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DANZE D'INCENSO

Malaavia

Rock Progressivo Italiano


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Malaavia Danze d'Incenso album cover
3.54 | 23 ratings | 11 reviews | 27% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 2004

Songs / Tracks Listing

Sequenza prima: delle danze
1. Preludio di luna piena
2. Abraham, where is the land?
3. Climax
4. Sahara - Marrakesh
5. Smoke rag
6. Desert sounds
7. Kyrie eleison

Sequenza seconda: della conoscenza
8. Ombre
9. Gnōti sautōn (conosci te stesso)
10. Vie interne
11. Softmoon
12. Cuori d'elettricitā
13. Hominem quaero

Sequenza terza : tra balsami d'incenso
14. Interludio sospeso
15. Vivi nascosto
16. Danza d'incenso
17. Mezzalunafertile
18. Bach's prelude
19. Mezzalunafertile reprise
20. Locus amoenus
21. Canzone di Giuseppe
22. Coda di luna calante

Lyrics

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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians

- Oderigi Lusi / organ Hammond b3, acoustic pianoforte, piano rhodes, keyboards, synthesizers, background vocals
- Pas Scarpato / basses, guitars, vocals
- Lucio Fontana / drums
- Solimena Casoria / flute, vocals
- Egidio Napolitano / percussion and Ambien sounds

With:
- Michele Muttib / synths on "Gnoti sautōn".
- Lino Vairetti / vocals on "Abraham, where is the land?"
- Giovanni Mauriello / vocals on "Kyrie Eleison";
- Franco Malapena / mandolin and Tenor vocal
- Stefano Larizza / vocal chorus
- Giulio Cozzuto / solo guitar
- Umberto Muselli / Tenor saxophone
- Paolo Sasso / violin and viola
- Peppe Sasso / violin, Soprano saxophone
- Omayyash Kuswami / trumpet, fluglehorn
- Jaspo Kurson-Florini / trombone
- Giorgio Zambonini "Zambo" / guitar solo in "Coda di luna calante"

Releases information

MRC 002

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
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MALAAVIA Danze d'Incenso ratings distribution


3.54
(23 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(27%)
27%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(23%)
23%
Good, but non-essential (36%)
36%
Collectors/fans only (14%)
14%
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)
0%

MALAAVIA Danze d'Incenso reviews


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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by hdfisch
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars My God what a shock when I listened to this record. Five 5-stars ratings, three long compositions and an Italian band. I was really quite sure these are guarantees enough to get a real excellent record. But what I got was more or less a mish-mash of mainly very very commercial tunes with some bits and flashes of symphonic and jazz elements inbetween , sometimes becoming really good like at the end of seconda sequenza. But this short effort was cancelled immediately in Sequenza terta. Nice music, yes, but absolutely not exciting. This record stands no comparison with outputs of other Italian bands in this genre, which are mainly very good. I would call it a trial to combine the music of modern pop artists like Manu Chao with Italian symphonic prog.For me it did not work out! Still it has some quite good parts, usually at the end of the tracks but there are only three, so it's even not possible to skip the sections one does not like (at least in the mp3-version I listened). I really can't recommend this one to any lover of this sub-genre!1 star extra for the effort of the musicians!

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Send comments to hdfisch (BETA) | Report this review (#32247) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, March 11, 2005

Review by erik neuteboom
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Well, what a challenge to review this album (take a look at the varied awarding of stars from fellow reviewers)! In general this musical project from the Italian duo signori Lusi and signori Scarpato is a wonderful and very alternating progrock album: great duo-vocals, tastefully blended with flute, organ, violin and piano in "Abraham, where is the land?", an Arabian undertone with synthesizer flights and saxophone in "Sahara - Marrakesh", classical orchestrations and a splendid grand finale featuring violin and some church organ in "Ombre", sparkling classical piano play in "Softmoon" and "Bach's prelude", fiery and heavy guitar work in "Hominem quaero" and wonderful classical/Spanish guitar and mandoline in "Locus amoenus". So there is a lot to enjoy, especially the titletrack (great keyboards, a sensitive Spanish guitar solo, beautiful piano and in the end a synthesizer solo) and "Mezzalunafertile" (compelling classical undertone, tastefuly blended with sitar, accordeon, Spanish guitar and flute). Unfortunately the composers got the idea to add disco beats to some tracks ("Kyrie Eleison" and "Vie interne")! Just when you are carried away to progheaven, that weird musical idea send you back to a harsh reality. But if you use the programm function, this CD will deliver lots of wonderful progrock moments.

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Send comments to erik neuteboom (BETA) | Report this review (#51527) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, October 13, 2005

Review by Tarcisio Moura
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars I found this CD by pure chance. And I was amazed by its terrific musicality. I was not expecting much: although Italy has produced an incredible number of great prog acts since the 70īs, lately I was a bit disapointed with its newer groups. But Malaavia is really something else. Their debut album is absolutely stunning for its sheer power and musical diversity: think of any style and youīll probably find it here somewhere. Itīs hard to describe it and hard to believe it. And what could be a ragged and/or confused array of different kinds of music, turns out into a very cohesive, melodic and well rounded piece of art. Thanks to their great knack for writing good tunes, tasteful arrangements and fine melodic sense, this is by far one of the most satisfying albums I found this year. I specially loved the alternating male/female vocals, with some operatic male voices thrown in at the right places.

I was equally surprised by the different ratings this album got from other reviewers. Naturally some of them didnīt get it. And I guess itīs just a matter of taste. A challeging album like someone said? Not for me, thatīs for sure! I fell in love with it the minute I heard the first few notes from Preludio Di Luna Piena. And every time I listen to it I love it more. Every note, every instrument or voice, comes and goes at the right moment. Not a single boring moment in the whole CD. Not even a weak moment. Excellent songwriting, terrific musicanship, beautiful vocals. Can you ask for more? Oh, yeah: tremendous powerful. emotional and convincing performances. And you get that a lot in Danze D`Incenso. Original, bold and quite different from other italian acts, ok, and yet very familiar, accesible and captivating. Prog with a capital P. Something to listen from beginning to end without skipping a single track.

There is no highlights, really. You should listen to it as a whole. Production is top notch.

I probably should not give this album five stars so soon, since this is only their first release and I want to believe they can improve even more in near future. But I canīt help it. It would not be fair to do otherwise: for me itīs a masterpiece. And my rating might contribute to diminish the unfairness of some misguided reviews I found here. Definitly recommended! One of the best debut albums I heard in a long time.

I was a little disapointed with what I heard lately in the field, bu now my faith into prog music is restored!

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Send comments to Tarcisio Moura (BETA) | Report this review (#747948) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, May 03, 2012

Review by tszirmay
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Crossover Team
4 stars This is another fine example of Italian proficiency in progressive rock field, combining local and foreign influences to create memorable music and exemplary playing. RPI is akin to Italian cuisine, there are a lot of combinations, flavors and aromas that can go into the pan, while still keeping to long held traditions . The main cooks are Pas Scarpato and Oderigi Lusi with an army of guest musicians on violin, viola, trombone, sax, flutes, synths, mandolin and percussion. This is one colossal suite composed of 22 pieces that all intertwine brilliantly, some snippets and others, full blown pieces. It will take multiple listens for this to sink in but when it does, hold on to your prosciutto! I was attracted by the positive reviews and I am not disappointed one bit as this is pretty original RPI stuff with hints of opera, jazz, Italian folk, Middle Eastern spices (including Arabic and Hebrew), some disco (yup!), lighter barroom piano fare, classical orchestrations and the cucina 's sink!

Huge highlights include (and there are many): On "Abraham", the singing from Osanna's Lino Vairetti and Solimena Casoria is ecstatically incredible, blazing fast and powerfully emotive, creating a landmark RPI piece for the ages. The music is phenomenal but multiple voice fencing is truly epic and the chorus defines hummable to death. Same can be said on "Marrakech", where another scintillating female vocal rules the roost, with slight Moroccan hints, a caravanserai of bopping bass and a sandstorm of brass work. .

"Kyrie Elieson" is operatic, playful and loopy. "Ombre" is utterly brilliant, grandiose and driven, especially when twined with the follow-up "Gnoti Sauton", featuring crisp lady vocals and a sizzling synth solo (courtesy of Michele Mutti of Il Torre dell'Alchimista) that is flush with emotion, all of this splendor wrapped in lush symphonics . Bloody fantastic this.

The pulsating "Vie Interne" is where the disco feel is prevalent but not to worry, this ain't no Donna Summer (RIP), it's both gloomy, quirky, playful and has a sexy sax solo that will knock your socks right off, plus Solimena does another masterful vocal, fast, clean and just wow! "Cuori d'Eletricitta" offers more brisk wailing, flute and some liberal doses of passion and power, the mellotron synths kicking up some dust and finally a diabolic electric guitar solo bursting of fuzz and froth amid the pomp and circumstance ("Hominem Quaero"). "Vivi nascoto" is another colossal male vocal that inspires with an easy beat and some fabulous duet vocal and choir work into an almost hummable song that will stick in your mind, the arrangement has a massive orchestral feel that is also impressive.

Obviously, the instrumental title track is the longest piece here clocking in at 6.48, shepherded by a lovely flute melody, later paralleled by a synthesizer, acoustic/Spanish guitar modulations, elegant piano ripples and some more ornate classical dressing.

Then a miniature 3 part suite "Mezzaluna Fertile" sandwiched by a fascinating JS Bach piano interlude elevates the music to the proggiest levels and does not fail to impress, stuffed with various cinematographic voice effects and a colossal orchestrated chorus, metallic resonations in the foreground, bleeping synths and sparkling melodies. The impassioned female vocals scream despair and the male vocals recite in resignation at a blistering pace..

Gentle acoustic guitar leads the haunting "Locus Amoenus" in perhaps the most personal and melancholic instrumental piece yet, disturbingly sad. When the dexterous mandolin takes over, the sheer beauty of this song rises to the top. "Canzone di Giuseppe" is done in an outright Italian folk style, with male and female vocals, allied with some accordion-like sounds, dabs of synthesized sound effects, a lingering little ditty that is extraordinarily pleasant. The final cut, "Coda di Luna Calante" a muscularly flute-led beat, displays a trembling Hammond and loving piano work, only to be outdone by a whopping guitar intervention both sharp and concise. This a spacey exit that gets arranged with swirling synths and a near psychedelic formula.

A varied, complex, inspirational and refreshing RPI album that bodes well for the future.

4 Bad birds

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Send comments to tszirmay (BETA) | Report this review (#765689) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Neo Prog Team
3 stars Malaavia from Napoli started in 1998 as a project of guitarist, bassist and singer Pas Scarpato along with bassist Tullio Ippodamia.The duo welcome keyboardists Antonio Casoria and Oderigi Lusi, flutist/singer Solimena Casoria and percussionist Egidio Napolitano to form the first nucleus of the band.Just when things seem to roll, Ippodamia and A. Casoria left Malaavia in 2000 and the next year Scarpato recruited drummer Lucio Fontana.However over the span of five years Malaavia participated in several contests, concerts and festivals with success.In 2002 Scarpato met Massimo Orlandini and Raoul Caprio of MaRaCash Records, which would result the release of the band's debut ''Danze d'incenso'' in 2004.In the record several guest musicians would help the Malaavia quintet, among them keyboardist Michele Mutti from La Torre Dell' Alchimista and Lino Vairetti from Osanna.

The album proposes a nice mix of Progressive Rock with Ethnic and World Music and the opening 15-min. ''Sequenza prima: delle danze'' is a good example.Just when you get enough moments of Classic Italian Prog of symphonic nature with dominant synths, piano and organs appears a interesting journey around the world with lots of saxes, violins, mandolins and percussion, offering evident Spanish, Eastern and Arabic overtones, while some lyrics are even delivered in the Spanish and Ancient Greek language.Some dull beats or commercial moments are also present, but overall this composition sounds very nice.

Second track comes under the title ''Sequenza seconda: della conoscenza'', clocking at almost 20 minutes.Here Malaavia sound a lot like the most ethereal material of HOSTSONATEN with a touch of ZAUBER, excellent Progressive Folk with symphonic orchestrations.Beautiful flute parts, light piano interludes, dreamy female vocal lines and versatile symphonic keyboard passages with some very good instrumental moments, again another segment (''Vie interne'') seems totally out of place, hurting the composition's consistency.

Things become too dangerous regarding the tracks' lengths with the third part of the album ''Sequenza terza : tra balsami d'incenso'', which lasts over 38 minutes.But actually this sounds as the more consistent track of the whole album despite the minor flaws.Charming combination of romantic Italian Prog with Ethnic/Folk Rock, even the male vocals sounds great on this.There are strong references to the Spanish, Middle-Eastern and Mediterrenean culture throughout, either through the tunes provided by the pianos and synths or with the use of traditional instruments like the accordion, flamenco guitar, percussions or flutes.But there is still plenty of Classic Italian Prog color in this with Classical preludes and symphonic instrumental soundscapes.Again HOSTSONATEN is the closest comparison, tight mix of keyboard-based Prog with Ethnic Music, producing a variety of trippy soundscapes.

Very good album and an impressive musical concept overall.Works much better as a whole listening than separating the tracks with each listen and this way it will definitely reward you.You love HOSTSONATEN, you'll love Malaavia as well.Strongly recommended...3.5 stars.

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Send comments to apps79 (BETA) | Report this review (#884441) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, December 30, 2012

Review by andrea
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Malaavia began life in Naples in 1998 on the initiative of Pas Scarpato. After some line up changes and a good live activity, in 2004 the band released a d'but album on the independent label Ma.Ra.Cash., Danze d'incenso, with a line up featuring Pas Scarpato (bass, guitars, vocals), Oderigi Lusi (organ, piano, keyboards, synthesizers, accordion, backing vocals), Lucio Fontana (drums), Solimena Casoria (flute, vocals) and Egidio Napolitano (percussion) plus numerous prestigious guests such as Michele Mutti (synthesizer, from La Torre dell'Alchimista), Lino Vairetti (vocals, from Osanna) or Giovanni Mauriello (vocals, from Nuova Compagnia di Canto Popolare) just to name but a few. The result is an interesting album, very rich in ideas but where, in my opinion, is difficult to separate the wheat from the chaff. You can recognize many different influences ranging from Le Orme to Osanna, from classical music to ragtime, from disco music to rap, but the blending is not always convincing. The album is divided into three long suites where you can find some brilliant passages but also some weak points that risk to spoil the pleasure of listening to it.

The opener 'Sequenza prima: delle danze' (First sequence: of the dances) begins with a very promising instrumental part, 'Preludio di luna piena' (Prelude of full moon), featuring classical influences and a dreamy mood, then comes 'Abraham, where is the land?', with lyrics swinging from Italian to English to Neapolitan dialect evoking the contradictions of the tormented countries of Middle-East, a promised land ravaged by war and culture clashes. There are some beautiful melodic lines with male and female vocals and a raging rap break... 'Panic and terror in the streets and markets of Damascus / Blooding children who pay the horror of a war / Land, land that will never come...'. Then, suddenly, the music and lyrics take you across the Sahara desert to the streets of Marrakesh, a melting pot of cultures, colours and sounds... Hints of ragtime and ethnic sounds lead to the weak final part, 'Kyrie Eleyson', and its disconcerting, horrible disco-beat.

The second suite, 'Sequenza seconda: della conoscenza' (Second sequence: of the knowledge), begins by piano and vocals, then ethnic instruments joins contributing to evoke some mysterious shadows creeping on: the ancient shadows of life, harmony and love. The first part, 'Ombre' (Shadows) fades into the ethereal second section, 'Gn'ti saut'n (conosci te stesso)' (Know yourself), where reality becomes uncertain and beautiful melodies soar in a living dream... 'Gnoti saut'n, the truth is just inside you / If the music will resist / Your soul will listen to new notes... An orchestra will play a symphonic music...'. Unfortunately what comes after is not a symphony but a disco-pop section, 'Vie interne' (Internal ways), that abruptly breaks the dreamy mood... 'We are the travellers of the internal ways / We are looking for eternal truths / Wandering souls of the internal ways / We are looking for ancient truths...'. Then a delicate piano interlude, 'Softmoon', leads to 'Cuori d'elettricit' (Hearts of electricity), a section that in some way reminds me of Franco Battiato's works from the eighties... 'Animality, mechanicality / We are bodies / We are hearts of electricity...'. A distorted electric guitar solo, 'Hominem quaero', follows and a final explosion concludes the sequence.

The third suite, 'Sequenza terza: tra balsami d'incenso' (Third sequence: through balms of incense), starts with an instrumental section, 'Interludio sospeso' (Suspended interlude), featuring a dark mood and a strong classical influence with strings in the forefront. It leads to 'Vivi nascosto' (Live hidden), another nice section that recalls Franco Battiato with lyrics telling you that you've better hide from false priests and easy goals, from false paradises and sophisms... A beautiful, dreamy instrumental section follows, 'Danza d'incenso' (Dance of incense), bringing a touch of exoticism and Middle Eastern flavours. It fades into 'Mezzaluna fertile' (Fertile crescent moon), a bitter-sweet part with lyrics in Italian and Neapolitan dialect about the absurdity of the never ending war that Christians, Hebrews and Muslims are fighting in Palestine. Rap, Italian melody and Bach are mixed together with a very peculiar effect. Then comes the sound of a gong that introduces an acoustic guitar passage evoking a peaceful landscape, 'Locus amoenus'. The following section, 'Canzone di Giuseppe' (Joseph's song) is dedicated to the character of Saint Joseph and reminds me slightly of the atmospheres of Fabrizio De Andr''s album La buona novella, recently reinterpreted by Premiata Forneria Marconi. The conclusive section, 'Coda di luna calante' (Tail of waning moon), is a magnificent instrumental featuring murmured vocals in the background reciting some verses by Italian poet Gabriele D'Annunzio... 'Oppressed in love, in pleasure, the people of the world of the living are asleep... O waning scythe, what a harvest of dreams ripples in your mild and diffuse light down here!'.

On the whole, I think that despite the many ups and downs this is an album that is worth listening to. A mention also for the beautiful album cover painted by Domizia Parri that maybe describes the content better than all my words.

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Send comments to andrea (BETA) | Report this review (#1152007) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, March 21, 2014

Latest members reviews

3 stars Their debut album...... No, my opening line is not one of my lazy throw away remarks bereft of any intellectuel values. On a debut album, most bands does not really know where they are heading and what they are doing. Most bands are in a development phase at that stage and only some feedback ... (read more)

Report this review (#396287) | Posted by toroddfuglesteg | Monday, February 07, 2011 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Album cover looks like cool wind and swirl well I bought this album not its cover but eager mind of collection in Italian prog. The music is a little different from others. Kind of Rock Opera? I don't know what rock opera is. And I think of RANDONE's Hybla Act1 while hearing Malaavia Danze. pre ... (read more)

Report this review (#165472) | Posted by bspark | Tuesday, April 01, 2008 | Review Permanlink

3 stars I pretty much agree on most that the previous reviewer Dieter Fischer has said about this album. I just can't hear the 'pop' he claims to hear. Before I bought this album I had read some very positive things about it but after hearing it I was very disappointed. I have tried to analyse this becau ... (read more)

Report this review (#32249) | Posted by geezer | Wednesday, May 18, 2005 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Excellent cd...very interesting because of the many changes...all sorts of prog'alternatives'. Recommended to the lover of the old Italian prog and the lover of a more modern (although not neo-prog) sound. ... (read more)

Report this review (#32246) | Posted by | Thursday, February 24, 2005 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Malaavia are formed by a history teacher (Pas Scarpato, excellent bass player) and a virtuoso pianist called Oderigi Lusi. Together this two musicians are produced on of the best albums of the italian prog story! There are all the styles in this album, a concept talking about the travel who le ... (read more)

Report this review (#32244) | Posted by | Tuesday, February 08, 2005 | Review Permanlink

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