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Jazz Rock/Fusion • Italy

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Maad biography
Made up of Italian and American musicians alike, this little-known quintet from Milan managed to blend together pulsating African rhythms and jazz-rock with interesting results. They recorded one album in 1976 as well as a single, "Make Up", that was used as the theme for a late 70's Italian TV show ("3 Pezzi Facili"). Among other musicians, the band featured sax player Renato Rivolta of STORMY SIX and COME LE FOGLIE as well as guitarist/bassist Attilio Zanchi who has remained in the professional jazz circuit and is still considered one of the best Italian upright bass players.

Their self-titled album is a highly experimental affair with an uncommon sound that highlights the piano, bouzouki and vibraphone (some vibraphone passages are very reminiscent of ZAPPA). Tackling a variety of styles that run the gamut from salsa, brass-led jazz and funk to prog rock and outright avant-garde, it treats the listener to a dense wall of percussion such as congas, marimbas and drums. Not your usual prog staple but quite unique.

If you like the world-music approach of AKTUALA, one of their distant cousins in terms of style, there's a fair chance you will enjoy the music of MAAD too.

: : : Lise (HIBOU), CANADA : : :

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3.05 | 18 ratings

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MAAD Reviews

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 Maad by MAAD album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.05 | 18 ratings

Maad Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars A short-lived, Jazz-oriented combo from Milan, which comprised of Italian and Italo-American musicians, namely Pino Devita, who played electric and acoustic piano plus trombone, Attilio Zanchi on bass, guitars and bouzouki, percussionist Jonathan Scully and drummer Joe Castanuela.Despite being linked to the activities of the L'Orchestra label, their only album ''Maad'' was released in 1976 on Divergo, their style was propably too jazzy for the much more Avant/Folk-related sounds of L'Orchestra.Stormy Six'es Renato Rivolta appears on flute and saxes along with percussionist David Searcy and singer Lucinda Mirk.

''Maad'' consists of four almost all instrumental tracks of Ethnic-flavored Jazz Rock with experimental twists, which easily swirl around abstract and loose plays and fast, groovy themes with folky orientations.The album is filled with African tastes and also some essence from the Mediterrenean and Latin lands, adapted with intelligence into an amalgam of Jazz and jazzy-spiced Rock textures, each single minute features a different protagonist in here, it's either Devita and his both ethereal and fiery piano lines, Zanchi and his impressive bass work to go along with some excellent guitar moves and solos, Scully and his endless taste for ethnic sounds via the use of marimba, vibraphone, congas and percussion or Castanuela with his flawless drumming.Close to 10 or 10+ min. jazzy orgasms with some nice interplays, laid-back echoes, virtuosic isolated masturbations and even some tremendous Fusion experiments with the band in full display.While most of it passes through tropical and folky moods, there are even moments closer to Avant-Garde with a bit darker sounds on piano and some nice choirs, just to remind the great talent of this band.Really tasteful palette of sounds with a jazzy background and a certain taste for World Music.

After a 1978 single, again released on Divergo, Maad disbanded, but Devita, Scully and Zanchi remained all connected to the music industry, the latter played around the same time with the more Folk-oriented band Yu Kung.

Equal doses of Jazz and Ethnic Music in a trully interesting mixture, despite some experimental hints.You love Jazz, you'll certainly admire this underrated group from mid-70's.Mellow Records' CD resissue comes with an extra track.Recommended.

 Maad by MAAD album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.05 | 18 ratings

Maad Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by hdfisch
Prog Reviewer

3 stars As described already in their biography this album presents some quite uncommon mix of African/Latin-American rhythms, progressive rock and free avant-garde jazz fusion. Not really everything's fitting together perfectly but at times it offers an enjoyable and interesting listen.

First track "African Norge" (7:58) starts with nice samba-like percussion followed by some back and forth between ethnic jazz fusion on flute and marimba and free jazz improvisations. This track is full of (at times too much) contrast I've to say. At least for my taste the plain parts are too much straightforward and the avant-garde ones are too far off from being enjoyable. A nice but (IMHO) not very successful experiment. Next one starts off with - guess what? - right, bouzouki! and continues with some quite impressing keyboard play, obviously inspired by ATOMIC ROOSTER and accompanied by percussion and really awesome bass later on. This is a rather lengthy track clocking 10:51 and exhibiting a really great musicianship though being a tap too incoherent and aimless in some way. This is some highly diversified music presented here but I couldn't necessarily claim that it's an enjoyable type of variety since there's too much contrast between odd and straightforward. "Giugno '75" is the longest track with 11:58 min. and most probably the best and most enjoyable one here starting with nice keyboards and some background choir in a rather slow pace and becoming more up-tempo later on. In its middle part it has some nice intricate jazz played on keys, acoustic bass, marimba and drums. Later on there's been added up some electric guitar and thereafter bouzouki, marimba and bass are playing together in a marching rhythm beat before it ends up in a slightly hilarious final with some shooby-dooo-aaaa-type of vocals. Despite this finish I've to say that on this one their very own experimental style worked quite successful. The two remaining shorter tracks don't offer anything worth mentioning without being a complete failure.

Overall this rare and sole album by Italian band Maad is mentionable for the uniqueness and effort alone but nothing worth to hunt for necessarily I'd say. An interesting affair for the collector of obscure 70's releases and possibly for the ones liking the stuff their German counterpart EMBRYO did!

Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition.

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