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Pazzo Fanfano Di Musica

Symphonic Prog

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Pazzo Fanfano Di Musica Pazzo Fanfano Di Musica album cover
4.36 | 79 ratings | 12 reviews | 52% 5 stars

Essential: a masterpiece of
progressive rock music

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Studio Album, released in 1989

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Preludio (0:50)
2. Fiori per Algernon (7:58)
3. Sospiri del fiore (3:32)
4. La dolce follia (5:11)
5. Agilmente (1:37)
6. Intermezzo I (1:32)
7. Affettuoso (5:54)
8. Fragoroso (4:34)
9. Intermezzo II (1:20)
10. Onde (6:12)
11. Anniversario (10:35)

Total Time: 49:30

Line-up / Musicians

- Megumi Tokuhisa / vocals
- Takashi Aramaki / guitars
- Katsuhiko Hayashi / organ, Mellotron, harpsichord, producer
- Motoi Sakuraba / piano
- Kyoko Sugimoto / piano, harpsichord
- Tomoki Ueno / organ, Mellotron
- Takashi Kawaguchi / violin
- Kazuhiro Miyatake / flute
- Tadashi Sugimoto / bass, double bass, cello
- Nobuyuki Sakurai / drums

Releases information

Artwork: Hitoshi Watanabe

CD Crime ‎- 292E 2081 (1989, Japan)
CD Crime ‎- KICS 91958 (2013, Japan)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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Buy PAZZO FANFANO DI MUSICA Pazzo Fanfano Di Musica Music

PAZZO FANFANO DI MUSICA Pazzo Fanfano Di Musica ratings distribution

(79 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(52%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(20%)
Good, but non-essential (25%)
Collectors/fans only (0%)
Poor. Only for completionists (3%)

PAZZO FANFANO DI MUSICA Pazzo Fanfano Di Musica reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by erik neuteboom
4 stars

FIRST REVIEW OF THIS ALBUM (after two non-review four star ratings)

In the late Eighties I discovered the awesome Japanese prog, first Gerard and Outer Limits, then bands like Pageant, Vienna, Cosmos Factory, Deja Vu and Ars Nova. This formation with the Italian inspired band name Pazzo Fanfano Di Musica is a kind of Japanese super progrock band featuring members from Outer Limits, Deja-Vu, Sirius, Teru's Symphonia and Mugen, impressive! The sound on this album is mainly based upon classical instruments like the violin, piano, guitar, flute and in some songs the distinctive harpsichord. I was carried away by a wonderful duet between a Steve Hackett-like acoustic guitar and flute and a swinging rhythm with piano and violin, it sounds like a blend of Outer Limits and Deja-Vu. Some tracks have a more dynamic climate featuring the ubiquitous Mellotron, organ and biting electric guitar. This is unique prog, recommended to all prog fans who appreciate classical music. Another four star rating, this time accompanied with a review, as it should be here on Prog Archives!

This is my review # 1000, I would like to dedicate it to the amazing and exciting Japanese progrock that has given me so many great moments, often loaded with The Mighty Tron!

Review by Ivan_Melgar_M
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars The first time I heard about PAZZO FANFANO DI MUSICA, I expected another Italian one hit wonder PFM clones, so when discovered in Prog Archives it was a Japanese band, my surprise was huge because even when the RPI influence in Japan bands is important, it's not the main element, so this should be interest

But this wasn't all, checking the credits I discovered names as Megumi Tokuhisa and Motoi Sakuraba (TERU'S SYMPHONIA and in the case of Megumi also MAGDALENA) ; Katsuhiko Hayash (MUGEN; Tomoki Ueno (MARGE LITCH, Deja Vu); etc. This was impressive, not only because we are talking about a Japanese super-group, but also because this guys were playing with two organs, two pianos and a Mellotron simultaneously in some parts of the album...This was a revelation, I had to own a copy of Pazzo Fanfano di Musica, so bought it immediately and must admit I'm addicted to it.

Normally Japanese bands take a bit of RPI, some 70's Symphonic, a bit of Jazz and lots of AOR, but PAZZO FANFANO DI MUSICA took elements from PFM and BANCO DEL MUTUO SOCCORSO, blended them with Baroque violin and Harpsichord"a la Vivaldi", added some pastoral flute with lyrics in Japanese and created a delicate fantasy without any trace of AOR that left me speechless...Why did I never heard about this album?

The record is opened by Prelude, a nice guitar (sounding like lute) intro that places the listener into Medieval territory announcing that this album will be something special and a great introduction for the extremely beautiful Fiori Per Algernon (Flowers for Algernon). Based in the short story and subsequent novel by Daniel Keyes.

This song is clearly dominated by the magic violin of Takashi Kawaguchi (OUTER LIMITS), first sweet and nostalgic, but as the song advances, the interplay with piano, percussion and vocals becomes haunting and extremely complex, with some Avant Garde touches. But what impressed me more are the vocals, because Megumi Tokuhisa's voice is extremely acute (Like in anime music), to the point that in some passages is almost painful, but in this album she controls the range making a sweet interpretation (first time i don't care for the lyrics in Japanese, she's so expressive, that i don't need to understand the words). A wonderful song that has everything a Proghead could expect.

Sospiri del Fiore (Sighs of the Flower) is a sweet pastoral song now dominated by the flute of Kazuhiro Miyatake (PAGEANT & MR SIRIOUS) and the acoustic guitar of Takashi Aramaki (Outer Limits) that takes us to Medieval territory, this track flows gently from start to end as a reliever between two powerful songs.

La Dolce Follia (The Sweet Madness) is simply breathtaking, from start to end keeps the listener at the edge of the seat, the once soft violin jumps from melodic and clean to frenetic and aggressive, this is pure Prog Rock in the vein of King Crimson, at least until the piano enters and leads to a weird baroque choir with a magnificent Hammond display, really a weird but passionate song.

As usual, after a strong song PAZZO FANFANO DI MUSICA relaxes the audience with Agilmente (Gracefully), a beautiful Baroque inte4rlude in the vein of Vivaldi, now performed by violin and harpsichord, followed by the even softer guitar based Intermezzo I .

Affetuoso (Affectionate), is a nostalgic song with a breathtaking violin, but despite the beauty, what amazed me more were the vocals, being that Megumi Tokuhisa offers one of the weirdest performance, seems like a Baroque Orchestra and vocals sung in Japanese, absolutely mind-blowing that works better because it's followed by Fragoroso, a pure Prog track with frenetic rhythm where the drummer Nobuyuku Sakurai works as a human metronome, perfectly supported by Tadashi Sugimoto in the bass (both from OUTER LIMITS), of course before the song ends we have several radical changes, plus excellent violin and piano passages that improve the listening experience even more.

After Intermezzo II that brings a bit of Japanese experience comes the formal and dramatic Onde (In order to), where the interplay between violin and piano gave me goosebumps, extremely beautiful.

The album ends with the 10:35 minutes mini epic Anniversario and the turn of Megumi Tokuhisa to take us through a mystical voyage, everything is calmed and soft until the seventh minute where the full bands enters into unexplored territory hitting us with everything they have and the most spectacular Hammond performance, a brilliant ending for a brilliant album.

After writing this review is clear that I consider this album a flawless masterpiece without any weak moment and gives us the chance to listen one of the very few (if not the only one) Japanese super-group that worked perfectly. So I will rate it with 5 solid stars that I give without hesitation.

Review by BrufordFreak
COLLABORATOR Heavy Prog & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
4 stars I've finally been able to hear this amazing album for the first time and I am BLOWN AWAY! The medieval/Renaissance-influenced music I have been craving! It doesn't get better than this, folks. It is all the best of 70s RPI (especially BANCO, LE ORME and even PFM) combined with the pastoral sounds of STEVE and JOHN HACKETT a la Voyage of The Acolyte ("Suspiri del fiore"), and the most emotive of classical composers ("La dolce follia," "Agilmente" and "Affettuoso")--the Italians, of course. There are lots of strings, flutes, organ, Mellotron, classical guitar ("Intermezzo I" and "II") and even harpsichord. The vocals from female singer Megumi Tokuhisa are wonderful if quirky (especially because of the lyrics being in Japanese.) And the shocker of all is that this music is all composed and performed by an all-star band of Japanese musicians! "Fragoroso" is much jazzier, pure prog, with an uptempo, piano- and drums-driven sound, but otherwise the album is replete with nostalgiac references to the musics of Renaissance and Italian composers. The piano and violin duet that is "Ondine" is one of the most gorgeous pieces of music I've ever heard--reminding me of the music of Taiwan's lovely CICADA or the world's RYUICHI SAKAMOTO.

1. "Preludio" (0:50) acoustic nylon stringed guitar solo (4.25/5)

2. "Fiori per Algernon" (7:58) violin and flutes sing over heavy, almost-avant chamber music before Megumi comes in singing in Japanese. Flutes, violin, and piano continue to interject their embellishing riffs throughout. During musical interlude in the middle, piano comes more to the fore while soloing piano and flutes take more supportive, side-lying roles. Megumi's vocalise mimics/mirror's the violin melody. The music is complex, stop-and-start, with various tempo and texture shifts. (13.5/15)

3. "Sospiri del fiore" (3:32) with virtuosic lute-like guitar and flute over the top, this song sounds a lot like something from an ANTHONY PHILLIPS or FOCUS/JAN AKKERMAN song (though with a few STEVE HACKETT-like melody and chord shifts). (10/10)

4. "La dolce follia" (5:11) echo-effected flute over bowed double bass is replaced by strings and flutes (straight up) before at 1:04 when heavier RPI band introduces itself for a brief few seconds. Piano and classical instruments fill the next free-form section before a kind of Baroque musical structure sets itself in motion, over which Megumi sings a little, but then things twist and turn, with pastoral Baroque acoustic and electric heavy RPI going back and forth for the next couple minutes. Nice Mellotron cum classical guitar outro. (9/10)

5. Agilmente (1:37) violin soloing over harpsichord and double bass. Flute takes over at the 0:30 mark with a different style of harpsichord playing beneath. Back to violin with its particular support for the final thirty seconds. (5/5)

6. "Intermezzo I" (1:32) a more Spanish style guitar solo. (4.5/5)

7. "Affettuoso" (5:54) gentle harpsichord chords open this one before violin joins in to sing its solo melody tenderly above. Brilliant duet. At 1:03 flute takes over the lead melody. At 1:43 Megumi Tokuhisa's beautiful mezzo-alto enters and takes the lead, singing in Japanese with beautiful long, sustained notes and beautiful diction. Very much like an old-fashioned salon performance. (9/10)

8. "Fragoroso" (4:34) fast-paced piano-centric acoustic jazz drives the combo until violin arrives in the third minute. From there, the moods and tempos shift quite dramatically several times, at times becoming quite tempestuous, like a weather storm. (9.5/10)

9. "Intermezzo II" (1:20) more lute-ish Spanish guitar. (4.5/5)

10. "Onde" (6:12) this is piano, double bass, and violin dancing in a trio. The prettiest, most heart-wrenching melodies, playing, and arrangement of the album. I can feel the power of the surf, of the waves, with this one. (10/10)

11. "Anniversario" (10:35) Megumi singing and vocalizing over and with classical guitar, violin, and flute. (18.25/20)

Total Time: 49:30

A-/five stars; a minor masterpiece of Classical, Baroque, and RPI fused progressive rock music.

Folks, this is a masterpiece of timeless music--one for the ages--a collection of songs that will represent our crazy modern world far better than 99.99% of the stuff that's been put out for the past 100 years.

Review by Warthur
5 stars A magnificent supergroup project from Japan, bringing together various figures from the 1980s prog scene there to produce a delightful tribute to the Italian scene of the 1970s. Rather than copying the distinctive style of any specific Italian prog band, the collective instead blend together influences from PFM to Banco and incorporate an extensive amount of the baroque classical influences the Italian bands themselves loved, yielding a fantastical musical journey which exonerates the prog credentials of each and every one of the participants.

I fully intend to go trawling through the discographies of the various bands whose members contributed to this project, because it's clear that I have overlooked the Japanese prog scene of the 1980s for far too long. Whilst in the Anglosphere we were still making do with neo-prog and full-bore symphonic prog releases had not yet had the resurgence that would later arise, clearly in Japan the spirit of classic prog was alive and well and working through talented musicians like these.

Review by siLLy puPPy
4 stars As progressive rock's heyday of the 70s faded to black and left only a small scattered determined musicians latching onto its demanding musical challenges, the nations that missed out the first time around caught the bug and were inspired to reinterpret their favorites of the 70s with their own unique spin. Just one of many such interesting outfits was PAZZO FANFANO DI MUSICA (Crazy Fanfano Of Music, a Fanfano apparently being a nonsensical term) who took a keen interest in the Italian scene and despite emerging from half way around the world in Japan, crafted a musical style, album cover that paid homage to their favorite musical export. Although the song titles are written in Italian, once experienced in musical form it's quite apparent that this was not a group of Italians honoring their own history but foreign fans worshipping their heroes in this unique one-shot that came out in 1989 just slightly before the new golden age of prog revival would begin.

While touted as a progressive rock band, PAZZO FANFANO DI MUSICA was more of a chamber rock orchestra with more influences from European classical music from the 17th to 19th centuries than prog rock itself, however there are the clear symphonic rock elements of English artists like Genesis, Steve Hackett and the romantic symphonic prog that the majority of Italian prog implemented. The project although a one off commissioned by King Records was a huge undertaking in scope which rounded up the talents of ten Western classically trained musicians that borrowed members from various prominent Japanese bands including Outer Limits, Sirius, Vienna, Magdalena, Deja Vu, Teru's Symphionia amongst others. Instrumentation on this deluxe classical rock extravaganza included a guitarist, two organ / Mellotron / harpsichord players, two pianists, a violinist, a flautist, a bassist and a drummer.

The one and only PAZZO FANFANO DI MUSICA album is essentially a tribute to Western classical / Italian prog rock scene and carries on through its eleven track run with mostly instrumental tracks and the occasional vocal performances that include both Italian and Japanese lyrics. While it may sound like the band was trying to completely fool an unsuspecting public, it was all done in good spirit that despite the Italian imagery and imitating factors, PAZZO FANFANO DI MUSICA show a few signs of their true origins especially in the vocal style of Megumi Tokuhisa, whose vocals resonate a Far East aura that sound extremely Japanese as well as certain instrumental sections that throw in snippets of Japanese folk music that emerge which i assume was intentional but possibly not.

The members of PAZZO FANFANO DI MUSICA really did their homework putting this tribute to Western culture together. The track "Fiori Per Algernon" is a reference to the literary work of the American writer Daniel Keyes referring to "Flowers For Algermon," whereas "Sospiri del Fiori" assumes a calming bucolic period piece from the Italian Renaissance. "La Dolce Folla" exudes Baroque influence whereas the violin and flute driven "Agile" were inspired by Arcangelo Corelli. "Affetuoso" sounds inspired by J.S. Bach with Vivaldi and Corelli stylistic changes which are found throughout the album. While most of the album is more classical chamber rock than prog, the album ends with a true symphonic prog rocker called "Anniversario" which is actually music from the band Teru's Symphonia which shares the lead singer. This is when the distorted rock outburts interrupt the classically driven blast from the past most often.

While PAZZO FANFANO DI MUSICA may not excel in the creativity department due to their strict adherence to past glories, they more than make up for this with a stellar command of the musical developments. These are top notch musicians tackling all the intricacies of a demanding classically infused symphonic prog album that runs the gamut of European classical and symphonic prog worship. While not completely convincing of its chameleonesque attempt to become Italian, the band do a pretty great job tackling all the sophistications that make or break an album like this. The only problem i find with this album is that it seems a little lopsided and bent towards unadulterated classical music with only random rock elements emerging in oddball moments. While i don't believe PAZZO FANFANO DI MUSICA outshine the Italian greats, they did an excellent job at imitating them on this one and only album.

Review by Mellotron Storm
3 stars So about 6 months ago or so I had a 3 star review ready to roll for this album then I saw all of the 5 star reviews and ratings and thought I better put this aside for now not wanting to insult anyone. But seeing Mike's(silly puppy) review today inspired me to at least say a few words about it and brace for the abuse that will follow(haha). I am so not into Chamber music or even Classical music which of course is what this 10 piece Japanese band is all about. They are offering up a tribute of sorts to RPI music but man I'll take the real thing as it's one of my favourite sub-genres. I actually picked this up years ago simply because it was released in 1989 a poor year for adventurous music. Should have investigated the music more, I just wasn't expecting tons of mournful strings and that acoustic sound. The female vocals are pretty good, there's not a lot of them. Clearly I'm in the minority here with my rating and thoughts but this is all about my tastes in music and that alone. 3 stars fits perfectly in my opinion but if your a big Chamber music person you will want to hear this.

Latest members reviews

5 stars This album is the sole work of the group, and was released in 1989. Songs with vocals are performed mostly in Japanese. The material in the album is a harmonious blend of classical and Symphonic Prog featuring acoustic instruments like the piano, organ, Mellotron, harpsichord, cello, violin, acoust ... (read more)

Report this review (#1824153) | Posted by nikitasv777 | Friday, November 17, 2017 | Review Permanlink

5 stars I was pleasantly surprised to discover that the once album Pazzo Fanfano di Musica. I was surprised because I had never expected to hear this kind of music from Japanese musicians. Curiously, the group from Japan, but takes the title in Italian. And the cover also evokes associations with representa ... (read more)

Report this review (#1320100) | Posted by Nikols | Friday, December 5, 2014 | Review Permanlink

5 stars 7000em rating on this web site I have all that music and much more This is a master piece of symphonic prog with classical influence with style like banco This is a amazing find Thanks to progarchive for it . This was compose and release in 89 wen disco was the music sad timing the web got i ... (read more)

Report this review (#1310792) | Posted by Pieromcdo | Monday, November 17, 2014 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Pazzo Fanfano di Musica is a very strange and unique record. It was made 1989 and sounds like NOTHING in the eighties. This extraordinary music would perhaps show up 1973 but 1989? Yes, this music was made 1989. In England? Italy? No totally wrong but in Japan, a prog land totally new for me. ... (read more)

Report this review (#1056497) | Posted by DrömmarenAdrian | Tuesday, October 8, 2013 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Maybe a premature review. After read BrufordFreak previous review about this supergroup called Pazzo Fanfano di Musica, I promptly tried the whole album, and I'm listening to it until now. After a good time, I found a different symphonic prog album that sounds so sweet. RPI from Japan. That's ... (read more)

Report this review (#1053556) | Posted by VOTOMS | Friday, October 4, 2013 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Now that I have given a few complete listens to this album, I consider myself incredibly lucky because I found this gem some time ago by pure randomness, without any recommendation whatsoever. And what a magical piece of music it turned out to be! This album is a top notch mixture of classical ... (read more)

Report this review (#132177) | Posted by taylanbil | Tuesday, August 7, 2007 | Review Permanlink

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