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BUON VECCHIO CHARLIE

Buon Vecchio Charlie

Rock Progressivo Italiano


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Buon Vecchio Charlie Buon Vecchio Charlie album cover
3.71 | 71 ratings | 15 reviews | 17% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection


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Studio Album, released in 1972

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Venite Giù Al Fiume (12:06)
2. Evviva La Contea Di Lane (6:35)
3. All'Uomo Che Raccoglie I Cartoni - 5 parts (15:01) :
a) Prima Stanza
b) All'Uomo Che Raccoglie I Cartoni
c) Terza Stanza
d) Beffa
e) Ripresa
Bonus Tracks :
4. Rosa (4:33)
5. Il Guardiano Della Valle (2:38)

Total Time: 40:53

Lyrics

Search BUON VECCHIO CHARLIE Buon Vecchio Charlie lyrics

Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians

- Richard Benson / lead vocals, guitar
- Luigi Calabrò / guitar, backing vocals
- Sandro Cesaroni / saxophone, flute
- Sandro Centofanti / keyboards
- Paolo Damiani / bass
- Rino Sangiorgio / drums

Releases information

LP Melos 001 (1972)
LP/CD Akarma AK 1011 (1999)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Joolz for the last updates
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BUON VECCHIO CHARLIE Buon Vecchio Charlie ratings distribution


3.71
(71 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(17%)
17%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(48%)
48%
Good, but non-essential (31%)
31%
Collectors/fans only (3%)
3%
Poor. Only for completionists (1%)
1%

BUON VECCHIO CHARLIE Buon Vecchio Charlie reviews


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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Sean Trane
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog Folk
4 stars From the awfully translated liner notes from the digipack Akarma re-issue of the posthumous release, it says that these guys were the back-up band from two different pop singer in Italy, and this album was actually a side project, that never got a release until the 90's. Please note that the Akarma release has a very different artwork sleeve from the one pictured here (the Melos release). Both versions are fine works but I like the Akarma cover better. Only three tracks for a very short running time, but this version is augmented by two bonus tracks from another period.

The opening track is impressive but shamelessly rips-off some classic composers, but a real effort is made to adapt the material to rock music, sometimes sounding like ELP with VDGG's Jackson blowing a mean sax and Tull's Anderson on flute. There are some glorious epic moments on this impressive 12 min opening track. The second track is definitely more in line with more authentic Italian prog not far away from PFM's best efforts with another David Jackson sax solo! The 15 min multi-suite track that follows is clearly the highlight musically speaking but has some very noticeable flaws in the recording that ruin it a bit. I do not know if the Melos version has the same flaws, but if it does, no wonder this album never got its release back then! Because behind that major flaw is a real fantastic track that would be a real gem, should the sound be. acceptable. Around the 11 min mark (and the start of the fourth movement of the suite) the sounds gets better as if the jazzy improvs were better engraved on the tape.

As for the two bonus tracks sound out of context with the rest of the album, but nothing shocking especially for the first that features a strong progressive connotation in it , but the second one stands out like a sore thumb! Mixed feelings for what could've been a masterpiece had this been better recording quality! Definitely worth acquiring if you are an Italian prog aficionado!

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Send comments to Sean Trane (BETA) | Report this review (#51688) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, October 14, 2005

Review by loserboy
PROG REVIEWER Honorary Reviewer
4 stars BUON VECCHIO CHARLIE's one and only recording is a 30 minute journey into pure prog heaven. Interesting to note that this album's lineup was the backing group of songwriter Claudio Baglioni who received the support to record what was intended to be an instrumental album. When the record producers found out it was a progressive rock recording they shelved the lalbum and it sat dormant for a long time until it was uncovered. Lineup was Luigi Calabrò (guitar, voice), Richard Benson ( voice, guitar), Sandro Cesaroni (sax, flute), Paolo Damiani (bass guitar), Sandro Centofanti (keyboards) and Rino Sangiorgio on the drums. The album opens with an ode to norwegian composer Edward Griegs "In the hall of the mountain king" and then quickly jumps and stays in a prog jazz rock vein. Considering the age of this gem, it has been masterfully re-mastered and sounds clean and fresh. Musically BUON VECCHIO CHARLIE ebbs and flows between soft and very aggressive themes and tempos. The album is essentially one long track divided into 5 pieces. Musical allusions include JETHRO TULL and Italian cousins OSANNA with traces of Luciano Battisti. A great album and essential for lovers of 70's Italian Progressive Rock .

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Send comments to loserboy (BETA) | Report this review (#66401) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, January 23, 2006

Review by Atkingani
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars Mitico! Fabulous! What a precious gem we have here. however in a totally reverse sentiment, I think that it's in the edge of a nightmare to realize that BVC backed a pop singer (may God keep his name forgotten!) in what seems to be the fate of some admirable Italian progressive bands. Anyway, the winds from their poppish extra job did not affect this excellent album that goes by the band's name: "Buon Vecchio Charlie".

Apart from the enjoyable and fruitful instrumentation, a note must be done in relation to the vocals: they do not annoy! Otherwise the recording quality isn't au pair with the band's amazing effort. BVC attained a neat result blending tastefully symphonic & hard rock with jazz & romantic strong elements and traces of pop & folk, making them sound sometimes like early Le Orme or contemporary PFM; also noticeable are the external influences that include bands like Ekseption, Floyd, KC and Tull.

'Venite giù al fiume' opens grandiose, with the excerpts from Grieg's "In the hall of the Mountain King", a preparation for a jam of cheerful and agreeable tunes that dominate the entire track until near the end when Grieg comes back to close the book.

'Evivva la contea di lane' displays a half minute intro so beautiful that bristle even the feet's hairs and to add even more loveliness to the atmosphere, those gracious tunes are repeated along the track, only to keep hearts lifted.

'All'uomo che racccoglie i cartoni', an epic divided into 5 parts, is hard to describe since it's like a supermarket barrow where one may find everything; the constant changes and sudden variations may confuse the listener but once you reach the point, the act of hearing becomes a pleasant adventure.

'Rosa', the first bonus track, is the weakest point here but the second bonus track, 'Il guardiano della valle' is a gorgeous folk-rock song provided with nice and catchy melodies able to amuse the entire family.

Finding this release, do not hesitate and pick it up, since it's an excellent addition to any prog music collection. really!

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Send comments to Atkingani (BETA) | Report this review (#160793) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, February 04, 2008

Review by Finnforest
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Fine, energetic early entry

Buon Vecchio Charlie is not the greatest Italian prog album ever but it is an important one that pre-dates most of the heavy hitters from the classic scene. Formed in Rome in 1970, their album was recorded in either '71 or '72 depending on which source you believe which puts in on the early side of the classic period. It features a varied and downright spunky assortment of heavy rockiness and more subtle moments with the feel of Midnight Sun, Tull, or to a lesser extent Marsupilami. "Recorded in the Spring of 1971, it contains simply superb progressive rock with three prolonged pieces elegantly balanced between classical, jazz, folk and heavy progressive. Their adaption of Edvard Grieg's In The Hall Of Mountain King combined with their own melodic material is a 12-minute delight, far better than any adaptations The Nice ever made." [italicized from Scented Gardens]

The album ranges from a heavy guitar rock sound with bluesy and jazzy variations to the second track which has a more romantic, pastoral feel. Flute is ever present on both the rock and pastoral stuff, saxophone is the other heavily featured accompaniment. The bass foundation is solid and to the fore with animated drumming (lots of fills!) and good lead guitar. There is much here for the organ rock fan as well, lots of heavy runs and trade-offs with the flute. I admit to being more swayed by the middle track with its beautiful pastoral Italian feel: the warm, big-hearted vocals with the summer day flute melody that keeps coming back. Less exciting perhaps than the two big jam tracks that bookend it but really special to me, sort of leading to where PFM would soon arrive and get credit for being.but I believe BVC was right there with "evviva la contea di lane" even if not as sparkling with their production. But even in this track they never get too pretentious: they throw a wailing sax solo right in the middle of their mellower track and then get back wide open jamming for the long third track. And that's the main selling point of BVC: they can jam. Don't look to them for mind blowing, way-out concepts and pretentiousness (in either the good or bad sense.) Look for a jamming rock band with a bit of the Italian prog flair on the side. Every time they stop for a more introspective interlude like a quiet acoustic guitar meditation, they soon burst back into the energetic jamming. They almost make me think of a kid sitting at the piano practicing his classical exercises, meantime his foot is nervously twitching as he can't wait to get back to the basement and strap on his guitar!

While one can take issue with the less-than-perfect production and occasionally loose playing I think that BVC is something that Italian fans will need to hear, and many '70s prog fans in general would greatly enjoy. Much of it is instrumental so don't be put off by the Italian vocals thing. The Akarma digipak features no booklet or information, but does tack on a couple of short bonus tracks, neither of which match the quality of the three main tracks. I have noted that some claim the Akarma version sounds better, but I haven't heard the other version. 7/10

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Send comments to Finnforest (BETA) | Report this review (#172676) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, May 31, 2008

Review by Ivan_Melgar_M
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Symphonic Prog Specialist
5 stars Hard to find, but worth the effort

Edward Burke said "Those who don't know history are destined to repeat it", but we don't understand this message, people try to find new and original stuff in contemporary artists, but refuse to take a look to the past and research the unknown bands who made music so original that would make some self proclaimed innovators sound like copyists just because they never discovered this hidden gems.

This is the case of BUON VECCHIO CHARLIE, a pre PFM Italian band who released a fantastic self titled album in 1972 (recorded in 1971) with probably the most original adaptation of a classic. As a fact, I heard at least 5 or 6 versions of "In the Hall of the Mountain King" from the "Peer Gynt Suite" released years after by iconic Prog bands, but none of them so delicate and original as the one from this forgotten gem.

Last week I found this LP gathering dust in a box inside my deposit and decided to give them a chance, and what a surprise, whoever believes that PFM or Banco del Mutuo Soccorso were the pioneers of Italian Symphonic are wrong, this modest band, was there when the genre was in diapers.

Unlike most Italian bands who followed, BUON VECCHIO CHARLIE don't limit themselves to beautiful melodies and ´pristine Symphonic songs, they dared to be different, yes, they take "In The Hall of the Mountain King" as the cornerstone of their album as many Symphonic groups did later, but they add so many different elements that would be hard to catalogue them in a determined genre.

The beautiful lyric sections morph in a matter of seconds to Jazzy passages, acoustic tracks and even rock hard when it's required, the distorted guitars go hand by hand with sweet clear acoustic guitar tunes, the pastoral flute coexists perfectly with the tortured Hammond organ and the jazzy Sax. This may sound as a mess, but the arrangements are so strong and crafted with such good taste, that one blends with the other, no matter how contradictory their nature may seem.

And if this wasn't enough, the beautiful lyrics in Italian, sung by the beautiful voice of Richard Benson with Sandro Centofanti making incredibly beautiful backing vocals, there's not a single unnecessary or missing elements, everything fits perfectly as a 10,000 pieces puzzle.

Making a song by song review, may spoil the adventure of discovering the original proposal of BUON VECCHIO CHARLIE, but I recommend to listen the 15 minutes epic "All'Uomo Che Raccoglie I Cartoni" with special care, a Progressive Rock masterpiece that proves this band was capable of great things.

And if you are lucky to find the CD (As I did yesterday in a rarities store for 20 bucks) you may listen the Medieval and "Troubadouresque" "Il Guardiano Della Valle" with a new and clear sound..

No questions, this is a transcendental and essential masterpiece of Progressive Rock that deserves no less than 5 stars.

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Send comments to Ivan_Melgar_M (BETA) | Report this review (#251739) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, November 19, 2009

Review by Mellotron Storm
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars 4.5 stars. You have to wonder if there are any other gems like this yet to be unearthed. Recorded in 1971 yet never relased, this one was unearthed and released some twenty years after the fact ! And the bonus of course is that this is a must for RPI fans, it's that good. It's challenging and varied with excellent vocals, and the guitar, sax, flute, drums and bass are all outstanding. Oops I forgot about the keyboards which are great as well.

"Venite Giu Al Fiume" is the over 12 minute opener and my favourite. Flute opens the proceedings and it kicks in quickly. Guitar before 1 1/2 minutes sounds great as drums pound and bass throbs. I really like the sax and organ before 2 minutes and the bass, drums and guitar that follows. More organ as the flute returns. This is jazzy. It settles before 4 minutes as reserved vocals join in. I keep thinking of Swedish bands when the flute comes in, and it's back along with a fuller sound. It kicks back in before 5 1/2 minutes as the tempo picks up. The organ then starts to rip it up. Nice bass too. Sax after 8 1/2 minutes.This sounds amazing ! The guitar after 10 minutes lights it up as the bass and drums continue.

"Ewiva La Contea Di Lane" is pastoral to open with gentle guitar as fragile vocals join in. I like when the vocals stop and the flute comes in. Organ, bass and drums follow. These themes are repeated. Sax after 5 minutes and it gets a little dissonant. I like this band (haha). "All'uomo Che Raccoglie I Cartoni" is the 15 minute closer. Gentle guitar to open as flute joins in. It kicks in before 1 1/2 minutes. Nice sax too. It settles again with organ this time. It kicks back in with some excellent guitar before 3 minutes. The tempo continues to change as it settles again before 5 1/2 minutes with gentle guitar like the intro. Drums and sax 6 minutes in and the guitar follows. Vocals for the first time before 7 minutes and they do get passionate. The organ is back. A nice full sound after 9 1/2 minutes. It settles a minute later then turns jazzy. Flute then sax before 13 minutes. It picks up late.

It's finds like this that make the search worthwhile. Thanks again Todd !

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Send comments to Mellotron Storm (BETA) | Report this review (#260420) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, January 11, 2010

Review by Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog Metal Team
3 stars Charming early RPI album that sits very close to the bands mentioned in the bio: Colosseum, the Nice, Caravan and other bands mixing a psychedelic dreamy mood with light jazzy influences.

The opening track is the best but it's slightly ruined by the adaptation of Grieg's Hall of the Mountain King theme. It isn't my favourite classic tune to start with, and the rock adaptation doesn't improve matters much. It leads into a fun jamming sessions that kind of bridges the gap between The Nice and ELP.

Evviva La Contea Di Lane takes a more mellow approach. The organ playing and pastoral feel still ties us to the 60's but the instrumental development of the song is very proggy. The VDGG styled sax solo is very fitting.

Another lengthy track follows. It has its moments but never really grabs me. The saxophone is one of the most interesting features again. The flute solo at the end with the typical jazz standard of the bass guitar brings Jethro Tull's debut to mind. Two pop songs are thrown in at the end as CD extras, but they have little to do with what preceded.

A fun little album with nice artwork. No more no less.

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Send comments to Bonnek (BETA) | Report this review (#282867) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, May 21, 2010

Review by ZowieZiggy
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars This is another one album wonder out of Italy. How many were generated during the early seventies? Countless, I guess.

One gets the whole shebang here: passionate vocals, subtle fluting, great musicianship and melodic music. I particularly enjoy the first two songs which are truly symphonic as this fantastic genre can generate. It is gorgeous music by all means.

The opening number "Venite giu al Flume" shows some definite Tull affiliation (solid beat and great fluting) and demonstrates all of the band's maestria: drumming is excellent, guitar is sustained and bass is powerful. It is a very good combo indeed. Needless to say that the vocal department is also on par. A highlight for sure.

The fully "Trespass" oriented "Evviva la Contea di Lane" is so subtle and sweet! Melody, fluting, passion, skills. What else do we need? Nothing, I guess! The closing part is more hectic and holds some great sax play.

The epic "All'Uomo Che Raccoglie Cartoni" is mixing the ISP style with a more jazzy oriented music. A la "Banco" should I say? But the combination of both styles is quite enjoyable: perfectly flowing into one another.

The great VDGG influence is also very much noticeable. The alternation of quiet and symphonic passages and wild jazzy moments is quite well achieved. This music is very rich indeed. The last two songs and bonus tracks are somewhat "lighter" and don't add anything to the original recording, on the contrary. Jazzy mood for "Rosa" and a more folkish approach for "Il Guardiano Della Valle". In all, this is a very good album for sure. Let's forget about the bonus tracks and granted this work with four stars.

It is too bad that the band didn't follow with more of this type of music. But we are used to this with the ISP genre, unfortunately. One album, and there you go?

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Send comments to ZowieZiggy (BETA) | Report this review (#307433) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, October 30, 2010

Review by Nightfly
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Rock Progressivo Italiano Team
3 stars The RPI genre is littered with bands who only made one album and then disappeared. Buon Vecchio Charlie, like a number of other bands, Officina Meccanica immediately springs to mind, didn't even manage that despite recording this album in the early golden days of seventies Italian prog when Italian record companies would I imagine have been snapping up bands like this. It would be almost twenty years before it would get an official release for the first time.

Like many Italian prog bands they draw on classical music for inspiration, indeed the first track, Venite Giù Al Fiumetakes, takes excerpts from Grieg's Hall Of The Mountain King in this lively largely instrumental piece. The band also takes blues and jazz influences over this sadly short album consisting of only three tracks lasting little more than thirty minutes. The shorter and mellower Evviva La Contea Di Lane is bookended by the two longer pieces where the band demonstrates excellent musicianship on the instrumental workouts. Vocalist Richard Benson has a decent voice, generally in the mellower spectrum which is used sparingly. Luckily for him he doubles up on guitar otherwise he'd have very little to do overall. Sax and flute add colour to the more traditional instrumentation of keyboards, drums etc.

This one and only release from the band is certainly not an essential album in the Italian prog genre but is nevertheless an enjoyable way to spend thirty minutes or so. Worth checking out then for those who are already familiar with the premier league of RPI and looking to dig a bit deeper.

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Send comments to Nightfly (BETA) | Report this review (#441373) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, May 01, 2011

Review by Warthur
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars One consequence of the sudden runaway expansion of the Italian prog scene in 1971-72 was the rise of what I think of as the "one album wonders" - bands who managed to produce one album, but because of the sheer oversaturation of the market ended up being completely overlooked. Buon Vecchio Charlie's sole album didn't come out until 1990 despite being recorded in 1971, and if I had to guess why it didn't find a publisher back in the day I'd guess it would have something to do with the album being quite good, but not *so* good as to have much hope of competing with the likes of PFM, Banco, and Le Orme.

Like the British second-tier prog band Beggar's Opera in their debut album, a lot of Buon's schtick revolves around playing proggy interpretations of classical music at breakneck speed, as in the opening track (a treatment of In the Hall of the Mountain King) - in fact, take Beggar's Opera, add Jethro Tull-esque flute playing, and you've more or less got the sound of the first track. The other two see a bit more of a Genesis influence creep in but don't really distinguish themselves. A good effort, but not quite enough to really have much hope in an overcrowded prog scene with at least half a dozen bands who could blow these guys off the stage without trying.

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Send comments to Warthur (BETA) | Report this review (#502713) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, August 13, 2011

Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Neo Prog Team
3 stars Almost lost in the sands of time,Buon Vecchio Charlie were formed in 1970 in Rome by guitarist/singer Luigi Calabro, sax/flute player Sandro Cesaroni, keyboardist Sandro Centofanti, bassist Walter Bernardi and percussionist Carlo Visca.Later Visca and Bernardi were replaced by guitarist/singer Richard Benson (who became the main composer of the band),bassist Paolo Damiani and full drummer Rino Sangiorgio.The band recorded an album during the spring of 1971 at the Suono studio in Venice,however, and despite the interest by many producers, these tapes were never officially released until in 1991 Melos label published this work.A 1999 reissue by Akarma featured two bonus tracks and a different cover.

At a time when bands like Premiata Forneria Marconi or Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso searched for their own challenging sound, Buon Vecchio Charlie played some full-edged Progressive Rock presented in three long tracks.The opening ''Venite giù al fiume'' is a proggy version of ''Peer Gynt'' by Norwegian composer Edvard Grieg.A track with little space for vocals but plenty of it for some fuzz guitar soling, psychedelic organs, melodic sax leads and raw flute work, close to the likes of JUMBO or OSANNA, but all tightly connected without being excessive at all.''Evviva la contea di Lane'' follows a much softer style, being quite symphonic in nature and based on Centofanti's obscure organ work, Cesaroni's delicate flutes and the huge sax solo of Cesaroni towards the closing section.With the 15-min. ''All'uomo che raccoglie i cartoni'' the band returns to the opening style, close to a mix of Psychedelic and Symphonic Rock.Alternating sections between electric and acoustic passages with good doses of flutes and saxes in a VAN DER GRAAF GENERATOR mood, a lust for some more improvisational parts and Centofanti's decent effort on organ and synthesizers offer a variety of soundscapes with influences from Classical, Folk and Jazz Music.

Propably due to the unsuccesful tries of releasing the record the band called it off around 1973 with most of the members remaining in the music industry.Benson followed a personal and quite succesful music career,Centofanti joined Libra a couple of years later, while Calabro, Sangiorgio and Damiani formed the Jazz-Rock act Bauhaus.

It would be a crime if these recordings remained buried and thanks to the Melos' team any prog fan has the opportunity to taste some of this band's talent and pleasant progressive music orientations.Not absolutely essential or masterful like the best of Classic Italian Prog but certainly strongly recommended...3.5 stars.

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Send comments to apps79 (BETA) | Report this review (#598436) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, December 29, 2011

Latest members reviews

4 stars For an album that never saw the light of day in the 1970s, Buon Vechhio Charlie managed to create a solid effort released posthumously in 1990. Unlike the Alphatuaurus album Dietro L'Uragano, this unearthed treasure actually deserved release and if it was truly recorded in '71-'72 (no one is quite ... (read more)

Report this review (#491534) | Posted by coasterzombie | Thursday, July 28, 2011 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Hard to find, but worth it. If you are looking for a hard to find arch-typical Rock Progressivo Italiano (RPI) album, this is perhaps the one for you. The album even comes with two different covers on two different record labels and an not so impressive booklet. The music here is very typ ... (read more)

Report this review (#261984) | Posted by toroddfuglesteg | Friday, January 22, 2010 | Review Permanlink

4 stars 4/5 stars! Despite the fact that these guys supported a pop star once, this album is a fantastic complex prog record! I really appriciated the musicianship of the band members. Every player knows verry well his instrument. Especially the powerfull saxophone and the melancholic flute of Sand ... (read more)

Report this review (#118811) | Posted by oracus | Wednesday, April 18, 2007 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Buon Vechio Charlie One of the masterpieces, not only of the Italian prog but also in the entire prog scene. This is jazz-rock of first class mixed with symphonic prog, and if it wasn't enough, it has vocals in all the songs, as I think instrumentals records are for few bands. The fi ... (read more)

Report this review (#32190) | Posted by | Monday, January 10, 2005 | Review Permanlink

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