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La Famiglia Degli Ortega picture
La Famiglia Degli Ortega biography
This twelve piece band from Genoa started their rather short venture on the Italian musical scene around 1972. The origins of their name can be traced back to the two Venezuelan brothers, Ruben and Nestor Ortega, who laid the foundation of the group, but left shortly before their first and only album got released. In the year of their debut, the band took part in the Genoa Pop Festival, but because their style did not have a concrete orientation, they failed to make an impression. However, later that year, LA FAMIGLIA DEGLI ORTEGA were fortunate to participate at the Sanremo Festival, where they played backing vocals on DELIRIUM's "Dolce Acqua" track Jesahel. This event marked a turning point in the band's musical style, as they obviously got their inspiration for their upcoming album from DELIRIUM.

"La Famiglia Degli Ortega" is their sole studio album and was released in 1973 on vinyl and in 1995 on CD. What makes it remarkable is the blending of graceful vocal harmonies, both male and female, and folky acoustic guitar bits, with occasional jazzy piano sections. The band also put out two singles in different formats: Awamalaia/Sogno di una casa from 1973 and the 1974 Stanlio e Ollio/ Una vecchia corriera chiamata "Harry Way" - which found its way on the 1974 "Un disco per l'estate" compilation. The following year saw the end of the band.
Recommended mainly for RPI fans, but also for those who enjoy some light music that manages to set a relaxing mood.

Thanks to Lizzy for the biography.

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3.03 | 23 ratings
La Famiglia Degli Ortega

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 La Famiglia Degli Ortega by FAMIGLIA DEGLI ORTEGA, LA album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.03 | 23 ratings

La Famiglia Degli Ortega
La Famiglia Degli Ortega Prog Folk

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars La Famiglia degli Ortega (The Ortega Family) was a large Folk Rock ensemble from Genova, Italy, found in 1972 by guitarists/percussionists Ruben and Nestor Ortega.Despite playing at the Genova and Sanremo Pop festivals and working as a backing choir for Delirium, La Famiglia degli Ortega recorded their only self-titled album without the Ortega brothers, who had left the band.No less than 10 musicians and singers played in the album plus some guests like Antonio Marangolo from Flea on keyboards, drummer Tullio De Piscopo from New Trolls and drummer Paolo Siani from Nuova Idea.

The album, which is extremely rare in its original form, is known for its ethereal atmospheres under a folky enviroment, quite similar to SAINT JUST or Xian groups like LA SORGENTE with a bit of ALAN SORRENTI thrown in, and most of the tracks are acoustic, dreamy pieces with superb female vocals, light bass work, plenty of percussion and the appropriate acoustic strings, but what makes it really unique is the omnipresent synth-drenched soundscapes of Antonio Marangolo, who slowly reveals himself as a main figure.Otherwise the tracks are filled with acoustic and classical guitars, poetic lyrics and even some low-key piano lines, while a few tracks contain discreet electric guitars, sweet violin and a proper rhythm section with regular bass and drum work.It's not much of a progressive release, but it is definitely an excellent approach on ethereal and harmonic Folk Rock with a balanced sound between acoustic formations and keyboard/rock tectures, featuring also some hidden jazzy influences in several pieces.A few other pieces are borderline Folk Pop, like ''Merryon'' and its harmonica-based groovy atmosphere or ''Una vecchia corriera chiamata Harry Way'' and its very Beat-esque chorus with the clapping and multi-vocal approach.But even these cuts have a nice melodic or joyful content, while the album is surprisingly consistent at the end of the way.

During 1974/75 the ensemble even visited the USA for some live dates and disbanded after their completion.Alberto Canepa, Gianni Martini and Bruno Biggi served later as a singer, guitarist and bassist respectively for the newborn Assemblea Musicale Teatrale.

Lovely semi-progressive Folk/Folk Rock with melodious themes, harmonic vocal arrangements, some dramatic and more optimistic moods and a fine combination of keyboard/piano-based themes mixed with acoustic instruments.Recommended.

 La Famiglia Degli Ortega by FAMIGLIA DEGLI ORTEGA, LA album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.03 | 23 ratings

La Famiglia Degli Ortega
La Famiglia Degli Ortega Prog Folk

Review by memowakeman
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Brothers from Venezuela creating an Italian band!

This is a very rare album released in the underground scene of the early 70's Italy, i would like to give you more info about it, but what i know is very limited and from a well known italian prog source. And the name of this band was created after two brothers from Venezuela, Ruben and Nestor Ortega, who ironically left the band before this selt titled and ony album was released.

The band despite having several members, doesn't feature a true complex musical background, actually what marks this band is their excellent use of backing vocals and harmonies, also the guitars. As an extra note, it says that they performed in a festival as a backing vocalists for the band Delirium, and that is why they were known more as a folk band than a prog one, anyway i believe they were just another band who belong to the powerful 70s Rock Progressivo Italiano era. The band dissapeared a couple of years later.

This album features 8 songs and a total time of 35 minutes, it opens with Archipielago which has a very nice musical background and spoken words of both male and female vocals, and besides the spoken word we can listen to the background vocals, which are characteristic of this band, the second part of the song shows a change and the folk side, some nice percussion and acoustic guitars.

Next is John Barleycorn - Due Aquile which starts with nice guitar chords and a beautiful female singer, which actually reminds me a bit to Itoiz, this is the longest song of the album with almost 6 minutes and one of the best, it has a catchy rythm and an excellent guitar playing as well as the synth, it leaves a very nice taste.

Guida la mia Lancia features male vocal as the main ones, but female as background, it has some nice piano work and a in moments it tries to create a rockier feeling, it's sound reminds me a bit to the 60s actually. Inversioni dei Fattoriis another beautiful song, with a delicate guitar sound and violins, it reminds me this time to some Focus moments, particularly in the Hamburger Concerto album, the backing vocals fit perfectly and after a minute or so o fa nice opening, the song becomes softer and the italian vocals appear and gives it, sorry for being redundant, an Italian flavour, the music is not truly prog rock, but it has it's moments.

Merryon has a bluesy mood, it features harmonica and nice bass lines, here the backing vocals are predominant again it does sound like a western or country song in some moments, it has an extraordinary violin solo.

Sogno Parigi has a classical piano beginning which could have been included in any Wakeman song jaja, then is a duo of piano and synth, and a delicate vocal sound, little by little the song becomes stronger and with a brief moment of progressive rock, the music is very well performed.

Una Vecchia Corriera this song reminds me a lot to Delirium, i assume in some way they were directly influenced by Delirium, this is a catchy pop folk song, but very nice for your ears if you like the beautiful Italian language.

Awamalaia with this song the album finishes, and this song resumes everything, great vocals (main and backing), excellent acoustic sound, percussion and a folkish flavour, what a pleasant song for finishing this album, it's perfect.

Well, this is not an album that everyone should have, nor even those who love the Italian progressive scene, though for them i surely recoommend it, in order to give it a spin and enjoy it when you can, i enjoy it but it is not an album that will be played frequently, 3.25 stars is my grade, so 3, good but non- essential.

Enjoy it!

 La Famiglia Degli Ortega by FAMIGLIA DEGLI ORTEGA, LA album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.03 | 23 ratings

La Famiglia Degli Ortega
La Famiglia Degli Ortega Prog Folk

Review by ProgShine
Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Lost inside many italian prog albuns was this record, recorded by more than 12 musicians, with a soberb vocal work.

01. Arcipelago (Ovvero Recita A Teatro) Nature sounds , piano and a lot of acoustic guitars.

02. John Barleycorn/Due Aquile Great vocal.

03. Guida La Mia Lancia A blues one, nice and smooth.

04. Inversione Dei Fattori Renaissance (the age).

05. Merryon Lot of fun in this track, Honky Tonk.

06. Sogno Parigi Great piano work.

07. Una Vecchia Correira Chimata "Harry Way" A class guitar along all the track.

08. Awamalaia The most dark track in the album.

It's a good one, for italian prog fans or not, in fact, for lover o' good music.

Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition. and to for the last updates

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