more)

Report this review (#187466) | Posted by Erik Nymas | Friday, October 31, 2008 | Review Permanlink

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